When I started my blog, I was working full time in a content based role at a digital agency. I’d talked about having a blog for years – I wanted a space on the Internet that I could call my own. It was the perfect time to get one, too, because of all the expertise I now had in the area. However, I’ve just not been feeling it lately, and I think it’s got something to do with the fact that I write for a living. I’ve been fully freelance since summer 2015, and after a long week of writing, often the last thing I want to do is write any more. Blogging as a freelance writer can be tiring!
Don’t get me wrong – writing is still a passion of mine. My clients rarely ask me to write about myself, and so it’s great to still have a space where I can be personal. However, how much of being a ‘blogger’ in today’s sense is really personal? Is a review of a random item you’ll never use again honestly that personal? I know for a fact my favourite pieces to write are opinion or investigation based, but sadly these take up the longest time and there’s no financial gain. It sounds awful, but when writing is how you make your money, you sometimes have to prioritise the 1000 words that are going to pay a bill, over those that aren’t.
Blogging as a freelance writer can sometimes feel like you’re constantly taking your work home with you (or in my case, it feels like you’re adding yet more hours to the time you’re spent in front of a screen in your bedroom). I’m blessed to do what I do for a living, but it’s starting to remind me of the guy I used to live next door to.
When I was 15, I worked in my neighbour’s restaurant as a Kitchen Porter, and later a Waitress. On my shifts, I’d taste his incredible food, but whenever I’d see his daughter of a similar age to me, she’d tell me that she’d never really tried her dad’s cooking. I was shocked – this man was a chef, and a great one at that. She said that he just preferred to rarely cook at home. I didn’t understand it then, but I do now… sometimes you spend so long doing what you love that it stops being fun anymore, and when you associate it with a job, that’s all it is to you.
Blogging as a freelance writer is basically like coming home from a shift as a cleaner and cleaning the house, or coming home from a shift as an electrician and setting up lights at home. Blogging may well seem more glam – and I’m not ungrateful – but when you’ve stared at a CMS all day, it’s often not. You get insanely tired, and you just can’t help it. Hey, I bet even celebs want a break from their exciting careers occasionally!
Now, I’m not saying that writing has become tedious for me (in fact, this piece is literally just flowing at a ridiculous rate…), however, when I became freelance, I essentially imagined that I’d be a full-time blogger, too, on account of all the time I’d have to ‘write whenever I wanted’. That’s not been the case. My blog just doesn’t make much money, whereas my skills can be applied to clients and newspapers, and that’s exactly where I’ve been working instead.
The truth is that being a financially successful blogger isn’t related to how good a writer you are, in many cases. It drains me to think of creating images and everything else, when really I just want a voice! Blogging is about so much more, when my main skill is mostly the writing. The money in that is elsewhere, so it makes sense to go elsewhere, despite never starting to blog to make money to begin with. I’ve taken a long hiatus, mostly because I haven’t wanted to force myself into something for the sake of it, when I already write tons as it is. Somewhere along the way, the lines blurred between my hobby and my job (and real life got in the way, too).
Blogging as a freelance writer makes it hard to forget why you started a blog in the first place. For me, it wasn’t about being a ‘blagger’ – I’d seriously have to be crazy at this point to write a blog post to review something I have no interest in. I simply don’t have the time, and time is money!
However, I don’t just want to be a money grabber, either. The last paragraph seems almost hypocritical, but when you start out in blogging, you often get asked to review a lot of things. At first, I’d say yes, because I wanted to build up a name for myself. I forgot I already had a name for myself in the writing world, and I spent time reviewing things for basically no gain, be that personal or financial.
From now on, my blog is always going to have a purpose. I’ll post under no pressure. If I have something to say, I’ll say it, when it suits me to say it. However, I won’t turn down ways of making money, either – after all, writing is indeed my job! I’ll write for whatever reasons I choose.
And sometimes I won’t blog. Sometimes I’ll write in my free time for other outlets, where the audience is bigger and more people will see my work. I’ve done it before, and I know I can. I’ll carry on getting back into my poetry and prose stuff, which I as yet haven’t posted publicly. It’s a lot more creative, and I think I’m craving to get my artistic side back as well. My blog is my space, it’s not on a schedule, like every other aspect of my writing life. I kind of don’t want to be a ‘blogger’ – I just want to have a blog.
So, blogging as a freelance writer will become something fun for me once more, and if it’s not… I simply won’t do it. Just like I don’t feel like adding images to this piece.