Your Job As A Writer Is To Write
Art For Art's Sake: Part 1
a person who has written something, or who writes as an occupation.
When I started my writing journey, one of the pieces of advice I found circulating in the writing world was "know your Why."
It made sense to know why I wanted to become a writer as that would help direct me where I am going.
My initial answer to my Why was -
Because I want to make others feel just like Agatha Christie makes me feel.
That's a good start for a novice writer. Framing your Why with the help of your idols. But that's what it is - a good start.
Over the last 7+ years, consciously and unconsciously, I started to peel away the layers and went deeper into my Why.
Starting from that initial answer, I found some more -
Because I want to entertain readers.
Because I want to become a successful and financially independent author.
Because I want to leave behind a legacy.
Because I want to be a person who makes a living writing and selling stories.
Because I want people to appreciate and love me.
Because I want to help people change their lives or enjoy their lives more.
Now, none of these answers is wrong, nor are they selfish.
Thinking about making money is not selfish. It's a basic need. You need money to help you live life.
Thinking about praise from others is not selfish. It's a human need. We need to love each other to feel that we matter.
A doctor might say they became a doctor because they want to help people stay well. But then, I have had experiences with doctors who never cared about my health but made sure I paid their fees on my way out.
But I digress.
The point is, as I was going deeper into my writing Why, I realised that there is one answer that trumps all of them.
I want to write because, as a writer, my job is to write.
You have to realise that a creative job is different from a regular job.
A creative job is for the sake of the art.
A regular job is for the sake of having a job.
You fall into a regular job, but a creative job dawns upon you.
Writing can be both a creative job and a regular one.
The kind of writing I am talking here about is the creative one.
Writing, for me, is not a regular job. Therefore, it can't be compared to other regular jobs like accounting or website developer.
Since I consider writing as a creative job, I have to do it for the sake of it.
I can't control it. I can't have expectations. I have to let writing show me where it wants to take me. And that's the beauty of any creative job.
Another reason I have writing as a creative job is that I can't see myself doing anything else.
Some people may not understand what I am about to explain, and that's okay for me.
For you see, I am an intuitive person. And the mere thought of doing a regular job makes my heart and body repulse.
Does that mean I won't do a regular job ever? Of course not. I have bills to pay. (Mainly, at the bookstore.) But I will never do a regular job at the cost of my creative job.
That means I HAVE TO write.
If writing (or any other creative job calls to you), start wherever you are and start small.
Stay consistent and persistent, and make sure you deliberately practice your craft.
Don't let the world and its "shoulds" make you fall into its traps.
Trust the process, and stop worrying about what others will say.
Most people around you will never understand your creative job and the need to pursue it. Don't let that stop you.
Write because, as a writer, it's your job to write.
Paint because, as a painter, it's your job to paint.
Dance because, as a dancer, it's your job to dance.
And let your work speak for itself.
More in the Art For Art’s Sake Series -
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