I think I started failing as a blogger the day I took on my first job as a journalist. Prior to that, writing was my absolute favourite thing to do (right after devouring bowls of breakfast cereal while reading comic books) and then, slowly and steadily, my will to write outside of my full-time writing job started decreasing.
Looking back, I don’t think that’s surprising. What I find surprising is the amount of time that it took me to realise the correlation between the two. In my current job (and basically all the jobs I’ve had since leaving uni in 2006), I write full-time. Over the years, the only things that have changed about my jobs have been the office locations and the topics. The main task has remained the same: writing.
It’s kind of understandable, then, that I get home after work and writing is often the last thing I want to be doing with my spare time.
But what I’ve come to realise lately is that being “understandable” doesn’t make it okay. I studied journalism because I have always loved writing and thought that would be the closest to a proper job involving what I loved doing the most.
I now wonder if my writing skills/love would profit from me having decided to take on a completely different career choice. If I had been a butcher, a plumber or an accountant, I would at least be able to get home from work and maybe feel like some writing would be the ideal way to get my mind off the rest of the day.
I realise a lot of people manage to coordinate a writing career (working for someone else) with writing for pleasure (working for yourself, basically…) but I’m not sure I’m ever going to be able to become one of them.
I’ve also come to realise that I’m not alone in this whole not wanting to do for a hobby what you do for a living thing. Due to the nature of my job, I interview a lot of technology and business people. I often ask them what they do when they’re not working and I can’t think of a single one who has ever answered me with something IT-related. In fact, they’re usually not crazy about gadgets or technology or anything like that, favouring other non-geeky activities such as sports or hikes. I guess it’s natural for one to choose hobbies that have little to do with their full-time jobs as hobbies are so often an escapism from that nine to five life.
Anyway, this is just a really roundabout way of saying that I’m making an active effort to write more outside of my full-time job and am now being reminded of what a great therapy writing is.
P.s.: I’ve just written a whole post about writing. yes, I do realise how incredibly meta that is. I’ll try to be better.
May 4, 2011 at 11:15 pm
I knew a guy who loved to fish. One day he quit his job and became a professional fishing guide. Soon he was dealing with unhappy customers, taxes, overhead, etc. He got to where he hated to go to work. (fishing)
He sold his business and went back to his day job. After a while he looked forward to his day off to go fishing again.
Dr. B, author, “The Mandolin Case”
May 8, 2011 at 4:05 pm
I never ever had any problem with kids crying around me, including during flights. Now, after years of working with kids who sometimes have massive behavioural issues, i literally want to shout ‘SHUT THE F**K UP’ when i hear them cry. Which obviously is not nice nor the right way of dealing with it.
I feel i like kids less, even though it’s probably not true. What’s true is that my patience has changed…
May 9, 2011 at 9:38 pm
as you are fluent in 2 languages, maybe you can write in a different one from the one you use to work… I am not sure if this will make it easier for you but maybe it can make it funnier! (can also be a good way to keep up with the changes in mother tongue!)
Of course I totally understand this “about writing post” even if I never wrote one myself, this idea is always in my mind. sometimes I even think I’ll start blogging more once I quit being a journalist!! on the other hand I often think I stopped writing (in pleasure terms) cause there is nothing to blog about, no cultural shock… ordinary life doesn’t urge me to write… but I’ll try to take this post of yours as a dam good inspiration!! 🙂
May 10, 2011 at 4:45 pm
Thanks all for the comments. Good to know I’m not alone. Lee, I think you may be onto something with that idea of writing in a different language. I’m definitely going to give it a go and see if it makes any difference. 🙂