Unlike Those Earning Thousands a Month Writing, I Make Enough to Buy a Cup of Coffee at McDonald’s.
I’ve been writing most of my life. For the past two years, I’ve written consistently.
I write some quality pieces and some that are absolute garbage. Yet, I continue to write.
Professionally, I’m on my 3rd company in 2 years. I’ve managed to continue to write through them all. When work is slow, I write. When work is stressful, I write. Writing gives me peace.
Yet even though I know this, I continued to focus on the wrong things.
The articles I spend time on don’t get a single view. Those that I write quickly seem to do better. We are on one income due to the pandemic so I hoped writing more would help me earn more. I made a conscious effort to stick to a schedule. I committed to publishing three articles a week. While I’m okay with my McCafe, sometimes it’s nice to have a flat white from Starbucks.
The decision to focus on writing as a way to supplement income was a bad one.
I became obsessive about my stats. I criticized myself for not writing quality pieces. I spent time stressing views. I spent time disengaged from my children writing. I tried dissecting my articles to see where I went wrong.
It was a waste of time.
Instead of focusing on earning from writing, I should have focused on writing. I’m an average writer at best. Focusing on improving would have helped more than publishing multiple articles per week.
Deep down, I know I’m a writer. It’s evidenced by the fact that I love writing. I’ve written for years without having a following. I’ve written in journals year after year for my own viewing pleasure. Due to this, I’m able to recollect memories of when I first found out I was pregnant. I enjoy reviewing what I’ve written years ago. And if this is the only result from years of writing, I’ve decided I’m okay with it.
When my mindset shifted to focus on earning rather than writing, I didn’t enjoy writing anymore. It became a chore. I sat at my computer frozen. I didn’t know what to write. I churned out bad article after bad article. I’m lucky I was still able to afford a coffee after those articles. I’m lucky I still have people that read my stuff. But I’m done with that now.
My obsession with stats left me discouraged. Each day, I’d obsessively check all my writing platforms and see the numbers drop. I’d see 1–2 views on pieces I spent hours writing. After doing this for months, I confided in my husband. I told him I’m not a good writer. I told him no one’s going to read my stuff. He told me to take a break.
At first, I didn’t want to. I made a commitment and I wanted to stick to it. I wasn’t going to allow views to get in the way of all I’ve learned writing. I took a 6-day break. It’s the longest break I’ve taken in months. I spent the weekend hiking in upstate NY with my family. Hiking has always helped give me clarity.
I’m back home and refreshed. I’m ready to write again. But this time, I’m not focused on stats. I’m focused on writing. I’m focused on consistency because consistency makes you better, at anything.
I started writing to free my mind. I took a break because I was consumed with making money. I don’t care if all I ever make is enough for a coffee, I’m going to continue writing.
If you feel like I do, I urge you to do the same. It’s great to read articles on making thousands from writing each month. It’s nice to know there are steps we can use to achieve success ourselves. But first, we need to identify our version of success.
I assumed success was earning money writing. I got caught up in someone else’s version of success.
I don’t write for money. I write for peace of mind.
If you’re getting caught up in the “writer’s dream” too, consider what you want to get out of writing. Why do you write? If no one read a single word you wrote, would you still write?
My answer to that question is yes so I’m going to continue writing. What about you?