#writerswednesday: Pro vs. Passion

Beitrag auf Deutsch

#writerswednesday:Pro vs. Passion

Hey my dears,

it’s #writerswednesday again. Yes, I know I’m too late, but sorry, “real life” as the grown-ups call it, kept me busy.
But don’t worry, I’m planning on something as a compensation to make up for the delay.

So, what’s today’s topic?
We’re going to have a little chit chat about writing as a profession and writing as a passion.
Which, by the way, does not necessarily exclude one another.
But step by step.

So, let’s say you’re a writer. A passionate one. Maybe you’re a good one. Maybe even a great one.
Let us be honest, tendencies are quite high that you’re not writing for a living.
(If you are, please get in contact with me or comment on this post, I’d love to hear your opinion on all that’s gonna follow now.)

So, maybe you have tried to get your works into publishing houses or maybe you didn’t.
Well, which other options are there to work as a writer?
You could be an editor, so correcting other people’s texts, books, websites, dissertations and other academic texts.
Or you could work as a copy writer in an advertising agency or a marketing agency.
If you have profound journalistic knowledge, maybe you’re even working for a newspaper or magazine. As a writer. Or editor.
Or as something completely different, as it is quite often the case.
But let’s assume your work has something to do with writing, be it building headlines and capturing texts in order to market a product or be it reading and correcting books or other written works.

It was in Austin Kleon’s books Steal like an Artist* and Show your Work* that I was confronted with the idea that instead of aiming for a writing career there is a moment of bliss when your writing hasn’t been commercialised yet, because you can follow your passion and be as free as you want to. No expectations, no briefings, no deadlines, no customer that wants some particular text from you.
In that moment, years ago, when I read it, I was a bit taken aback by this utterance, but the more I thought about it, the more it dawned on me what he meant.
A similar thing is what I experienced in my academic work, because as long as I could choose a topic and hold a presentation on it in a manner which was rather free, besides the design of the slides that was mandatory, I felt like doing exactly what I wanted to do. But once I was asked to write a term paper with all its framework and structure and requirements, I felt so under pressure and was so concentrated on making my academic work fit into the framework, that I actually didn’t pay as much attention to delivering the content in an understandable and logical manner. (I know there is a problem with this example, as presentation and written term paper are two different mediums, but let it just sit here for the sake of the argument, okay? thanks.)

Anyway, as long as your art is not commercialised (yet) you can do what ever you like as you’re not obliged to please a client.
Of course, you should keep your audience in mind and create content that they hopefully gonna love, but that’s not the same as someone yelling at you “THAT is what I paid you for?!”.
You get the idea, I guess.

So, does this now mean that as a professional you’re not passionate?
And vice versa: A passionate creative is not professional?

Well, I’d object both ideas.
But, I’d say the way in which you burn for your own projects differs from the passion you put into your professional work.
My professional services range from text creation to translations, editing and professional storytelling to writing texts for special occasions and I wouldn’t say that there is no passion whatsoever behind it. I love this kind of work!
But I have to admit, the process of creation oftentimes differs from a spontaneous poetic idea that you can’t write down quick enough before it slips through your fingers.

On the other hand, when concerned with my own creative projects, I do not lack a professional approach when it comes to organising a photo shooting, planning in advance or when preparing photo and text combinations.
For instance my Instagram account displays mostly my passionate creative projects and not my booked professional work. But I do plan and organise which post goes together with which picture, when to post it, etc., so I’d claim there is a professional approach towards it.
Admittedly, if I do not stick to the planned postings because I don’t feel like it and prefer another idea, of course, in this field I’m free and flexible to do as I please, which is not the case with a booked service.

Nevertheless, I wouldn’t claim that profession and passion exclude each other.
But the emphasis might differ.

The question is:
Will you really lose your passion once your art becomes your profession?

I for my part, cannot give any hands-on advice on that, as my professional work and my passionate creativity revolve both around language and writing, but differ concerning the content and purpose.
But I know from a friend, who used to draw passionately, that once she had to draw for clients, she felt like losing the passion for what used to lighten up her days and meant fun and relaxation for her.
I’d claim there are often phases, whether it’s writer’s block or just being fed up with something you used to pursue passionately in your free time, but once it gets to the level that you can’t find any joy in it anymore and feel the urge to quit it all together, maybe reconsidering your choices and then adjust them, might help you not lose your passion.
For me personally, I think it is a bliss that everything I do is more or less connected by the red thread of language and text, but that professional and passionate work (because actually, it’s both work, though one might be paid and the other not or not in the same manner) differ content-wise.
If that is possible for you, maybe that’s an option for you, too.
I know others who would get distracted by having so many different projects running and who prefer to concentrate on one approach or method or type of work completely. (Which I can understand completely btw!)
And it’s not that I chose all my work to differ to this extent, but it just took its way in that direction for now and I see the positive in it.

