Friday, March 12, 2010
Friday's Food 4 Thought
Affluence vs. Influence
(6 Reasons to Count Your Blessings
When You Can't Count Your Cash!)
Unenlightened individuals often comment on how “lucky” I am to have my work widely published and well received.
This common assumption often amazes me.
In any other profession, success is typically attributed to diligence, discipline, determination, and strategic planning---while writing is perceived as a
roll-of-the-dice pursuit. Go figure.
It’s this mindset and the sometimes low value that is placed on our work that can make writing a difficult way of life. Not to mention, the fierce competition, sporadic pay, multitude of rejections, and non-existent “benefits package”.
Let’s face it, even for a veteran scribe, these factors can sometimes make it difficult to remain motivated and stay in the game. :-)
But here’s the good news. Writing offers much more than monetary rewards, and on most days I wouldn’t trade it for the world. And you shouldn’t either.
Here are 6 reasons to count your blessings even when you can't count your cash.
1. INFLUENCE---There’s something spiritual and magical about writing---about influencing the masses. The ability and opportunity to entertain, enlighten, and impact thousands of people is powerful! And contrary to popular opinion, not everybody has the chops to be a writer.
2. PORTABLE SKILLS AND FLEXIBLE LIFESTYLE---Freelance writers can write from the comforts of home in a pair of P.J.s, or at the local coffee shop while taking in the sounds and the scenery. No more office politics, punching a clock, or having a bad boss breathing down your neck.
3. FAN MAIL---I love fan mail! And I get it often. The advent of the Internet allows folks from Texas to Timbuktu to read my words, and to weigh in on what they think. It makes me feel privileged, passionate, and accountable.
4. YOU’RE IN GOOD COMPANY---As far as professions go, writers are the grooviest people on the planet. I enjoy engaging with creative souls, who for the most part have a “we’re in this together” mentality. We share leads on writing work, laughter, and support. Unlike corporate America, where oftentimes it’s a real rat race.
5. IMMORTALITY---Writers die, but they’re never forgotten. In fact, some don’t become famous until after they die. In the words of Keats, “A thing of beauty is a joy forever.” Eloquent writing remains etched in the minds of those who receive it. Consider the impact of Shakespeare, Edgar Allen Poe, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and Gwendolyn Brooks. Schools study their literary pieces decades, and even centuries beyond their demise.
6. FORMAL “CREDENTIALS” ARE NOT REQUIRED---Good writers are “intellectuals”. And yet, this field does not require a lofty degree or many years of labor to ascend the ladder of success. Which, depending on how you look at it, and where you’re at in life, can potentially save thousands of dollars pursuing college degrees or expensive training programs.
So, the next time you’re having a “pity party,” waiting for a late check from a publisher, or thinking of throwing in the towel, keep in mind these six rewards afforded to “LUCKY” writers.
Writers, which is more important for you, affluence or influence? Weigh in.