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Why Would Anyone want to Write?

by Shari L. Smothers, 3.28.2008

Morning ViewIs it just too easy to pass up? No. It's not easy, but it is one of the more rewarding jobs you can have. You see the fruits of your labor in the writing and in the difference your writing can make. You gotta love the life—the freedom and the isolation. And loving it all makes work sweet.

Writing is still a popular way of sharing information and ideas. Consider the proliferation of professional and personal blogs. It's easier to write things you're interested in, but it's not necessary. As a copywriter, I am given my topics. If you freelance, you can focus on a particular industry. Still within that industry, there are myriad possible writing assignment.

Even working within the constraints of my copywriting assignments, I still need to employ my creative writing voice, to breathe life into the information that I'm preparing. I have to read the source material, understand it and be able to explain it to others. I'm required to have my open mind and free spirit at my command to do the job in a timely manner.

Rarely is there time to wait for inspiration to visit me; I have to be 'on' at work. If I'm not I have to know how to turn on and tap into the right side of my brain. What inspires me is fluid so I keep several options to choose from. For those times when loving my job just isn't enough.

Copywriting

When I tell people that I'm an internet copywriter, they give the cursory "That's nice," and move on. Some just cut to the chase and ask, What the hell is that? I tell them "I write stuff that you read when you surf the web."

Like any other form of commercial communication, it's supposed to deliver a message and elicit an action. Effective communication requires product knowledge and people skills—that takes balance.

I love what I do. I get paid to read and write and know what I can and cannot say related to a given company. For example, there are things you can and cannot say related to selling food online. The guidelines come from the federal government. Companies generally have the information close at hand, and writers are expected to look up what they need to know.

Why I Write

I love what I do because it's what I've always wanted to do. For me, writing is like breathing. It's not that I'm oh, so good at it. It's really that I have no choice but to do it. If I weren't doing it for money, I'd be doing it at home for free. There's no point in pretending otherwise. I try to remember a time that I didn't want to write and I can't. Other dreams I have generally are in line with this one that I've seen come true.

I work on various projects apart from my day job. And sometimes I have to dismiss my family and friends. That's not always easy for me to do, though they're generally understanding. Sometimes I just want to play. Discipline is my friend in those instances. Then, it's not about the love I have for writing, it's just a hard choice to do the right thing.

Do It!

If you want to write, then do it. It's great to be able to communicate on paper. You may want to change the world with your rhetoric. You may want to make people laugh. If it's in you, see it through. I ignored the urge to write for a very long time, rationalizing that I needed a "regular" job to survive. The discomfort of trying to live like that was like living with chronic sinus trouble. I got this job and I'm much clearer now; I breathe better. I'm grateful that the dreams I spurned didn't abandon me. My season is now to play my song, as my gifted friend tells me. It can be your season to—if you let it.

Why would anyone want to write? That's really not the question. If you can honestly ask that question then writing may not be the profession for you. In which case, the question is a useless conversation starter. The better question is, "If you're a writer, why aren't you writing?"

Article Attribution:

Shari L. Smothers writes and edits website copy, articles, poetry and more. She designs and customizes websites for individuals and organizations. Learn more about Shari by visiting her website, The Word ‘Mage. You can email Shari at ssmothers@thewordmage.com.

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