Fortunately, I never got to a point where I considered giving up writing all together.
Giving up Instagram? Yes.
Deleting Facebook? Yes.
Stop blogging? Yes.
But writing itself and for itself? Never.

Whether that was now supported by the fact that my professional and passionate work differ or whether it’s just written into my bones and onto my heart, I can’t define.

What’s your opinion and/or experience with that?
Did you make your passion your profession and regret it afterwards?
Do you purposely not make your passion your profession?

Please share your thoughts, I’m eager to know.

So long, my dears

xxx
Gina.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Blog-Einweihungsparty

norbert josefsson

Willkommen!

Schnappt euch was zu trinken, macht es euch gemütlich oder kommt zu mir auf die Tanzfläche und lasst uns feiern.
Das Sofa ist schon da, Dekoration ist noch nicht komplett fertig, Tisch und Stühle sind bestellt, aber noch nicht eingetroffen, also nehmt euch ein Kissen und macht es euch bequem in meinem neuen virtuellen Zuhause, meinem Ort der Kreativität.

So wie bei einer Einweihungsparty noch nicht alles 100% fertig und perfekt ist, so schmeiss ich heute diese Blog-Einweihungsparty, bei der der Rahmen steht, das neue Layout an die Wand gemalt ist, aber manche Details im Laufe der nächsten Wochen noch hinzu kommen oder wieder verworfen werden können.
Nichtsdestotrotz hoffe ich, dass es euch gefällt und ihr mich hier oft besuchen kommt.

Nach zwei Jahren des Nicht-Bloggens, mehreren Monaten der Planung von Layout, Struktur und Inhalten und dem Erstellen einer kompletten Strategie und eines Themenplans, schlafloser Nacht nach schlafloser Nacht, um hier voranzukommen, sind meine Finger noch voller Farbe, meine Haare sind eine Katastrophe und ich schwitze immer noch wie ein Tier.

Dennoch seht ihr mich heute mit einem Lächeln im Gesicht, denn es fühlt sich so unglaublich gut an, zurück zu sein.

Kommt mit auf einen kleinen “Rundgang” durch die Zimmer. – Jeder sollte wissen, wo das Klo ist und wo der Kühlschrank mit frischem Bier steht, oder? –
Also, oben findet ihr die verschiedenen Themen in den Reitern.
Das Portfolio gibt euch einen Einblick in mein Foto- und Videorepertoire.
Der About-Teil gibt euch Informationen über mich, diesen Blog und meine Arbeit.
Der Bereich Dienstleistungen gibt euch einen Überblick über die Dienstleistungen, die ich hier auf dieser Website anbiete, wie Modelling und Schreiben, mit den speziellen Angeboten zu Poesie & Prosa für besondere Anlässe und professionelles Storytelling.
Kontakt & Buchung ist selbsterklärend, denke ich.
Die Creative Chaos Wolke zeigt euch alle Kategorien, zu denen ihr hier Blogeinträge finden könnt, sodass ihr schnell zu den Themen gelangen könnt, die euch interessieren.

So, das war der schnelle Rundgang, ich hoffe, ihr findet euch zurecht.
Falls ihr noch Fragen habt, fragt mich, ich versuche ein guter Gastgeber zu sein.

