I quit writing for money

Well, Hello! It has been a minute since I was this side of the woods. I have had this particular tab open ready for me to write something here for about 5 hours now. My brain is tired, my brain has been tired for a while now. When my brain is tired, I can’t write because I have a process. It is not a very complicated process. It is that place where determination, meets perfect timing and little or no distractions because I write slowly. I enjoy writing. I agonise over my syntax and diction, erasing and re-arranging, proof reading every paragraph before I move on to the next then the piece as a whole and even after there is always something I think could have been better. It takes time; especially blogging. I am my own editor and I have these ideas, stories and musings that have been floating around in my head begging to be agonised over but ,I just simply couldn’t find the time; and not just any time, a few minutes here and there but the perfect time.

Life tends to be a drag sometimes, amidst all the busy-ness, it can all feel a little too much, or a little too little. I read a great article yesterday. You see, I lost a friend the other week. He was away from home when it happened and the whole thing took about a week from the moment I received the news to the funeral. That was one of the hardest weeks of my life yet. Grief is not an easy thing. Grief often leaves me questioning quite a number of things. He was young and yet he seemed to have done so much. What hurts me the most is the fact that I feel like I missed out on knowing him more because I was somewhere else doing other things. The whole thing left me asking “What am I waiting for?”

Like I was saying, I read a great article yesterday, great because it was one of those “it must have been written for me” kind of things. This article talks about how to get the funk back into your work; you know getting to enjoy it again. No.9, caught my attention most, because it also resonated with a song I have decided is my new anthem, Mizu by Pompi (who I would love to go out on a number of dates with). This song, talks about living with purpose and doing things with passion. Passion, wow, I miss that. Earlier on in my life, when I was about 5 or so, I thought I wanted to be a doctor when I grew up. Yes, I did; I thought it was the same as treating my brother’s football injuries with tissue and vaseline. However, as time went on, I discovered stories and reading. I fell in love with reading so much, I was always creating a story in my head. Needless to say, I enjoyed my own company alot, still do.

As life would have it, I have studied a bunch of things, none of them writing related. I have had a few gigs, I actually started getting writing gigs, a bit before I left campus. For the first few years, I submitted just for the simple joy of seeing my name in print. I have given out alot of free content, this blog being proof of that. But you know how life is, food won’t buy itself and smiles don’t buy shoes apparently. I never really looked for a job, in my intermission, I got my first paid writing gig. That first pay, felt amazing. I could not believe someone was giving me money to do something that gave me so much joy. Delayed payments were not that big a deal because I was simply happy writing.

Earlier today, a good friend of mine Raymond , brilliant lawyer in the making, poet, performer, journalist,photographer and awesome blogger tweeted something about a media house that can not pay its writers sponsoring a battle between musicians. The irony! But it happens alot. Writing for money means, there is no such thing as perfect time for writing. I have read quite a number of quotes about writing, things like if you wait for inspiration, you will never write. Sometimes you just have to show up and write.  I guess that is true, depending on why you write.

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My reasons for writing are selfish. I write because I enjoy it. I write because writing stirs up passions in me I often forget exist. I write to heal. I write to connect. I write because the creator in me demands it. I write because I want to. It seems rather ridiculous and even childish not to take on writing gigs because I can write, I can push past the drought season, let purpose over ride passion, and bleed awesomeness onto paper or screen; that I have done, I know I can do.  I simply do not want to, not for the moment atleast. I do not want to discuss delayed payments with other writers,nor muse over the 1200 worded article which was amazing and would have fetched me quite a bit of money, if only I had been paid for it. I do not want to feel apprehensive about writing deadlines that tempt me to produce work without going through my ritual, silly as it may be, of agonising over my syntax and diction, reading and rephrasing paragraphs. At least not now. For now, I write because I enjoy it. I write to heal. I write because I want to.

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3 thoughts on “I quit writing for money

  1. Excellent!
    The disparity between creating because you love and creating on demand is a topic that will see us enter our graves [or disappear. or ascend. we’ll see] before it’s concluded.
    Sometimes, you’re tired of whoring your heart out for money, opportunity [and if you’re dealing with thieves, ‘Exposure’]. Sometimes, you’d rather be broke and create at your own pace, at your own terms, “agonizing over syntax and diction, reading and rephrasing paragraphs”.
    Sometimes, we have to be well before we can do well, and I think that’s awesome!
    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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