Forgive the personal blogging. I'm in a funk and need to get this out there. I write because I enjoy writing. I've been told I have a skill for it, though my own psyche refuses to accept even the most sincere compliment. I'm severely insecure about what I do and always looking for a new angle to please someone else.
This is why I do so much writing for other people. It's safe. My name doesn't go on it. I don't take the heat from user comments. I don't get contacted by the people involved in a story. I simply write the article/post/copy/whatever, send it off to its "official" owner, and wait for the check to come in (if there's a check involved at all). I've learned how to imitate other's voices while strengthening my own point of view at the same time. Chances are, if you read this, you've read something else on another site that I produced without even realizing it.
It's not an easy lifestyle, but it's one I wear like a soft sweater. I get up around 6 in the morning and check my e-mail. If I'm not completely overwhelmed, I workout--usually a jog or a long walk--to better wake-up and clear my head. I wash up and get to writing. From 7ish until I get so hungry that I feel like I'll be sick if I don't eat, I write. I try to get at least three paid jobs out of the way before tackling this blog. I then rack my brain for topics, get a few false starts in, and find just the right subject for a post.
After the first post, I go back to the e-mails. I sort through receipts, critiques, complaints, and job offers. Critiques have priority, followed by job offers. Anything with a firm deadline goes to the top of the stack. I then start writing again--pausing late morning/early afternoon for a second post here--until the hunger pain takes over again. A quick lunch leads to a change of pace. I get my music transcription/transposition/arranging/recording/editing/composing work done before tackling a third post on this blog. Dinner follows. Then I work straight through to at least 10 at night until my brain is fried and I can't function anymore. That's the weekday routine. Weekends allow me to take more meetings and maybe spend some time with friends or family. That's never a guarantee.
See me somewhere else on the Internet at that time? I'm a serial multi-tasker. Playing a quick round of a puzzle game, reading and commenting on a blog, or getting into a good discussion on a message board gives me enough of a mental break to be refreshed and ready for more writing action.
Have I tried to get other regularly-salaried work? Of course. It never works out. I either get cancelled on a follow-up interview or never get a response from an application. Still, I apply for any work I could possibly get to ease the burden of the ghostwriting.
If I had more time for my own work, I'd probably have more work published in bigger markets. I don't. If I make time for myself, I risk losing clients and not meeting my monthly expenses. This blog fits in quite nicely as an ever-expanding portfolio of work. I get jobs based off of what I do here. I'm proud of my work even if it sometimes takes over everything I do.
And yet, the confidence issue always rears its ugly head. All it takes is getting a message on Twitter saying "Hey, did you see this blog post about you? They rip you to shreds and call you a fake" for me to feel worthless again. It never ceases to amaze me how much people think they know about me based on my writing. They're either making up things about me, or they're following me into password-restricted forums to take one sentence in a gigantic post and build a lie around that. It's an odd fascination that has more or less followed me my entire life. Wait? Is that more fuel for the fabricators? Admitting that no matter what I've done my entire life, people have always found a way to twist it against me and attack me? I suppose it is. At least the Internet doesn't leave bruises or property damage.
Yet still I'm willing to wake up every day and put myself out there. It's because I love to write words and music. The form doesn't make a difference to me. I think researching a subject in a library is exhilarating and consider editing a minor pastime. Critical journals drive me wild and style manuals are leisure reading on the right day. Following all the rules of traditional music theory to turn notes into something just right for a project is the closest I'll come to discovering alchemy; the right set of chords make me feel like I've produced pure gold.
Here, I choose the topics and hope someone enjoys them. While you, my readers, tend to be a quiet bunch on the site, I appreciate the thoughtful e-mails I'm sent in response to many of my posts. I respect the not so thoughtful ones and immediately delete the hateful ones. It's how I get by.
I write because I want to. I write to survive while working for a better future. I write for pleasure and I write for business. I write because I have to. Nothing else feels right at this point but writing music, non-fiction, and fiction.