Was ist für die nächsten Wochen geplant und wieso solltet ihr zurückkommen?
Ich habe hart und intensiv an einem Konzept gearbeitet und an Inhalten, die euch einen Mehrwert bieten und für euch von Interesse sein könnten.
Und das ist, was daraus geworden ist:
Ich blogge vier Mal im Monat, also einmal die Woche zu den verschiedenen Themenbereichen, in denen ich arbeite. Also ein Blogeintrag pro Woche ist das dann.
Was ihr also bekommen werdet, ist folgendes:
#modelmonday: Infos für Fotografen und Models, witzige Anekdoten, die ich in 10 Jahren vor der Kamera erlebt habe und sonstige Inhalte, die mit diesem Themenfeld verbunden sind.
#writerswednesday: Infos und Inhalte für Schreiber und Leser, Inspirationen, Impulse und Gedankenanstöße rund um das Thema Schreiben und Lesen.
#socialsaturday: Diverse Inhalte, die mit dem zwischenmenschlichen Miteinander, sozialen Phänomenen, Perspektiven, Fragen und Impulsen zu sozialen Themen verknüpft sind.
#sundaystory: Ja, die sundaystory ist zurück und wir werden wieder spielen. Falls ihr nicht wisst, was die sundaystory ist, klickt bitte hier. Ich werde die nächste Runde früh genug bekannt geben, aber das wird voraussichtlich nicht vor August sein, da ich zwei Lesern immer noch ihre sundaystories schulde.

Nach dieser Einweihungsfeier, auf der ihr euch in Ruhe umsehen könnt, und die neue Dekoration und die Möbel begutachten könnt, wird es ein Special auf dem Balkon, auch bekannt als Instagram, geben. Also geht auf jeden Fall meine Balkonpflanzen bewundern!
Außerdem werde ich euch in den Stories auf Instagram auch immer mal wieder mit hinter die Kulissen von kreativen Produktionen nehmen.
Das Special ist eine Fotoserie mit dazugehörigem Text, die ich vor einem Jahr mit Norbert Josefsson produziert habe und die für mich so besonders war, dass ich sie mir für einen besonderen Moment aufheben wollte.
Und ich denke, dieser Moment ist nun gekommen.
Also jeden Tag, angefangen am Freitag, den 15. Juni, wird es auf Instagram und Facebook ein Bild mit Text geben, was am Ende eine Serie mit sechs Bildern ergibt. Am Donnerstag, den 21. Juni wird es die komplette Serie hier auf dem Blog und auch auf Instagram zu sehen geben.

Nach dem Special starten wir mit der ersten sundaystory am 24. Juni, da es mittlerweile schon zwei Jahre sind, dass ich diese schuldig bin.
Ich hoffe, ihr lieben Leser seid noch da und werdet sie lesen.

Puh, so nach dem organisatorischen Part kommen wir nun zu der obligatorischen Rede, die ich in so einem Moment halten sollte, bevor jeder wie verrückt die Korken knallen lässt. – oder zumindest ist das das, was ich tun werde –.
Ähem, pling pling, sehr geehrte Damen und Herren, dürfte ich für einen Augenblick eure Aufmerksamkeit haben, bitte: (holt euch lieber noch n Kurzen und n Bier, das hier kann länger dauern – oder überspringt einfach den kursiv geschriebenen Teil – der Vorteil virtuell und nicht in Realität hier zu sein)

Danke, dass ihr heute Abend hier seid, dass ihr diesen besonderen Moment mit mir teilt, dass ihr euch Zeit aus eurem vollen Tag genommen habt, um mit mir zu feiern.
Ich möchte mich gern bei den ganzen Followern hier auf WordPress bedanken, die hier geblieben sind, obwohl ich zwei Jahre nicht gebloggt habe, was in der heutigen Zeit eine wahre Ewigkeit ist.
Auch möchte ich mich bei den Instagram-Followern bedanken, die geblieben sind und nicht entfolgt sind, obwohl ich zeitweise sechs Monate nichts gepostet habe, was quasi einem Social Media Selbstmord gleichkommt.
Ich möchte mich bei der ganzen virtuellen Community für die Unterstützung und die Geduld bedanken.

Vor allem aber möchte ich den Leuten, allen voran meinen engsten Freunden, danken, die mir virtuell und im realen Leben ihre positive Energie und Worte gesendet haben, die mich ermutigt haben dranzubleiben, die immer wieder unnachgiebig nach meiner Arbeit, meiner Kunst, meinem Blog, meiner Poesie gefragt haben, die ihre Zeit und Energie investiert haben, um mir Tipps und Tricks zu nennen, Ratschläge und Wissen über Social Media mit mir zu teilen, die mir Input und Impulse für neue Inhalte gegeben haben, die geduldig mit mir waren, wenn ich nach Ratschlägen und Rückmeldungen gefragt habe und die liebe- und verständnisvoll waren, wenn ich “Nein” zu Events sagen und stattdessen arbeiten musste, die ihre kraftvolle positive Energie mit mir geteilt haben und die mich wissentlich oder unwissentlich inspiriert und motiviert haben.

