Why Part-Time Writing Is the Way to Go
Once upon a time, back in 2016, I quit an engineering job making $130,000 per year to chase my dream of earning big money online, specifically as a writer.
It was an epic failure, one I’ve written about in a little more detail here in this viral Quora answer. Since then, I’ve gotten back into engineering and have had plenty of time to write on the side.
While making lots of money writing words is great, I don’t think I’d ever want to rely on it as my main means to survive ever again.
You can be more than just another shitty writer
Money and metrics are terrible motives for creative writing.
In the years I’ve spent writing part-time, I’ve explored who I am both as a person and as a writer, and more importantly, why I choose to torment myself on an almost daily basis with this craft.
I’ve gone through what I call many “seasons” as a writer, with varying motives that have changed weekly, if not daily. Money is the one that comes around the most, followed closely by things like subscribers, recognition, and attention.
When I’ve written for money or any sort of vanity metric, the result is always the same — unoriginal content that makes me want to vomit. Yeah, the cash in hand is nice and so is the dopamine from all the claps, comments, new followers, etc. But those quickly fade, and what’s left is the sinking feeling that you’re just another shitty writer on the internet.
When money and/or growth-hacking are your primary objectives, you begin playing the game just to do what works, because you often need to in order to pay the bills and survive. Any sort of remotely creative writing gets put on the back burner because listicles are super easy to write and attract thousands of views.
After years of going back and forth playing this game, I’ve realized that my writing is best (and I’m happiest) when I’m writing for myself and not the 99% of droolers doomscrolling through their newsfeeds.
Part-time writing is what lets me do that. I don’t have to care about the money or the metrics…