Writing for Fun and for Your Career

“What is it like to write for personal reasons- for fun, and not for a career? Does there have to be a difference?”

Writing for personal reasons can be wonderful! It is a form of creative and self expression, even though some may not think of it as such.

Blogs, poetry, short stories, journals, personal essays, novels and science fiction are some of the writing genres that people use. The key to writing for fun and for personal reasons is that the desire to do so comes from within. We do it for ourselves because it interests us or we want to interact with our “characters” to see what happens to them. We want to write about our personal and/or professional experiences. We like to play with words and see where they lead us. We can use words to create people, scenes, colors, textures and moods. Writing is exploration in action! It gives us a chance to read more about topics that intrigue us and which we might want to incorporate into our own writings.

Writing for ourselves if very freeing because we’re following our internal “muse.” It gives us a unique opportunity to learn more about what we think and believe. Sometimes we don’t actually know what we believe until we’ve written it. We can have a fine time meandering through our thoughts to see what we have to say. Many of us have a tendency to try to edit as we write which puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on us. It’s better for most to write whatever we want to write and then edit our ideas later. This method is particularly challenging for people who have perfectionistic tendencies, yet well worth learning to do.

The main difference between writing for personal reasons and for a career is that personal writing is for ourselves and is internally motivated. Writing for a career is meeting the needs and expectations of others, your bosses or customers/clients, through business communications, marketing materials, etc. and it is externally motivated.

I would say that usually the two are different. I have talked with many professional writers who do their own creative writing projects as well as business writing and they describe them as quite different. That being said, there are some people who enjoy writing for their careers. Sometimes the only way to know whether you will have fun writing as your career is to do it and find out for yourself, since each person and her/his situation is unique!

Originally Published 10/29/11 on task.fm –“a website providing advice for your business and career”