Ohne euch alle, eure Geduld und Unterstützung, würden wir heute wahrscheinlich nicht feiern.
Es war keine leichte Zeit und Aufgabe, aber nun sind wir hier und ich erhebe mein Glas auf euch.
Ich bin unendlich dankbar.

martin zethoff

Nun genug des Geredes und genießt eure Zeit hier, ich hoffe, ihr bleibt noch ein Weilchen und kommt oft wieder.
Falls ihr noch Fragen habt, meldet euch.

xxx
Gina.

Why Editors matter

Dieser Beitrag ist auch auf Deutsch verfügbar

IMG_2535

And with editor I mean reader, like the person who does the proofreading before something goes out into public.
Why is this work an important work?

Well, first things first.
We are social beings and our interaction with one another relies on communication, be it verbal or non-verbal. “We can not not communicate” as Paul Watzlawick said.
And of course we know that there are different purposes or intentions why we communicate, or at least this is what you’re taught when you study language and literature.
I don’t necessarily want to go into the details of Friedemann Schulz von Thun’s model of “the four sides of a message”, where he says a message has an informative content, an appeal/plea, self-revelation and says something about the relationship between the speaker and their interlocutor. If you’re interested in further details, you can check them here.
But for the sake of the argument let’s stick with this:
A message can be informative, appellative, persuasive or convincing.
So, when talking about business communication, say you want to sell a product or a service, but also in private communication, say you want to convince someone of your argument, I think we can agree that all these channels of communication have one thing in common: a purpose.
But what is this purpose?
When your message is informative, it’s the simple purpose that you want to pass this information, you want to feed us this information.
When your message is appellative, you want us to react upon that appeal, right?
When your message is persuasive or convincing, you want us to agree with you.
What all of these have in common now is not only that they have a purpose, but that they actually have the same purpose: You want to generate a RESPONSE in us.
But what happens if your communication fails?
Well, in the best case: nothing.
In the worst case you generate a response in us that is not the one you wanted, so you feed us information that we either don’t need or can’t handle or that we’re either incapable or unwilling to swallow.
Or your appeal was set out to generate a verbal (“say something!”) or a non-verbal (“do something!”) reaction in us. If your communication fails, we neither say something nor do we do something, in the best case. In the worst case we say what you don’t want to hear and we do exactly the opposite of what you were aiming at.
Or your persuasive or convincing communication fails and we disagree with you.
So, basically in all cases you’re getting a “no” where you actually wanted to get a “yes”, to keep it simple.

Well, nice talk Miss Laventura, but what does this have to do with editors?!
Editors – in the best case – are language lovers. Or at least they know their tools and how to use them. Their tools? Words.

Now, next lesson:
You might tend to think that the way we think determines the way we speak, so that our way of thinking influences our language, right?
Correct. But this works vice versa, and that is a point that many people unfortunately miss.
Let me give you some examples: The Inuit apparently have round about two hundred – 200 !!! – different words for “snow”. How many do you have? But why? Probably because their surrounding is essential for their survival and it is crucial for them to know what kind of snow there is in order to survive.
The Hopi Indians don’t use tenses as we’re used to using them. In the example given in our classes they tried to convert it into English, which ends up being a picture of a man who stands at a wall and in all cases says “He ran”. So, same position, same posture, always “he ran”. What is your natural reaction to that? Exactly, most probably “WTF? Did he run, does he run or will he run?!”, because these are the categories we distinguish time frames and time lines by, right? It just doesn’t get into our system of thinking. Because our language also had an influence and partly determined this system of thinking.
Of course there are easier and more popular examples like the fact that the English language doesn’t know a word for “Fernweh” – the longing for a far away place – or that simply spoken often there are some words that do exist in one language but bear no equivalent in another.

Back to the editors. As said before, they are language lovers or at least know how to use their tools.
And I don’t necessarily mean the manipulative and persuasive use of language that you often find in advertising, that is a topic of its own, although I’d say it plays similar keys on the piano.
But it’s about using stylistic devices (yes, the nasty ones you learned at school, alliteration, personification, etc.). For what? Yeah, now you got it, my friends: for the purpose! In order to get the message across, to generate a response (and when it comes to business or advertising, of course aiming at generating not only a response, but a specific one).
Language can resonate with us, it can move us, hurt us, maybe even heal us.

