I Didn’t Expect This When I Became a Writer

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Article by Wendy McCance

The hardest part of having a career as a writer is how little time you end up writing for yourself.  When I decided to become a writer, I had images of how I would feel each day spending my time creating.  It’s true that I do spend my days creating, but the creation takes a predetermined form.

When I get an assignment, I already know what will be written to some extent.  Sure I can play with words and put together a well-formed piece of work, but the essence of the process that I love so much is missing.

My favorite type of writing is when I have no idea what will be written.  I sit down at the computer with a feeling.  I am in a particular mood and just begin typing.  There is no plan regarding what I will end up saying, I just write.  It’s like something takes over deep in my soul and I sit back and allow the words to appear on the screen.  It’s almost like being in a trance.  I see my fingers moving, I hear the words as they begin to pop up in my head and then show up on the screen, but I am truly unaware of what the outcome will be as I go through the process.  It is the truest form of creating that I know of.

I love being a writer.  I feel blessed to do what I love each and every day.  I have to admit though that my thoughts about what a career as a writer would be like compared to what I experience is very different.  I think that the writers who come closest to the most genuine form of being a writer are those who write books.  They can sit down and tell their stories uninterrupted from any outside noise or expectations from others.  There is no predetermined idea from others on what the piece should be about or how the story will play out.  It is writing in its purest most uninterrupted form.

I have found that by the end of a week, it is hard to transition back to my own voice and let the words fall onto a page without getting my head back into that head space.  I rely on inspiration to get me back to my truth.  I read, listen to music and connect with people who get me thinking.  It takes time to pull myself away from the work of writing to be able to write the way I once did daily on this blog.

Like everything else in life, you learn, you grow and then you can create some more. I now compartmentalize different areas of my writing.  There are the daytime hours which are spent working on assignments.  I write website content or a blog post in the voice of the person or company that has hired me to fill their pages with words.  In the evenings or sometimes very early in the morning before I flood my head with other voices, I can grab onto my own true voice and let my own stories unfold.  It is in these moments when I feel the most joy about what I do.  There really is nothing like being able to express your thoughts and feelings and maybe even influence others with a word or two that is relatable that makes what I do the most incredible of experiences.

Wendy McCance

Wendy McCance is a Michigan based freelance writer and social media consultant. Wendy has gained attention as the founder of the popular blog Searching for the Happiness which can be viewed in 9 local papers online, including the Oakland Press. The combination of writing skills and social media knowledge is what makes Wendy such a powerhouse to work with. Stay tuned for opportunities to advertise, guest post and as always, have your questions answered.

To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: mccance.wendy@gmail.com

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17 thoughts on “I Didn’t Expect This When I Became a Writer

  1. I’m just starting my writing career, and this is definitely something I’ve realized. The writing I am doing is not for myself, but for someone else. A commenter above said it was like switching from “non-fiction” to “fiction,” but a lot of my personal writing was still non-fiction (memoirs, poems, letters, diaries, etc. so creative non-fiction if anything) that read like fiction because of the writing style, because of my voice.

    So I’m still writing non-fiction, but now the voice is different, because the writing is for someone else. In a way, I don’t mind this; for now, as long as I am writing, I am happy. But now I understand that I will have to make time to write for myself as well. I’ve written poetry since I was very young, and I always write letters to my significant other, and so I think these will continue to be my outlets, that kind of writing I can do for myself.

  2. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on your writing career, Wendy. I can relate, in a way, but only in that’s why I’ve resisted in jumping in the writing pool. You expressed perfectly how I don’t want to feel, though it works for you and you’re doing what you love and enjoying it.

    I fear I would be trading in my freedom again like I’d done for so many years and lose who I’ve come to know as my true self. For me, I think writing would then become a chore and I treasure it too much for it to turn out that way.

    I’m happy for you in that you’re able to find the best in both worlds, my friend. Bravo! I admire you. 🙂

      • Thanks, Wendy. I’m fortunate to now be in a position where I’m retired and free to make the choices I want. It’s not perfect and I struggle on the other end with self-discipline. But, having experienced this freedom, I’m loving it and don’t think I could go back to a dictated regime unless I temporarily chose it.

        I admire your passion and vision. Your self-discipline has allowed you to accomplish whatever you wish. 🙂

      • Thanks, Jay. It is refreshing to see the different comments and contributions Wendy has received on her post, too, about writing.

        I can see from your site that music is an important part of your message to inspire. It reminds me of a saying by Dr. Wayne Dyer to not die with your music still in you. I’m working on this. 🙂

  3. Wendy, Absolutely, part of the problem is changing your “voice”, not just from that of your client to yours, but the entire mindset from non-fiction to fiction. Moreover, I have had discussions with other writers who say it would be easier to have a day job as a ditchdigger or an accountant or whatever, because your mind is so much fresher when you get the free time to write your own creative material (I do organic gardening, which lets my mind wander). I still make most of my money writing for clients, and it has been very challenging over the years to still produce novels and other fiction. Very insightful article! Cheers.

    • Thanks so much for your comment Don. I think you are right. Have something that truly clears your mind like gardening and you get that fresh mindset to be able to write for yourself again.

  4. Wendy, I’m glad you get to do what you love. Not everyone can say that about their work. Even when you are writing for someone else, you are still writing, and that’s what keeps us writers happy! 🙂

    • That’s so true Beverly! It only took me until I reached my mid 40’s to get a career that I love, but I am thankful I got there. So many people never get to do what they want to do most, so I feel really lucky. Even so, it’s never to late to go after your dreams. 🙂

  5. Yes, I agree. The ‘work of writing’ can be far different from the supportive ‘flow’ we experience so naturally — with, in & across ‘the Joy & Love of writing’ -*-
    Thanks again for sharing your Spirit* from your Heart.
    Keep the ‘Music’ in you Alive … Nurture it -*- All Ways ….
    In-*-Joy as ‘WELL’
    -*-

    • Hi Christine, I have been thinking of what types of job opportunities I can go after that will allow me to do a little more of the writing in my heart. I actually have a few ideas. I’ll keep you posted. 🙂

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