For years, I have loved writing.
For my 7th birthday I asked for a type writer. An old school one, not an electric one. I loved the sound the keys made when you would bash them and the metal letter thingy whizzed up and hit the ribbon to create an ink imprint on the page. I would sit there for hours just typing up random stories about elephants and nature and day dream type stuff.
I started journaling when I went on exchange to France at 15 years of age. I became something of a fiend when it came to writing. I had to go to school and because I didn’t understand any of the classes, I would just sit and write poetry. (I was an angsty teenager in the country that invented emotions…what else was a girl to do?)
When I was in my second last year of high school, I took an extra unit of English and relished the time we spent on creative writing. I loved my teacher, he was so passionate about literature. I read him a piece I had written and he called it ‘art’. He asked if he could keep it. I felt so honoured and special. It was also perhaps the first time I acknowledged this talent that I had.
Despite my passion for writing, I stopped. After high school the only writing I did was for my uni subjects (all business related) and then the odd bit of writing for my job. Nothing personal or soulful about it. It wasn’t a conscious decision to stop writing. I just didn’t see the point to it.
Until now. Now I do see the point.
There does not need to be a reason or an end goal to doing what you love to do. It is the process that should bring you the joy and satisfaction.
The moment you tie an expectation onto something you love, the shine is taken away.
If you really loved singing but decided you weren’t going to sing unless you got paid for it – how much pressure does that put on singing? It stops being something joyful and starts being something you have to hustle your butt to do so that you can earn a living.
By all means, if you can get paid doing what you love – don’t stop!
But don’t make the reward (or getting paid) the reason why you should do it in the first place. Free yourself from the pressure of having to achieve a particular outcome. Let go of the expectation of a reward. Look to the creation as its own reward. Feel fulfilled just from giving it a go and losing yourself in something that you love to do. Rewards will come. Acknowledgement will pour down around you. But not if that is what you are seeking to get.
So I identify myself as a writer because it is something that I love to do and do daily, even though I don’t earn my living through my writing. Our identity should not be mixed in with what our capacity is to earn. Our capacity to earn comes from when we step into our identity and live it to its fullest potential.
I am a writer. Who are you?