What I mean is this:
“The categorisation that takes place in emotional amorous relationships serves as a destructive force to the true meaning of the emotion itself.”

or

“Love becomes a lost lullaby when we label it like lipstick.”
Which one sticks better with you?

Why are we to blind to see
that a little poetry
moves so easy
from mouth to ear
so we listen, so we hear
with a smile or with a tear
what somebody has to tell?
That’s poetry’s magic spell.

(yes, just created that within a minute, wasn’t planned for this post, but hey, that’s life, response and stuff)

Okay, well Miss, now you have shown that an editor should know their tools, fine, but the title claims to give an answer to the question why editors matter.
You’re right, sorry, I’m drifting off sometimes, lovely topic of language, broad topic, amazing, love it.
Okay, I owe you an answer.
Look at the picture that accompanies this post. It’s German, I know.
The first one says “You will stay in our heart fo ever” and the second says something like “always loved and never forgtetn.”
Yes, exactly that was my reaction as well!
These hearts were sold before All Hallow’s Day, supposed to be stuck into graves.
Would you buy them? Would you put them onto a grave of one of your beloved ones?
Yeah, thought so.
But why is this a fail?
It’s not just the fact that there are spelling mistakes in it, but it bears a deeper level.
Let’s analyse it: You wanted to sell this product. You wanted us to buy this product. You offered a product and you wanted to generate a positive response, a “yes” in us, manifested in a non-verbal reaction by buying this product.
So, these products actually ending up in store and offered for purchase show different things:
First, apparently the person putting the letters on it didn’t check it. Apparently there was no editor who double-checked. Apparently there was no final check before you put the products into boxes and delivered them to the store.
But you know what the response is? No.
And do you know why the response is “no”?
Because the lack of proofreading, the lack of double-checking carries a message of its own.
And this message is that you don’t care.
That you don’t care about us, that you don’t care about our response because apparently you believe that we’re still going to buy it.
And you know what accompanies this “no”? Repulsion. Because deep down inside and subconsciously it shows a trace of disrespect and arrogance and maybe even a little insult to your potential customers.
This is just one example. Feel free to apply it to other fields.
If your website is full of spelling mistakes or you switch tenses or use wrong words, it always transports the impression that you don’t care about your readers/customers.
Moreover, you might give false information. And I think we can agree that there is a difference between “I’ve worked hard” and “I’ve hardly worked”, right?
And with that you work against yourself as by using wrong words or being careless about proofreading, you generate a response in us that is counter productive to your actual purpose and intention.
In the worst case, we will remember you as someone who doesn’t care and stop buying your products, stop reading your newspaper, not buy your book, not book the services offered on your website.
Nowadays the half-life period of a message is so short that it renders many people careless, because “nah, who cares, tomorrow this piece of information will be old and forgotten”, “nah, it’s alright, they’re gonna understand” is the mentality that we tend to live by.
It’s just language, right? And it’s just on a language level that you don’t care for us customers, right?
In person you care for us like a true nanny, it’s just the language level that lacks your attention, right?
It’s just language, eh?
Is it really?
Think about what we discussed beforehand, how language also reflects on our system of thinking. Therefore, it has an impact on our behaviour, doesn’t it?
Even if the argument “a careless behaviour concerning language shows careless behaviour in general” might be a bit too far fetched, it somehow does indicate it to a certain extent, doesn’t it? Deep down and subconsciously?
Don’t get me wrong, please, don’t take it as an offence.
I’m not saying that you don’t care about your readers or customers.
I’m just saying that this might be the subliminal message you’re transporting, the impression your readers/customers get.
And okay, not every reader or customer pays detailed attention to it, to some it doesn’t matter, but there might be potential readers/customers who will always stay exactly that: potential.
Because their reaction might be “if they care as much about me as they do about their grammar, I’m not gonna go there”.

And THAT, my friends, is why editors matter.
Because they can help prevent those scenarios depicted above from happening, because they know you, your message and your interlocutor and they find the right approach to the right channel to get it across, they can help you when all the other work concerning your project has rendered you stuck in a rut and you just want to get it done.
Because they are language lovers or at least they know their tools and how to use them.
Their tools? Words.

PS: Yes, I am cross with myself each and every single time I find spelling mistakes in one of my blog posts, although I don’t earn any money with my blog.
PPS: Yes, “love becomes a lost lullaby when we label it like lipstick” was taken from my book Labelled Love, although normally I find it strange when people quote their own works.
PPPS: Yes, well guessed, I am an editor 😉