Most people think that when what you love becomes your job, it’s a good thing. Well, not necessarily. If you chose to make it your job, that’s good because you get to do what you love for money, or at least more often. But when what you love becomes a job on its own accord…that’s not so pleasant.
As I referenced in last week’s post, I’ve been flipping through some old stories I’ve written and having a blast. While reading one on Saturday, I was surprised by something: it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was. Yeah, it was young and there were bad chunks and some other issues, but in general, it wasn’t terrible. I had a large cast and they all had something to do, the villain was more believable than I had even intended, and the whole narrative arc flowed rather well while keeping a few fun secrets til the end.
But the reason this shocked me was because it was a fanfiction I wrote in high school. Back before I got “serious” about writing. I didn’t have to write it, there was no deadline, the writing itself wasn’t work. It was just writing. But it wasn’t bad. And the fact that I was truly enjoying myself jumped off the page. This was in a time when writing was just fun for me. But lately, writing has become work, and not because I asked it to.
I confess that I’ve been trying to grasp my blog too tightly, to squeeze the life out of it and make it work in ways I don’t truly want it to. As such, my effort has been stale and I’ve been trying to be somebody I’m not.
You always need to remember why you do something. Why are you married to this person? Because you love them, I hope. Why did you take that dream job? The answer will help you when it becomes work again. Why do I write? Because I love it, not to get noticed.
I love writing. I love creating worlds and characters and telling stories. But I’ve lost sight of that lately, trying to write simply because I needed a few hits on WordPress or to fulfill a quota of words-per-day. And there’s nothing wrong with getting likes/comments or being disciplined. But those posts and those words were without life and without voice. They were empty. Statistics and fame are no reason to write. One must write simply because one must write.
For that reason, I’ve decided to take a two-week sabbatical from blogging. I still plan on writing, even writing blog posts, but I want to take a break from worrying about numbers and simply enjoy writing again. I just need to step back, catch my breath, and jump back in.
So Fencing With Ink will be empty from now until July 9th, where I’ll start posting again as usual. I don’t foresee any big changes, this is just a break for me, a Sabbath if you will, just a chance for me to recharge my batteries and come back stronger than ever.
Thanks to everybody for their support and I’ll see you all in two weeks!