So Why Do You Do It? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 06-25-2008, 06:34 PM - Thread Starter
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I am curious as to why ya'all write and what ya'all are working on write now.

Here is my story. I never planned to be a writer. I wrote poetry but that was more artsy than writing for me.

I was an English and History major in college by default. I didn't want to teach and I had no clear objective in my life. I nearly minored in several other areas, as well. I am a bit unfocused. I love English but I am what you would call a literature major more than a writing major, although, I did get some articles published in college.

In the mid-nineties, I was working at a call center and I had a friend who kept asking if I was interested in becoming a writer. When she got pregnant she suggested that I apply for her technical writing job at an engineering/manufacturing company. I got the job and spent 2.5 years (until I got pregnant) writing manufacturing instructions, assembly instructions, and engineering instructions.

My husband told me that as long as I made enough money to pay for the girls tuition at a Christian school, I didn't have to go back to work. The countdown is on. My youngest is in preschool this fall. I have through kindergarten to make this work (we send them half day so it would make no sense for me to return to work).

I don't have the heart for professional photography and my Etsy shop bombed. I started writing again. I've been writing for Suite101 for a little over a year and thanks to the encouragement of seeing what you all are doing, I have expanded my horizons and am writing for Demand Studio, How To Do and

I like it.

I can't wait to hear your stories.
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#2 of 10 Old 06-25-2008, 07:24 PM
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I write pretty much purely for personal reasons. Less than a year ago, I was really in a very bad state emotionally. I turned to journaling as an outlet. A friend of mine perked my curiousity in online content writing. I have always had a lot to say about certain topics. I believe strongly that education is empowerment, and I have enjoyed sharing what I have learned through writing.

Writing has been an extremely cathartic experience for me. I am a better wife, mother, and friend because I have this outlet.

Though money is nice, that honestly has very little to do with why and what I write. For me, it is about having something entirely my own - outside my limited world of wife and mother. I do not like putting pressure on myself to write for any other reason besides that is what I desire to do. That is why I generally do not set quantitative writing goals for myself and why I remain rather choosy about for whom I will write.

I am fortunate that we can live with the unpredictability of my income. I write at Suite 101 as a feature writer, recently authored a children's book that is to be published within a few weeks, and have begun a parenting book that is due to the publisher at the end of July. I also have started the application process at another online content company. I am skeptical that anything will happen with that though.

I have been trying to get up the gumption to begin writing for print mags for months now. I have read several freelance writing books, and I have a pretty good idea of how to go about it. However, I am just incredibly intimidated by it all, lack the confidence, and just have been too dadgum busy with other things.
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#3 of 10 Old 06-25-2008, 08:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by evies_mom View Post
I believe strongly that education is empowerment, and I have enjoyed sharing what I have learned through writing.
I totally agree with what you say here and I love to learn and so part of what keeps me going is the fact that I have the freedom to learn about whatever I am interested in and then write about it.

I think that is why I like Suite101 so much. As long as the article meets their criteria, I can write about pretty much whatever I want.
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#4 of 10 Old 06-25-2008, 09:01 PM
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I started writing corny poems and stories when I was knee-high to a hobbit; I've always loved writing. I used to want to be a writer when I grew up; sadly, I'm not great at fiction and I'm horribly undisciplined. So some months ago it occurred to me that instead of sitting around waiting for myself to magically develop an immense talent and the perseverance to churn out a bestselling fantasy novel, I should probably do something useful. I am now plugging away unglamorously at Suite101, and realising I have only myself to blame if I never become a rich and famous writer. The money (which is, um, not lots) is an incentive too--DH works, but a little extra would be nice.

Arizona backwards is still Arizona! It's a palomino!
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#5 of 10 Old 06-26-2008, 03:09 AM
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I began writing short stories, poetry and journaling when I was about 10 and realised in high school that I was pretty darn good at writing essays for English class and Creative Writing. I knew by my senior year that I wanted to be a writer and majored in journalism at college. I received lots of encouragement from a couple of senior professors and felt quite confident that I would succeed. However, immediately after I finished my degree I moved overseas and so didn't have time or the money to do an internship. I couldn't find a job in print media without any experience and only a few college newspaper articles published so I ended up getting a job in my other area of interest -- political non-profits. I did that for a couple years until I got pregnant with DD.

