Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Business of Writing

This weekend I had a really interesting conversation with my future father-in-law about self employment.

The idea of writing as a business (as opposed to writing as a hobby) has been in my head for a while now, but other than my time working as the journalist for a small weekly publication almost 3 years ago, the thought of actually getting paid to write now has been a daunting one. The fact that I did once get paid to write does give me some encouragement. The fact that I’ve let so much time go by without writing is a bit intimidating.

But alas, I was given a golden nugget of wisdom from said father in law: Just do it! (Nike really got it right with those ads). I’m paraphrasing his advice a lot, but that was the gist of it. If you want to work for yourself you just have to buckle down and go for it.

Steven Pressfield said it best, I think, in his book The War of Art:

“It’s not the writing part that’s hard. What’s hard is sitting down to write”.

He also said:

“This second, we can sit down and do our work”.

In those two quotes, he encompasses the basic struggle within writers (and all artists, entrepreneurs, etc.); the natural tendency to gravitate toward resistance (that part of us that prevents us from doing what is most important) vs. the courage and strength needed to begin doing the work.

In my case, the work is writing. I’ve spent enough time talking about writing; enough time dreaming about writing; enough time reading about writing, and enough time planning what I’m going to do when I start writing. So now it’s time for me to write! 

I’m proud to say that while enjoying the beautiful weather this afternoon, I managed to churn out eight pages of writing (and I was sitting beside a pool – talk about temptation to give in to resistance).

{If only this were really my backyard}

I plan to write more on this topic, because there is just too much to say in one post, but I would also like to open up a dialogue with fellow bloggers and blog-readers about the topics of self employment and resistance if anyone is interest.

And I whole heartedly recommend The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, because his insight into the topic of resistance is unparalleled.

I’ll leave you with this quote by Jules Renard:

Everything you want is out there waiting for you to ask.
Everything you want also wants you.
But you have to take action to get it.

2 comments:

  1. Hey Cate! Sorry for the delaying in getting back to you about my banner. I just made it in Paint and uploaded it onto my blogger account. I didn't use any html codes....just made a collage of some great pics I found and inserted a text box so I could put my Blog title and description. Sorry that wasn't more helpful. It's been a lot of trial and error with me...learning as I go :)
    -Linh

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  2. Sorry that wasn't more helpful?? You're too modest :p That actually helps a lot, thanks for getting back to me! :)

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