Today I’m so glad to have author and poet, Dane Cobain, who was so kind as to write a guest post for my blog titled The Differences Between Writing for Love and Writing for Money.
Here’s a brief introduction about him:
Dane Cobain (High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, UK) is an independent poet, musician and storyteller with a passion for language and learning. When he’s not in front of a screen writing stories and poetry, he can be found working on his book review blog or developing his website, www.danecobain.com. His debut novella, No Rest for the Wicked, was released in the summer of 2015.
The Differences Between Writing for Love and Writing for Money
Hi, folks! My name’s Dane Cobain., and I’m a British author and poet with three books to my name. By day, I work in social media marketing, which means that I spend a lot of time writing blogs and status updates while on the clock.
Today, I want to talk about the difference between the two. See, not all writing is equal – there’s a big difference between drafting a chapter of your novel and writing a white paper on drainage systems, and if you’re not careful then you can start to lose momentum on one type of writing because you’re working so hard on another.
The main difference between the two types of writing is that the stuff you do for money serves a more practical use; as a copywriter, I often find that I’m asked to write technical specifications, website copy, product information and other non-fiction pieces that are required to communicate information.
In these cases, as a writer, you need to focus on conveying information as quickly and as simply as possible. It differs from writing for love, when your focus is on constructing a narrative, or on conveying a sense of place and instilling an emotion in the reader.
Writing blogs and social media updates is a little more fun, because you can play around and experiment, but it’s not the same as working on a book. To a certain extent, that’s because if you’re working as a copywriter at an agency or if you’re working as a freelance writer, most of the work that you do is for clients. When you’re working on behalf of a client instead of yourself, it’s more difficult to put your heart and soul into the work that you’re doing.
But in my experience, it’s the same even when you’re treating yourself as a client. As much as I enjoy blogging, whether I’m writing a guest post like this one or whether I’m reviewing books on my book blog, SocialBookshelves.com, it just doesn’t give you the same sense of accomplishment that working on a novel can give you, especially when you write the final sentence.
Modern writers need to write for a mixture of love and money if they want to survive. Unless you’re already well-established – either as an author or as an internet personality – then you’re going to struggle to sell enough copies to make a living from it. Instead, you’re going to need to augment your income with another job, and working as a freelance writer can be a great way of doing that.
But I have a word of warning for you, too. Despite (and perhaps even because of) the differences between writing for love and writing for money, it can be difficult to find the motivation to switch from one to the other after a long, hard day of work. Not everyone is cut out for it, and so whilst it is a great way to keep your skills sharpened as a writer, it can also drain you of motivation.
Some writers would kill for a job that gave them more time to write whilst earning money; other writers already have a job like that and wish they could work in a bookshop or a restaurant instead. The key is to find what works for you and to forge a healthy balance.
In the end, it doesn’t matter whether you’re writing for love or for money, as long as you’re writing something. Just don’t stop writing altogether.