While pregnant, I began my blog and started writing again. I realised that being a writer, particularly a journalist, is my passion and that I just cannot give up on that dream. So here I am, pregnant with my second and trying desperately to get a freelance career off the ground with no real portfolio to speak of. I spent six months as an unpaid staff writer for a big local website and have had a couple features on another semi-major website (also unpaid) but now is the time to start bringing in the money! Our mortgage repayments are set to go up by half at the end of next year and I *have* to be earning enough money to at least cover that and my DD's nursery school fees. It'd be nice if we didn't have to worry about how to put dinner on the table in the week before payday every month too, yk?

So in short, I write because I love it and it's all I can imagine myself doing. If I had to go back to an office job I think my heart would shrivel up and die. I am a happier, more complete person when I write and I want to set an example to my children about following one's dream, even if it's harder or less lucrative than other routes one could take.

Mother. Doula. Writer. Feminist. Activist. 
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#6 of 10 Old 06-26-2008, 09:17 AM
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I hated writing at school and felt that I was really bad at it, mostly because I am not very good at spelling. However, while I was doing my PhD, I discovered that I really liked the writing part. I stopped work after my second child was born. I started writing for a local magazine (unpaid) and then moved into writing for Internet. It is something that I can fit in around my children and still earn some money.

I am now starting to think that I would like to move back towards scientific writing. We are due to move in the next few weeks, so I should have plenty of time to think about it.

Mama to DS1 and DS2
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#7 of 10 Old 06-26-2008, 07:14 PM
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This is a great thread. I'm enjoying reading everyone's personal stories and the strength you all show.

I started writing back in high school and was really encouraged by a English teacher. He made us journal and that was one of the best assignments, because, as a pp said, it became cathartic for me. There was a lot of junky stuff happening at home, and it was difficult going through that, so my poetry and prose helped me to deal with my emotions.

In college, I continued to write on a personal level and submitted my work to college lit mags and got many of my pieces published. I didn't go into a writing field, but did graduate with an art education degree which allowed me to teach (which I love) --but not art --grammar & writing!! Long story.

Through adopting all our kids and fostering, there hasn't been a lot of time, and it's only been recently that I've been trying to find some of my written pieces and restart writing again. I submitted an adoption story to Mothering mag(!!), but it was rejected. When you are emotionally-tied to a piece, that can hurt. But, I've dusted off and have it submitted to another place and am waiting/hoping to hear back soon.

i write for personal reasons, but some pieces I do send in with hopes of getting them printed.
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#8 of 10 Old 06-26-2008, 08:53 PM
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Hmmmmm....i am still trying out the whole " I am a writer " thing but here it goes.

I am married to a published fantasy novelist....and I have seen him struggle...and I know tons of other writers and I see them struggle too...Inner critic...dont want to write...must write kind of artiste angst i was always very happy I was not a writer. But I do like to write...and I think I dont suck at it. It seems like most things I write get published without me really trying to get them published...several poems, a short story or two, lots articles, but I never got paid (much) for them.

Well, untill recently I did not really think of writing as a profession or money making venture. I started writing articles and a newspaper columns mostly to promote other businesses I own(ed). I always thought it would be great to write freelance ( I feel I have a lot of information to share ) but somehow I never really pursued it...until early this year when I submitted several proposals to a national magazine and I heard recently that one was accepted. And now I am thinking way more seriously about this freelance writing thing...and feeling very good about it.

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#9 of 10 Old 06-27-2008, 04:10 AM
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I first learned that I had a knack for writing when I lived in the high arctic. I sent out email updates every two weeks to friends and family and was told over and over how my emails were very entertaining and how people actually looked forward to getting them! They told me that I should write for magazines.
Fast forward two years and suddenly I am a single mom needing to start earning income again. A friend introduced me to blogging - I told her blogs were for dorks. She then told me I could make money off of blogging - I had my first post written within a day.
Currently, I am in the process of finding a day job. Once that is in order I will be actively pursuing my freelance writing career! I have my goals set along with a number of articles on the go and a list of magazines to send my work to. Can't wait!
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#10 of 10 Old 07-02-2008, 01:03 AM
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I love this thread, too.

I always write, as a kid I really identified with Harriet the Spy. I cried when they took away her notebooks, it gave me nightmares for years. I often say that I don't know what I think or how I feel about anything until I write it down.

Currently, I write for income. My husband and I closed our business in December, when my baby was 8 days old. We had about 2 months of income set aside and he's working on a long term project which means my income is our livelihood right now.

I love that I'm making a career of something I never had enough time to focus on before. I wish I could write at a more leisurely pace. I'm trying to discipline myself and earn all of my income each day before noon so that if I log on later in the day it's for pleasure or long-term writing income (researching the industry, reading, or studying guidelines for print publications until I get up the never one day to send something in)

Words are free.
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