Do Writers Ever Just Write?

Do Writers Ever Just Write?
Do writers ever just write?. Kirsten Ulve / Getty Images

Question: Do writers ever just write?

I am a high school student, and all I want to do is write. Writing is everything to me. I researched your site and all I see is all these tips and tricks about jobs and work. You talk about freelance writing businesses, writing invoices and writer's taxes. I don't want to be an accountant! I want to be a writer! Don't you need to WRITE to be a writer? Do full time writers ever ...

just ... write?


Dear High School Writer,

I'm including your question in my FAQs because it's come to me at an interesting time. I'm working on a project that, to me, seems to be more management, and not a lot of writing at all. I miss writing at times, but, as with most careers, a lot of my writing career focuses on putting a roof over my head, and paying my bills.

Now, I'm not saying that there aren't times when I just sit and write, without worrying about things like jobs, clients and pay. I do. I'm writing a novel, and at times I dabble in poetry, too. But this particular site is aimed at people who want to make a living with their writing.

However, you don't have to "sell out" completely. In fact, I've put together an entire section on creative freelancing that I think you'd find interesting.

Best of luck in your writing- career or otherwise!

ADDENDUM: Dear High School Writer, A fellow reader had some additional words of wisdom for you, and I think that they will help you out!

Please take a look at this response from reader Martha R.:

Dear Student,

Of course we write. In fact, that's what we do most of the time. I spend time writing Web content, proposals, user guides, textbook chapters, marketing materials ... depending on the project I'm working on. And when my work slows down, I network and write emails to potential clients, answer questions on the Web, and sometimes contribute to e-zines. I also write letters to my Congressmen about legislation that affects people, the environment, and the planet; write editorials on issues I believe in; and do volunteer editing for peace and justice groups.

My writing varies with my clients. Sometimes I write material that teaches people how to do things. Sometimes I write material that persuades people to take new actions. And sometimes I write material to open people's minds to new ideas that will help them on the job or in their personal lives.

When I'm not writing for a living, I'm writing emails and letters to friends and family. I'm reading and responding to blogs. And I'm working on a historical fiction novel. In fact, I have a plan. I've already transitioned from technical writing to educational writing. I eventually hope to transition from educational writing to fiction writing using the publishing contacts I've made.

And guess what, almost everything I learned about writing, I learned by actually writing or reading other peoples' writing -- not by taking classes. As I wrote for other people, I got their honest feedback.

Sometimes the feedback came from students who read my instructions, sometimes it came from people in classes I taught, and sometimes it came from people who read my content on Websites. Over the years, I've learned to better identify my audience and write directly to them in words they understand. I've also learned to use my authentic voice in everything I write.

The more you write, the better writer you become. And believe me, there will always be a need for writers who can connect with their audience. I truly believe that the power of the written word is tremendous, and it is writers who change the world./p]

Martha R.