Write What Matters to You

Recently I’ve come to realize that I’m spending a lot of time writing about topics that aren’t along the lines of what I normally write about. While I appreciate the challenge of it and it gives me he opportunity to learn about new subjects, I also find it to be mentally draining. I’m spending so much time researching information and then piecing it together to make it something new that it almost feels like I’m back in college! And don’t get me wrong, I loved college, but I’m pretty sure I wept with joy when I handed in my last research paper.

I can research and piece together information in my sleep, it’s easy for me, always has been. But the problem is I don’t feel a spark of creativity when doing this day in and day out. But that’s pretty much what all my freelance jobs need me to do, so that’s what I do. And though I do it well, I’m beginning to feel my desire to write slipping again.

I love writing and I love being a writer. I love creating my own worlds and characters, and making my rules and backstories for that world. I love the creativity of it all! But being bogged down by research doesn’t really allow for that. I enjoy research, but sometimes it gets overwhelming, especially when I’m researching similar topics over and over again.

I know I’m lucky to now be a paid writer and have the opportunities I’ve had, good and bad. I’m grateful for each of them and feel I have learned something from each one. Sometimes it’s just hard for me to find the right balance between my research based work writing and my own creative writing, especially when one pays and the other doesn’t!

But I need to start devoting more time to the writing that matters to me. I need to put more time into my novel, my blogs, my personal journal… all the writing that truly shows who I am and what matters to me the most. Because as a writer, I can’t begin or hope to grow unless I’m working on my voice and the statement I want to make as an author. If I don’t know who I am and what subjects and ideas spark creativity and passion inside of me, how can I expect anyone who reads my work to understand it?

If any more experienced writers would like to weigh in or advise me on how to balance my work writing and my personal writing, I would really appreciate it! Because I’ve fully committed myself to being a writer, I just need to work on balancing it better. Have a great day everyone!

10 comments

  1. I made a living working full time as a cartoonist (which is mostly writing if you are selling your own ideas) for 10 years in my early 20’s/30’s for such companies as Hallmark. You can only come up with so many ideas for birthday cards without losing the joy of creating, but such things paid the bills. I would suggest that if find yourself grinding through a paying gig, you reward yourself when your are done by treating yourself to doing some “you” writing. Writing just for you. That always kept me going. Have a wonderful week Michelle. 🙂

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  2. I think it is not always about research. I have found that exploiting things that power your memories or opinions carry great weight with fiction because the truth of your experience leaches into the prose. That honesty has barbs…it pricks the thumbs and casts its spell on the reader before they know they are bleeding. Writing what you know means passion — not rote details…to find it you must dig, and not bury your honesty behind shadow puppets of research…to not-be afraid to go there…

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