Does Wanting to Write Only What Interests Me Make Me a Bad Writer?

I was going to wait a little while longer to share this news because I am constantly worried the Universe will see how well things have been going for me lately and decide that I need a dose of something bad to correct that. But with the topic of this post, and me wanting to always be as transparent as possible with my readers, I have to share the news.

I recently started working as a freelance writer again for three different clients. For these clients, I am writing articles on a wide range of topics. Some of these topics are things I would never think to write about for this blog, or really for any reason because they aren’t things that interest me.

The upside to writing about these topics is that I’m learning new things I wouldn’t have learned otherwise. I’ve also learned some facts that are useless, but could be fun to tell someone randomly to get a reaction out of them. I’ve had a lot of fun already telling my co-workers at my day job that the word hamster derives from the German word hamstern, which means “to hoard”. And now all of you know it too. You’re welcome, haha.

The other upside is that I’m challenging myself to get out of my writing comfort zone and explore other topics. Since this is a writing/reading/lifestyle-ish blog, I obviously won’t be writing posts like “Can Eating Too Much Cheese Kill You?” or “Is Your Goldfish Secretly Trying to Kill You?” (These aren’t topics I’ve written about, these are just random examples I came up with). The point is, I won’t be branching away too much from the writing/reading/lifestyle-ish content unless my life takes a huge turn in a completely different direction. But I already have enough changes going on at the moment and would like a momentary break from having anymore happen.

But there is a downside to writing about topics I wouldn’t normally write about. While challenging myself is a great thing for me, it is uncomfortable for me as well. I know it’s called a comfort zone for a reason and that leaving it is uncomfortable. However, the uncomfortableness I’m feeling is border lining on anxiety and is also making my Imposter Syndrome start to slowly creep up on me again. And if you’ve ever dealt with Imposter Syndrome, you know the toll it takes on you.

So here I am, wanting to crawl back into my comfort zone of writing about books, talking about writing, Harry Potter, and other things that interest me. Here I am struggling with the fact that I know nothing about plumbing or construction or other topics that I’ve never really had to think about before or simply don’t interest me. And it’s making me feel like a bad writer and even starting to make me feel like a bad person too.

As a writer, I should want to be well-educated on a variety of topics and want to share that education with others. As a person, I should want to be well-educated on topics that could help me down the road, like what to do if my toilet ever breaks so I’m not calling a plumber and shelling out money for an easy fix I could do myself. I should want to learn more about everything because I never know what I’ll want to write about in the future or what information could be used in a future novel. My characters right now might be vampires, witches, werewolves, etc. But there could come a day when I’m older where I might want to move away from that genre and write about something else.

To be completely vulnerable for a second, as I’m writing this post I realize what one of the issues is- I’m afraid of being exposed as an intellectual fraud. I have always prided myself on being smart and in some instances, being smarter than those around me. The reason I always knew my Hogwarts house was Ravenclaw is because I saw myself as the creative brainiac. When someone calls me beautiful, I don’t accept the compliment because my physical appearance is the result of my genetics and not anything I do (unless I wear makeup, wax my eyebrows, stuff like that). But when someone calls me smart, I accept the compliment and feel great about myself for the rest of the day.

Being viewed as intelligent means a lot to me, but I know I’m probably nowhere near as smart as I think I am or as I could be. My Florida best friend has told me several times that I don’t like to argue because I hate being wrong. He’s told me I view being wrong as a negative thing instead of as an opportunity to learn from the other person and grow. He’s right. I know he’s right, and admitting it sucks. But by admitting it to all of you who read it, I’m hoping this will be a reminder to me to admit when I’m wrong and try not to view it as a negative thing.

I know how lucky I am to have these clients trust in my writing ability and give me a paycheck for those abilities. I also know how lucky I am to have the opportunities to become a better educated writer and person through the writing I’m doing. And if you’re still reading this post, I am lucky that you found it interesting enough to keep reading it. These are things I never want to take for granted. These are things I should never take for granted either.

Things have changed a lot in the past two weeks and I know more changes are approaching. I know right now I’m feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and anxious. And I know all of these emotions are seeping into my writing in some way. So if you’re still reading this, I hope you’re feeling good and that your mental health is in a good place.

Have you ever felt like a bad writer when writing out of your comfort zone? How did you overcome that feeling? I would love to know! I hope everyone has a relaxing and fun weekend!

15 comments

  1. One of my posts was plagiarized by a popular writer on medium. Medium contacted me with apologies but since the girl who stole my post had a masters degree in creative writing a part of me thought that she was more entitled to my material…Imposter syndrome is a strange thing. I don’t mind doing some writing for money on topics that don’t interest me but not too often.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am so sorry that happened to you. If she has a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing, she should know that plagiarism can be a career killer for a writer, and completely unfair to you. I really don’t understand people sometimes. And yes, Imposter Syndrome is a strange thing, especially in your circumstance because she had no right to steal from you.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you!!! for your post.
    I felt like a bad writer and way out of my comfort zone when asked in College to write an analysis on a piece of art. Being an artist and with art being so incredibly subjective, I found myself drifting between analyzing the art from the rigid objective instructions of the assignment to my own perception and interpretation.
    Though it was a painful process, I now understand the importance of the objective view and the reader, as the reader will naturally filter in thier own two cents on what the art means to them. The same can be said of writing or poetry etc. This process also opened up other avenues of inspiration such as the use of a muse or summoning a god, goddess or spirit.
    And for me using a nom de plume for my writing helped to loosen most of my inhibitions.

    Liked by 1 person

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