Monday, May 30, 2011

Bread-and-Butter Writing vs. Bliss Writing

Writers often bemoan that they can't get paid to do the type of writing they love to do.

So I have a solution.

Do both.

I call this, "Bread-and-Butter Writing vs. Bliss Writing."

Here's how it works for me: I write for trade magazines. Those stories are my "Bread-and-Butter Writing." Sometimes, the topics I'm covering are less than interesting to the average bear. And that puts the onus on me to make them sparkle as much as possible.

How do I do it?

I do it with my "Bliss Writing."

Besides this blog, I have two others that focus on my Christian faith. In those, I do the research and writing that I love to do. I don't get paid for these blogs, mostly because I feel that if I'm sharing my faith or information about God, I shouldn't make people pay for that.

In addition, I'm working on a novel. Research for that will require travel to Turkey. While I'm researching the novel and studying the Turkish language, I'm also coming up with story lines and the way in which I want to spin my tale.

Now suppose I'm in the middle of a HORRIBLE Bread-and-Butter assignment. I mean, mind-numbing awful. You know the types of stories I'm talking about, right?

Even if I'm on a deadline, I will take a break from my suffering with my Bliss Writing. I'll head over to one of my blogs, or I'll dig up some more novel research. You may think that this takes away valuable time from the matter at hand. But it actually has an opposite effect.

When I focus on the writing I love to do, something happens creatively with me. Truthfully, I don't know if anyone has done a scientific study of this (and if they haven't, they should). But when I dive into the creative story ... suddenly the Bread-and-Butter story takes shape in my mind. Suddenly, I have my lead, my focus, my structure. Suddenly, the words just FLY.

Does it matter that I get paid for my Bliss Writing? I won't lie -- I would love to see my novel published and on book shelves in Barnes & Noble. But life is short! Why not dig into what I love while I also use that same skill to make my livelihood?

We'd all love to write the things we love to write AND get paid for them. But if you want a life where ... say ... you make enough money to travel to Turkey to interview people and research a novel in archaeological digs for a splendorous work of art ... then take the Bread-and-Butter assignments.

Be grateful for them.

And then let your Bliss Writing fuel your Muse. Because I guarantee you, that Muse WILL awaken. The Bread-and-Butter Writing will no longer seem a chore ... but actually, you might be surprised when it transforms into Bliss.

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