I do it for the money
at least ... mostly
I recently read a piece written by Nat Eliason.
I thought it was beautifully written. It was honest and raw and you could feel the internal conflict in Nat’s words. In the article, Nat writes about the struggle between money and art. What happens to your passion for writing when writing is the source of income?
It’s a struggle most writers can relate to.
I was shocked and pleased to discover my reaction to his article. The thought that kept running through my head the was …
“I’m happy I don’t feel that way.”
Let me explain.
I’ve always had an appreciation and an admiration for Mike Rowe. I often reflect on an interview he did where he made the case for not following your passion. Instead, he argued that the best way to approach business and life was to look for opportunity and then find a way to be passionate about it.
That’s one of the reasons I became a blogger. I saw there was a huge opportunity in online writing. I was able to combine my passion for writing with the opportunity and the market for in high quality healthcare content.
Now, I am a writer. It may not be how I dreamed of it as a boy, but I am a writer none the less.
As a kid, I would wake up early and read before I went to school. I would read Goosebumps and Mr. Popper’s Penguins. I read Dracula and Tom Sawyer and The Call of the Wild. I read 1984 and Animal Farm. I discovered comics and became obsessed with Batman, Superman, and anything written by Alan Moore. I loved it. I still love it.
I’ve known my entire life what I want to do. I am actively working on achieving my dream of writing a best seller and seeing my name in an airport bookstore. But until then, I get to do what I love.
I genuinely feel like the luckiest person in the world.
I’m a writer.
I’m a writer with an objective…
When I sit down to write a blog post on Tim Stodz or on Stodzy, I have absolutely no internal conflict about why I am writing. I write to serve. I write with intention. I always ask myself “what am I trying to accomplish with this article?”
Everything has an objective and I am so grateful for that clarity.
The War of Art
With that said, I am under no illusions about my creativity, and my need to express myself in a way that is greater than achieving an objective.
That’s why I write here and that’s why I have stacks of notebooks filled with ideas and scribble and memories. When I write on the blank page, I am always writing to the muse. I am writing so I can win the the war of art.
I do it because it makes me a better person and because I know it helps me contribute to the world in a way that only I can. No one else sees the world from my unique vantage point and no one else is able to formulate my perspective.
I am the only one that can do this. There’s no one else … only me.
So I will continue to write creatively and without expectation. I will continue to discover pieces about myself through this blank page.
Because the blank page will never lie to me. It will never trick me and it will always tell me what I need to know.
Without it, I am constantly having conversations with myself and I am the worst person for me to run ideas by. My brain tries to kill me. It tries to convince me that I know what I am doing and that I know what’s best for me.
But the blank page doesn’t do that.
It’s very easy to lie when you speak and almost impossible to lie when you write. I will always have the blank page to tell me the truth.
When I write to work, I do it for the money and I do it to make as much money as I possibly can.
When I write for art, I do it because it keeps me alive.