Do You Like or Love to Write?

I know a lot of people who like to write. They blog, email, maybe even journal.

And that’s good. It’s important to have communication skills during this Information Age. It’s good to be able to write and express your thoughts in a culture with so much electronic access to so many other people.

But if you want to be a writer, that’s not enough.

I don’t meant to sound harsh here, but can you do something — anything — for an extended period of time without loving it? I suppose you can, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

Of course, many people do this — everyday and throughout their entire lives. They’re hacking away at jobs that they hate, doing it because they feel stuck and have no idea what else they could be doing.

But if you’re to be a writer, a bard, a storyteller, you really need to love writing. This is the difference between vocation and occupation. Vocation is a life calling — a passion — and occupation is, rather, something that occupies your time (and hopefully pays the bills). With a vocation, you may never get paid much, but it’s still something you have to do. As one friend says, it’s something you “can’t not do.”

If you’re going to be a writer, you have to love it. If not, you’ll burn up and flake out. Life is too short to spend your free time doing things you don’t love. Don’t get serious about writing unless you love it. But if you do love writing, it’s time to get serious.

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