It’s Not About the Money
by Steph Beth Nickel
Guest Marguerite Croft shares so much wisdom on Episode 127 of the Write Now podcast (link here: WNP 127). One of the things that stood out most to me was her advice to “have a hobby.” She believes if we write only to monetize our ideas that we’ll have lost some of what it means just to write for the sake of writing.
Disclaimer: I complete several copywriting assignments each months to help pay the bills, some I find incredibly interesting; others, not so much. I also have numerous ideas for books 1) I’d like to write or 2) I’ve begun. One day I hope those books will earn an income as well. Writing for money is not a bad thing—not at all. But sometimes, it’s great just to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard (or speech to text) just because we want to.
So, today, let’s explore some ways we can write simply for the joy of it. (Warning: Not all the following suggestions will give you “the warm fuzzies.”)
Have a “horrible” idea you want to explore?
Give yourself permission to see where the idea takes you. No one else ever has to read it. But who knows? Maybe it will turn into something you can’t wait to share.
Been thinking about trying your hand at a form of writing or genre you’ve never delved into before?
Go for it! Despite the fact that it’s difficult to discover who first came up with the idea that there are three distinct facets of a creative’s personality, when I heard Marguerite Croft mention the Dreamer, the Writer (or Maker), and the Editor, it resonated with me. We have to give the Dreamer permission to make even the craziest suggestions. Some of them we may want to pursue—even if it means exploring a form of writing we’ve never tried before.
Go with the flow!
Julia Cameron encourages everyone to take up pen and paper (NOT keyboard and computer) every morning and let three pages of whatever comes to mind flow from their pen. She calls these Morning Pages. It’s like clearing the dam. No judgments allowed! The Editor is definitely not permitted in the room at this point.
Similarly, you may freewrite based on a writing prompt—or anything else that inspires you and gets the creative juices flowing. You simply follow your stream of consciousness. (See what I mean about going with the flow?)
Pour Out Your Heart
Although similar quotes have been attributed to a number of different sources, back in 1949, journalist Red Smith was quoted as saying writing wasn’t hard because “you simply sit down at the typewriter, open your veins, and bleed.”
The page is an amazing place to work through your thoughts and feelings. You can be 100 percent honest—and sometimes surprise yourself by digging down and discovering those deep waters (to keep the analogy going).
Talk to Yourself. Talk to God.
I refer to my journaling as “rambling until I stumble across truth,” but that’s just one form of journaling. There are countless ways to journal. Free form. Gratitude journaling. Prayer journaling. And on and on and on. For the most part, this is a very private form of expressing ourselves. Some people even leave instructions that their journals be either buried with them or burned after they pass away. Now, that’s private!
What writing have you done recently “just because”?
Steph Beth Nickel is an editor, writer, and birth doula. If you would like more information about her services, you can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org;
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or visit her website-in-progress: nurtureandinspire.com.