Sunday, 26 January 2014

Don't Write For A Living

Do it for the hell of it.  Because it's cathartic.  Because you feel better after you do it.  Because you enjoy the act of creation.   Because you like the feel of your fingers on the keys and the rattling sound touch typing makes.   Because these words appearing on the screen as you think them feels kind of magical (that's if you're a touch typist).  But don't listen to me, listen to William Faulkner.  He advised writing 'not for glory and least of all for profit, but to create out of the materials of the human spirit something which did not exist before.'  I discovered this quote by way of Brain Pickings and if you're not switched onto this already, you should be.  Lots of sustenance for that disgusting slimy grey organ inside your head.  You can find it here.  I also found this video, which has more great advice about writing for the sake of it. by Time Magazine's favourite author of last year, John Green.

I've been doing some writing for the sake of it recently.  I figured if I wasn't going to get paid for it, I might as well have it doing some good.  What happened is that writing ended up giving me another new experience.   This happens a lot through writing.  If it hadn't started writing, I might not have ended up going up in a microlight over Victoria Falls or interviewing a Lord of the Rings fan that had raised enough money through crowd funding to make her own hour long version.  Anyhow, Broadway is a charity that helps the homeless near where I live.  I get to interview some of their clients, put it together as a feature and they use those stories to market the charity to potential donors and increase their visibility by placing them in the media.   Needless to say, it's pretty humbling to meet some of these people.  It also brought some much needed perspective into my life when I was busy moaning about London being expensive and getting bored of my day job.   As my Mum used to say, there's always someone worse off than yourself.

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