As the year begins anew, I am trying to balance my professional writing with my creative writing. Honestly, after blogging all day for others, or assisting someone through a resume process, I am burnt out and experience writing fatigue. The last thing I want to do is sit at a computer during my free time, attempting to write a short story or revisiting the fragmented pieces of the first draft of my great American novel. I have noticed even this personal blog is suffering from my writing fatigue.
I am contemplating my career choice as a freelance writer. Should I pursue another career? What other avenues will complement my skill set? Let me ponder on the pros and cons. The upside to writing professionally all day is that I am honing my craft. The down side is that I am weary when I carve out time for creative writing. If I pursue another career, will I find personal fulfillment? Would it be something I enjoy? The pro: My free time would be focused on creative writing. The con: I may end up dealing with office politics and drama – which I completely despise. I am somewhat isolated as a freelance writer but being in an office setting, surrounded by others on a daily basis, could be positive and/or negative. As I muddle through this quandary, I will take time (perhaps even several months) to investigate my options and evaluate my skill set.
I worked in marketing for a while. I came to the conclusion that I am a communicator and not necessarily a marketer. I utilize marketing strategies in my professional writing but my strength is communicating this branding verbiage in a clear, concise manner. I have also mastered social media (SMM and SEM), inspired by my tenure in marketing. Another self-realization became apparent as well. I am an authentic person. I present myself as WYSIWYG – What you see is what you get. It felt counter-intuitive to slip on the fake, false mask that some marketers consider as “professional.” I am not some slick marketing chick. I am the genuine, bona fide version of me. I understand marketing principles but I feel uncomfortable if I am expected to over-market or sell myself. I cannot adopt the icky-car-salesman facade to woo over a client or damage the reputation of the competitors. This is not who I am nor is it someone I would ever want to be. I never try to bedazzle my clients with boasts or B.S. I just like to keep it simple – interpersonal communication based in truth and reality.
It is important for me to treat others with the same dignity and respect that I expect in return. It is equally important for me to work for a company or organization which honors this level of ethical conduct. I hate gossiping, judgmental behavior that can undermine a team or sink a company. Some of my best employment situations have been around people who spread good will and cheer, fostering the team atmosphere while acknowledging the contributions of the individual members. I know this seems to be a Walt Whitman/Leaves of Grass philosophy – equally-weighted individuals making the beautiful whole. It is similar to a few employment situations I have experienced in the past and I thrive in this type of environment. I am drawn to possibly working for a non-profit. I saw an amazing LinkedIn update from a connection who works for a non-profit. The thought of using my skills as a communicator to be of service to others is intriguing. Additionally, my efforts would be worthwhile.
Therefore, until I make a choice, I will continue to be a freelance writer by day and creative writer by night. I will be open to opportunities but remain selective of the workplace atmosphere. I am not exactly sure how to combat this writing fatigue. For now, perhaps I should drink coffee – lots and lots of coffee?
Do you write professionally?
Have you encountered a similar problem?
What suggestions do you have to overcome writing fatigue?