Creative Lifestyle

The Downside Of Working As A Writer

Words used to flow off my tongue like so many rivers, drifting down the rapids of my wild imagination. Now, I chip them off the end of my tongue and stick them to my fingers, pretending they are my own. Have I lost something? That part of myself that felt the words in my blood, an energy that drew me in and sometimes spit me out exhausted. But the feeling, a rush akin to barrelling down the curve of a brainwave, always moving, always wanting more.

I used to be a writer, now I just work as one. There’s no time for creativity, because reality is all my fingers are good for. They march their two-step touch-type rhythm on my working keyboard, and at the end of the day I retire them for tomorrow. I am exhausted by the process of writing just to get by, writing for work, for a living. My words used to give meaning to my existence, but now they just trickle into my bank account. I price them individually and carve them out as required, delivered to clients on platters like food to be devoured by some vast machine.

Once, years ago, I was a teenager who didn’t understand where she was going and wrote poetry to use as a road map. Now, I’m an adult with a teenager’s past reading old words and marvelling at the prose of them, their elegance in naivety. She never second-guessed ability, she just ran with it, wild and breathing hard at the magic of every syllable.

At the start of this career of mine I loved that I had made it. I worked as a writer, I was right on the cusp of something that might have been success. But selling out is no lie, and I’ve sold my words for profit and let something inside me die, wither away into normality and white-bread obscurity.

There used to be a spark inside my words, and maybe there is still. Like a long-forgotten plant that stubbornly refused to fade I hope it’s in there, waiting for the light and love to feed its hunger. These words are my lifeblood, now I know that. My words make hearts beat and catch breaths in throats and have souls sing for more. This two-step touch-type rhythm is what I time my life to, and it’s time to stop typing just for cash and start embracing the craft of it.

These words are my money maker, but they’re also my magic.

Now I’m ready to set them loose again.

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  • Reply
    June 5, 2017 at 11:42 am

    This makes me sad… but read it!
    Pretend you aren’t you and read those words, phrases, sentences, and thoughts.
    Your magic is not lost.
    She’s right there.
    She’s just impatiently waiting for moments, lunch breaks, or evenings when you have time to let her loose.

    • Reply
      Oceana Setaysha
      June 6, 2017 at 6:45 pm

      Helen this is a conclusion I am slowly coming to. It’s good to know that others can see that magic in there too 😉

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