I’ve been asked this question a lot lately. Why do I want to make a writing career out of writing “fluffy” articles about “How To Recycle a Modem” and “How To Cash a Jury-Duty Check.”
My response: “Why not?”
But, Quillie, you could be writing feature articles in big name magazines. You could be interviewing and writing about politicians, famous people, successful business magnates. You could write a best-selling novel…a Tony-winning play, an Emmy or Oscar-winning script…but instead you write, “What Determines If You Qualify For Rapid Refund”!
Why, Quillie, why?
My response: Because I want to, that’s why.
But…but…you could be making WAY more money than you are now! You could have bragging rights about where you’ve been published! You could be a success!
My response: Been there, did that. Got the t-shirt. Donated it to Goodwill. And I am a success, thank-you-very-much.
I’ve been around the freelance writing block more than once. I know the stores. I know the homes and the churches. I also know where the scary man with the van and the bag of candy is parked, the corners where the winos that just want my money slink out of, and where the smooth-talking Pimp likes to pick up the unsuspecting and naive, making big promises to make them a star if they’re nice to him for just a little while…
Yes, I know the business. Sometimes, I think I know it all too well.
So, why do I choose to write content when I could be writing 1,243,675 other things? What it really boils down to is this: I write content for two reasons. I enjoy it and it’s easy.
Yeah, I said it. It’s easy. Lemme say it again:
Now before you accuse me of taking the path of least resistance, let me make one thing perfectly clear: You’re right. I AM taking the path of least resistance. For once, I’m not killing myself to accomplish a monumental task. I’ve done hard. I was good at hard.
But hard is, well, hard, and after a while, you get tired.
Hard work is hard work. Hard work makes you tired. Exhaustion from hard work can make you resentful…
Resentment of hard work can make you walk away from a career you loved…
For five years.
So, why did I make the leap from traditional freelancing to content writing?
Because I could. What the hard work taught me was how to optimize my time and turn my interests and talents into marketable areas. It taught me how to research quickly and effectively, write fast, and ask the right questions the first time. In other words, hard work taught me how to work smart.
I mean, jeez, people, of course I know I could be writing for national magazines and/or newspapers. Of course I could write a novel or a screenplay.
But I don’t want to. That’s not where my heart is right now.
For now, I enjoy answering the easy questions. If someone wants to know how their social security benefits are calculated, I am more than happy to answer that question. If a small business owner is struggling to choose the proper organizational structure, I’m thrilled to explain his options.
Because what is easy for me to explain might be causing others to lose sleep while looking for that information. And I get a great sense of inner satisfaction knowing that I provided information to someone seeking an answer.
It ain’t about the Pulitzer, Emmy, Oscar or Tony for me. It’s not about being able to say, “I’ve got a feature in “——-” this month.”
It never was. Not to say one day it won’t be, but for now…
Life is easy, and I’m glad for that.