I work as a columnist for www.360nobs.com and another online platform that is currently on upgrade. I actually enjoy writing something different from fiction and it’s been almost fun sharing my thoughts about certain things with total strangers, something I was not comfortable doing because I am a terrible loner. Yesterday, my boss told me to take a week break from work so that I can allow my brain to breath. I read the mail to my younger sister who at first panicked that I may be losing the job and later asked me to explain the contents of the mail to her properly. I did and in the process, explained what was going on with me.
It is not as if I do not love my work, I love my work so much it makes me smile that I’m finally doing what I want to do. Writing is what I’m very good at. It is the only place I feel free to become whoever I want to be. It is the only way I can fully express my opinions and then shove it down your throat making me feel like a boss (or something that silly). When I’m sad, I write my sadness away. Writing is my pride and joy and it is something I want to do for the rest of my life (my love for writing comes after book collecting though). I believe I have a very important message to pass to the world and writing has given me the right voice I need to do just that.
So, I asked myself why then was I not putting myself out? Why was I not giving my best to something I want to do for the rest of my life; after all, I can’t become the professional writer I want to be if I don’t put my best in my works. I would just be another writer with a blog dumping half baked stories in it. I came to few conclusions and I decided to share with you guys, hoping to help somebody experiencing the same dilemma as I am.
1. I was afraid to say certain things: I’ve been through a whole lot and that was what actually drove me to sharpen my blunt pencil and write my pains to oblivion. Most of my stories are dark and sad and they carry most of the emotions I was feeling at a particular time. Fiction gave me the opportunity to hide behind a curtain while sharing my stories but non-fictions do not have any safe curtain to hide behind and that is scary enough for me. I want to share my experience and talk about my past and all but at the same time, I was scared of who may want to use that information against me. It is hard for me to trust people with my issues and that is affecting my work. But I’ve decided to put it all out. Who cares who wants to use them against me or not, as long as people are reading them and are being helped, I’m okay with being judged. It is high time I trusted myself enough not to be bothered about what anybody has to say.
2. I was placing values (unnecessary) on my talent: let’s be sincere, it is often not easy to be paid a certain amount of cash just to string your thoughts about different things together and not feel a little out of sync with what you were used to doing. Apart from the fact that the pay is good, my boss at 360nobs is someone I adore and look up to when it comes to writing. It was actually hard not to go overboard trying to impress the socks off her. In a bid not to disappoint her, I started doing too much. Why try to impress when I end up not delivering something not good enough when I can be myself and write what I’m comfortable with. I’ve decided to start writing for myself and enjoy it while I’m at it.
3. I did not understand why I was being paid: this one is a very serious one. I realised that if one doesn’t understand the reason he/she is being paid to do a certain thing, the person is just going to be doing anyhow. While thinking, something shocking dropped in my mind. 360nobs get all the articles but all the credits come to me. In all the comments for my articles, I’ve never for once seen nice work 360nobs. It is always nice work inkheart, alice or writer. It then came to me that 360nobs is a platform to showcase my works to a larger community; giving me the publicity I need as a writer. The money given to me is to encourage me not to get tired and get better. I’m not afraid to say this, if I’m told to write for free, I’ll still be ready to give my best.
4. I did not understand that fictions and non- fictions are actually the same thing: Fictions are real life happenings. The fact that they have non-living characters does not mean it can’t happen or is not happening. They are stories embedded with true life facts just like every other article out there. Writers will agree with me that even their characters are not 100 percent fictitious; they are born from the people around us which makes them just as real too. I did not actually understand that it is the same rules that apply to writing all forms of article. If my readers can cry while reading my stories, my random string of thoughts should be able to make them cry too. I should put emotions in my articles; that breathes life into them and make them alive for people to relate with. Life is cliche itself, what you make out of it is what makes it extraordinary; I will always apply that rule to my works
5. I’m not at my best yet: writing for online platforms and getting paid does not mean I’m awesome. These days, you find writers everywhere. What makes me the best at what I do and stand out is the fact that I should never stop learning. The internet is there for me to get materials and read the enhance my skills and follow writers that will act as role models to me. I should understand that no one can outrun “best” by sitting on their asses and hyping themselves. Someone can do what I am doing and even better. I understood that in becoming the best I want to be, I have to be open to learning new stuf fs and have the right attitude to corrections. Anyone can be my teacher, even the mad man out there can teach me something very crucial that will enhance my productivity generally.
No one can set the standard for being the best for you except you do that. Deciding and understanding why you are writing will put you on your path to greatness -The Inkheart.