Daily Thoughts 116: Writing for Fun

Author's selfieWhen I was younger and decided I wanted to write, I had a very clear dream. I wanted to make a living writing. Everything fed my writing. My grades improved. I wrote stories and novels. I submitted my work to markets and gathered rejection letters from the time I was a teenager and onward. Even as I got older and my life changed, making a living remained the dream. A couple years ago that all changed.

Having Fun Writing

I ditched the stress I put on my writing. I let go of the dream. I didn’t let go of any of my true plans for my writing, of having fun creating the books and stories I wanted to write. I had let go of external validation. Sure, I like it when things I write are read and enjoyed. I’m very grateful to anyone that purchases a book. I deeply appreciate the support.

The fact is that I have a richly rewarding career working in libraries. The library makes a difference in the lives of the users. As I write this, I’m sitting in one of our smaller libraries (2,112 sq ft) while a couple young boys play with Thomas the train tracks and their mothers watch, intervening over squabbles. Other library users spend time on the computers, get library cards, or borrow material. Even in this small Northwest town library, people are making use of the library. It has an impact on their lives.

Unfinished self-portrait sketchThe point is that I don’t need to making a living writing. I’m free. Free to experiment, to do whatever I like with my writing, illustration, games, and all the rest. I don’t have the financial pressure on what I write, at least not to the same extent. Library work doesn’t always pay well and as a single-income household, any additional financial support is much appreciated! It’s not that I don’t want to generate income with my creative work—I definitely do! As I said earlier, I deeply appreciate the support. Like anyone, we have our share of debts I’d like to pay off and all the rest. I think it’s only fair and reasonable for creators to be paid for their work! I happily throw money at my favorite creators (such as Matt Dixon’s latest set of books on Kickstarter, available to pre-order if you missed it).

I’m looking forward to the rest of the year and new progress on my projects!