Blog posts are been something that I’ve been chipping away at lately. I’ve been putting out less, mostly because I’m working on a subject or two that require more then just me skimming off the top of my head. They don’t require research so much as finesse, and it takes time to find those words. Quality over quantity, I guess.
It’s also been, in part, due to trying to work on my freelance career. I’m finding my stride and a personal writing style, which is nice. I’ve also discovered it’s ridiculously stressful. I’ve read more then one account of how career writers become alcoholics, and this is a concept I truly understand now. I’ve talked before about how I felt I understood this, but there are some fundamental differences. Back then, I just found it difficult to write, so I could understand how someone might take a couple of shots to relax a bit.
Trying to write as a vocation is completely different. It wouldn’t be drinking to relax; it would be drinking to be less stressed and pissed off. It’s a measured balancing of liver function versus creativity. The stress that I felt about personal writing was just a fraction of what I’m feeling now. If I want to talk about Loki? I talk about Loki. If I wanna just riff about a Magic: the Gathering expansion after not using the blog for months? I get to go nuts. There is no pressure because it’s just whatever I want it to be without concern for anything greater. Hopefully people like it, but I can calmly detach myself from such concerns.
Freelance writing is an entirely different animal. It’s awesome, but in a potential nerve wracking way. I need to construct writing that random shlub #9308735B is going to be willing to pay for, and that requires balancing pandering with passion. This is going to be my paycheck for a while, because I’m now in the middle of workman’s compensation claim with my day job. It’s the kind of stress that probably makes you a better writer, but it’s not so good for your teeth or your gastrointestinal tract.
So you need to write. You need to write and proofread. You need to do both of these things a lot. You also have to know when it’s time to rewrite four pages from scratch because it just didn’t come together. When it is time to riff, and when you absolutely must reign yourself in. How to get absolutely rejected and stick with it. Lastly, you need to not freak out that you family is riding on you to at least pull in something.
There is something profound about it. About a month ago, I wrote a motivation speech. I was proud of it. The writing and voice work I’ve done so far has been a great ego boost and I can’t deny that. It’s nice to be able to write. To just unwind. To take any idea or concept in my head and just let it unwind. It’s been therapeutic in a lot of way. TO be creative without thought for whatever I create. In order to apply for a writing job, I had to submit a writing sample. I really don’t have much of a portfolio, so I cobbled something together quick. I ended up making the protagonist’s name a combination of a Metroid power-up and that of an old D&D character. That was a personal touch. I joke for myself, that I could make. There was peace in that.
There is a subtle therapy in that. To let go of any inhibitions and just type what comes up.
So pardon me, if I seem high strung. To paraphrase something my stepdaughter said the other day, I’m just being awesome.