Why I Don’t Want to be a Serious Writer

Published June 12, 2016 by nruhwald

Since I’ve been looking into this self-publishing business, I’ve discovered all the things I should be doing to promote my work and myself. The blog, the social media, the “sales funnel.”

In order to succeed at blogging, I have to start getting into photography to produce pretty pictures for my blog. Oh and I have to become a graphic designer to make those pretty pictures prettier. And I have to become a marketing expert to learn how to make proper ads, and take courses. And I need a website.ย And I have to be serious and treat it like a business.ย And and and and…

Ugh. Make it stop. Please.

Since when did being a writer become about something other than writing? Except of course, in those incredibly intimidating statements that read something like “unless you have perfect content, nothing you do is going to go anywhere.”

I am a bit of a perfectionist. I want to do what I do well, and I’d like to be recognized for it. But at some point I’ve had to rethink what it is I really want, and stop freaking out about everything.

I write because I enjoy it. I’ve been doing that since grade 3 with only my own satisfaction and the support of my family as a reward. I like making up stories. My characters are cool people, and I like hanging out with them. That’s really why I write.

What if I never become a full-time writer? Would the world end? Would that mean I gave up?

I still want to be a full-time writer. And I still may do all the things I mentioned in the first two paragraphs of this post. But I’ve decided that what I really want is to enjoy the journey, without fretting about where I’m going to end up.

I’m not even bothering to find a pretty picture for this blog post. Hah. Take that, lords of blogging. You don’t own me.

Obviously, I’m still going to write. I may even stay on Twitter. But I’m not going to be serious. Not necessarily flippant either, but not serious. Being serious is no fun.

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13 comments on “Why I Don’t Want to be a Serious Writer

  • I love this post! (I found it through Illuminated Literation, who’s fab!). I’m not a writer but I do own a small Etsy shop which I talk about on my blog sometimes, and I can totally relate to this!
    The “experts” say you NEED great photos (ie. great camera and editing software), and you NEED to hire a web designer to get your page/blog up and running, and you NEED to learn about marketing, business plans, email lists… and the list goes on and on!
    Honestly, I just do what I can, when I can. Maybe people should just chill a bit more and enjoy themselves.
    You just keep writing. Worry about the obstacles when they come along ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  • I can totally see where you’re coming from. After finishing my novel (which was fun! and hard work, re: your latest post) I didn’t realize just how much this whole “platform” thing can really suck the fun/life out of you.

    I’m enrolled in a query bookcamp on WD, and one of things they talked about was starting an author platform BEFORE you start submitting. So I started doing that–started a twitter account (under a pen-name of course), started a blog (I’m slowly figuring what to write about), and here soon I should start a facebook account (after JUST deactivating my personal account bc it took too much of my time). It’s a lot of work that I’d rather pass off to someone else to do for me; frankly, it feels like it’s taking too much time away from writing (and reading, which I care deeply about). But then again it is cool to connect with other authors and feel a little less alone in this whole writing progress.

    Liked by 1 person

  • As a (new) freelance editor, I’ve been travelling down this same road — and I’ve decided to stop and say, “Screw the rules!” ๐Ÿ˜‰ I tend to have a semi-serious personality, so I’m okay with that part, but truly, a lot of this stuff sucks the fun out of being a writer. You need to do what makes you happy — not what so-called experts say.

    Hang in there!

    Liked by 1 person

  • haha “take that lords of bloggers.”
    Self publishing is not the only option. I spent a lot of time researching what’s out there etc. etc. Before you commit to one process look into your choices. Don’t give up because of what “experts” say you need to do. You don’t need to do it all, just what works for you, but they are on to something with their advice. A little effort goes a long way. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Like

    • I know it’s not the only option. I had actually intended to get an agent and traditionally publish, but I decided I liked the control that self-pubbing gives. The idea of being able to do nothing but wait and hope some agent liked me was not appealing. I haven’t given up by any stretch, but I also like to remind myself of what really matters when I’m feeling overwhelmed.

      Like

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