Goins, Writer

On Writing, Ideas, and Making a Difference

Do You Like or Love to Write?

I know a lot of people who like to write. They blog, email, maybe even journal. And that’s good.

It’s important to have communication skills. It’s great to be able to write and express your thoughts, especially in an age in which there is unrestricted access to other people.

But if you want to be a writer, that’s not enough.

Photo of Woman and Cat in Love

Photo credit: nromagna (Creative Commons)

There must be passion

I don’t mean to be harsh here, but can you do something, anything, for an extended period of time without loving it?

I sure wouldn’t recommend it.

Of course, many people do this every day. And some for the rest of their lives. They’re hacking away at jobs they hate, doing work they loathe because they feel stuck. They have no idea what opportunities await them.

Or perhaps, they simply lack the courage to take risks.

But if you’re to be a writer — a bard, an artist, a storyteller whose life’s work is dedicated to the written word — you need to love writing.

The difference between vocation and occupation

Vocation is a life calling, a passion. Occupation is what merely occupies your time. Maybe it even pays your bills.

With a vocation, you may never get paid, but it’s still something you have to do. Why? Because you can’t imagine life without this passion.

As one of my friends says, a vocation is something you “can’t not do.” (Pardon the double negative.) This is why real writers write.

You are compelled to do it, maybe even a little obsessed. For love of the craft, not the fame or money or accolades. Just writing for the sake of creating art.

If you’re going to be a writer, you have to love it

This is a non-negotiable. If not, you’ll burn out. I hear some writers say they don’t love writing, but they love having written.

I don’t buy that.

Life’s too short to spend your time doing things you don’t love.

You need to enjoy the act of writing, at least a little, while you do it. I don’t think any amount of discipline can overcome lack of passion.

Sure, there will be days when you don’t feel like doing it. But that doesn’t negate the passion that began the pursuit. And as you sit down, maybe even forcing yourself to write, you will fall in love all over again.

Don’t get serious about writing unless you love it.

But if you do love writing, it’s time to get serious. Oh, and the good news is this: The world rewards artists who create for the love of it.

In other words, yes, you can actually make money at this, if you’re smart (note: that’s an affiliate link to a product I recommend).

So what are you waiting for?

About Jeff Goins

I am the best-selling author of five books, including the national bestsellers The Art of Work and Real Artists Don't Starve. Each week, I send out a free newsletter with my best tips on writing, publishing, and helping your creative work succeed.

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