What is a Working Writer? Two Weeks After the Ooh Shiny - Travis Senzaki

What is a Working Writer? Two Weeks After the Ooh Shiny

It’s been two weeks since I stopped to think about putting fiction on the back burner to write internet knowledge sites. My interest in the latter has not faded (although to be honest, I haven’t started the writing process yet), and I’m beginning to think of it in different terms. It’s not about fiction or non-fiction, books or blogs. It’s about becoming a working writer and creating content that enriches people lives.

The Website Business

At the very least, I am going to build one knowledge base-style website and see how it goes. I’m really excited about the opportunity to exercise the business-minded side of my brain. Even before I struck out on this website idea, I had been increasingly excited about business planning. Part of that is my day job’s fault: When they essentially put me in charge of international marketing and our web presence a year ago, I started research into the things I could do online. There’s a limit to what I can do playing with a whole university’s website, though, so I’ve had to sit on some of the more interesting ideas.

Another, bigger part of it is that my last year at this job has made it abundantly clear to me that I want to work for myself. My university is probably one of the most progressive organizations in Japan. But administratively, it is still stuck in the Heian Era. If I can’t be happy as a corporate drone here, there’s no job in Japan that is going to satisfy me besides working for me. This is a way to start working on entrepreneurial ideas little by little, while I still have a secure job, and move toward independence.

As much as I love fiction, the odds that it was ever going to bring me to an independent income on it’s own were a little slim.

What that Means for my Fiction Writing

I’m hoping it means good things. I have been struggling a lot with my writing lately. Ever since I took Banner into the editing phase (a project I since back-burnered), I have been too obsessed with wording and evaluating my work as I go along to ask myself if it meets the market’s needs. The business side of my brain has totally crushed the creative, and that has made the writing process miserable lately. I’m not enjoying it at all.

If I can exercise (and exhaust) the business side of my brain on the web side, satisfy myself that I am moving toward “working writer” status there, then maybe I can convince it to back off when it’s fiction time, so that I can go back to enjoying that without the pressure of telling myself that it’s got to support my family, and soon! If writing for the web lets me avoid that pressure, then it’s going to be good for everyone.

Where I Go from Here

Honestly, I haven’t started the web writing bit yet. I’m still in the research and design phase. I assume that is comparable to the outline phase of writing, which is my favorite part. Once I start publishing articles, who knows, it may not be quite as much fun as I think. Either way, I’ll keep you updated.

Obligatory messages of encouragement can be left in the comments below.

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