The past year was an interesting one for me in terms of writing. When Covid hit and my work closed down for about a month, I – like most people – didn’t know what was going to happen. Anxiety and uncertainty is usually poison to any mind, but especially for a creative one: you need to focus to create and you to be at ease to focus. Worrying about the end of civilization as we know it doesn’t really help in that regard.
But during the height of the end-of-civilization feeling I was somehow able to pick myself off the writer’s desk. I looked for some freelance work. The intention was twofold. First, a freelance gig would pay for whatever costs I had aside from rent. And second, it would get me back in the writing game.
It worked. I landed a gig with cbr.com. A week or two after I started they announced pay cuts due to the pandemic – as if there was much to cut – and the topics I covered bore about as much resemblance to journalism as a bottle of urine does to lemonade. But hey, it got the juices flowing, no pun intended.
Well, it has been almost a year since I started writing for CBR and I have decided to close that chapter at the end of this month. There are a few reasons why. The most important is that it stopped being fun. I feel my articles have become repetitive and I am quite sure that there is a special place in hell for the Danielle Steele’s, puff piece writers, and journalistic regurgitators of this world.
Secondly, it started to feel like work. This may sound odd since, technically, it was. But I feel writing needs to be something a writer wants to do. If it turns into something a writer has to do, then it won’t come as easy and naturally. Writing becomes mechanical, forced and boring. Even worse, I believe readers can tell when that is the case.
Finally, the time I spent ‘researching’ and writing for CBR could be spent on writing fiction. Sure, I’d go back from getting guaranteed paycheques to having to submit pieces and hope for voucher copies. But money stopped being the prime motivator for my CBR work. I simply held on for the last few months because I wanted to complete an entire year with them.
For what it’s worth, CBR helped me pay for all kinds of fees related to my permanent residence application. It gave me something to add to my resumé. Most importantly though, it helped me get back into a semi-routinely writing habit. I am very grateful for all these things.
I still have three weeks to go until April. If you are interested you can click here to get to my articles on cbr.com and check out what I had to say over the past year. Don’t worry, I won’t hold a grudge against you if you don’t.
That is all the time we have, I’m afraid. Thank you for reading. I will go back to the drawing board and look what kind of topics are up for grabs for my next article. Perhaps I will even pitch an idea. If it is something really worth reading about I will let you know.
Just don’t hold your breath.