Writing As A Job

I spent a lot of time considering this week's blog theme: writing as a job. For most of us, a job is something we do, a service we provide for an employer and we are paid for that service. If we are not paid to write, is it a job? Do we write only with the goal of being published and paid for our work?

I don't have a simple answer. I'd rather think of writing as a way of being. A way of thinking and viewing the world. Being published is one way to share our work. I do think that treating your writing as if it was your job can have many benefits. It gives your work a type of value, though certainly not its only value. Committing a certain amount of hours to your writing is also beneficial. Viewing writing as a job gives it substance and weight. You are working for you. Are you a good employer?

Many writers who are not yet published dream of being paid to write for a living. That's a sweet dream, I imagine, until it comes true and you find out that you're still struggling with things like finding the perfect ending to your story, pitching your story, producing x number of words daily, honoring a deadline.

It's not easy to think of your writing as a job when you have a job in another field and are devoting 40+ hours a week to that job. You might be writing in the nooks and crannies of your week. Writing during a train commute or when your children are napping may not seem very professional. But it all adds up. If you take your writing seriously, "like a job", you are producing something of value, maybe something beautiful and meaningful, even if you have to steal hours from your life to do it. Keep going.


I did this experiment last month, my goal was to write a poem a day, haiku minimum. It has since become a habit, although I have no clue who will ever read them, the daily practice of writing has been healing. It has forced me to access my creative side in the midst of a 40 hour a week job. I have began to think of myself as a writer (because I am actually writing regularly.) I will try thinking of it as a job, as to keep it as an important part of my day. Thank you.

YES, Robin. This: "I'd rather think of writing as a way of being."

Even as someone who has been published, and having the "job" of "novelist" for four years now, I'd rather think of writing this way. Because it's so much more than just a job.

I think it is your job because it pays your heart and soul well and you are there day after day. Good for you!!

It really is, Katherine. I had a hard time writing this entry because I kept wanting to say, writing as a career or writing as a calling.

Love the "nooks and crannies" image. Well put! But I think I like "if you take your writing seriously, 'like a job', you are producing something of value." I struggle with this whole job idea because as of yet, I've made pennies for the amount of effort I've put in. But have I touched a few peoples' lives? I hope so. Do I hope to touch more? Hope so again. Thanks for the post.

Yes, the children napping! Or after they go to bed for the night. It makes me feel like a superhero sometimes, leading a secret life in disguise....

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Beth, you are a superstar!

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