On Writing For Fun

Hi. My name is Neal and I’m a professional writer. This means that I’m lucky enough to do something I love for a living and for people to be interested in my work. I’ve been working professionally as a writer in one capacity or another for more than a decade; sometimes as a journalist, sometimes as a ghostwriter, sometimes as an editor, and sometimes as a copywriter.

The idea of making a living wage by typing words onto a screen (or writing sentences on paper), even after you realize you’re successful at it, never loses its novelty.

People get paid to write these, by the way.

But something strange happened along the way — I started spending the bulk of my time writing things that made me money rather than the stories I thought would be fun to write. Sometimes those two circles intersect in the imaginary Venn diagram that is Writing In 2016, but not always.

You see… I like making money from my work. Paychecks and sales make me very happy. I like having nice things and being compensated for labor. But I also like having the opportunity to write for fun.

That’s why I’m doing an experiment.

Each week, I’m going to try my best to write an original article for the next year. Sometimes I’ll write about technology. Sometimes I’ll write about family. Sometimes I’ll write about sports. This thing is wide, wide open. The goal, for me, is to write directly for the public without mediators — no editors, no clients, no demographics or target audiences or content calendars. Just good writing for the sake of good writing.

A large part of this is the simple fact that, well… there isn’t anything special about writing. There’s nothing mystical or transcendent about writing; it’s simply a way for an author to share information with readers. If you’re lucky, the author will do it with enough charm and wit that reading their stories is a pleasure.

Nonetheless, it’s an occupation we do for a living. And just like songwriters sometimes want to write something for fun or carpenters want to make furniture for pleasure, sometimes you just want the opportunity to write something for fun.

I hope you stick around for this project. I can’t promise every article will be the most interesting you ever read, but hopefully you’ll find some of them worth reading.

Neal

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