Why do you write? Why does anyone write? Just for the heck of it? Certainly not.
I write because it makes me happy. Actually, happy is too small a word to convey what I feel about writing. Putting pen to paper, or in this case the strokes of the keyboard, gives a new dimension to my life. It helps me evolve, grow, think out loud and connect with like-minded people from all over the world. No, it's not about social networking though that is definitely a part of the process. It's more about the extension of my being, of observing life, of scrutinizing aspects that may have otherwise gone unnoticed. Writing, to me, is not just a hobby. It is a way of life, something that would probably leave behind my footprint in some corner of the world wide web once I'm gone.
People often ask me why do I write and I try to explain them as much. But I'm not quite sure everyone gets that. For many, non-bloggers and non-writers especially, what I do is probably a colossal waste of time, just another activity nothing more. But that's where they are wrong.
Now, I might not be a Jane Austen or a J. K Rowling, but that doesn't mean my love for writing is any less or that my passion is open to ridicule. And that certainly doesn't mean that the free-lancing that I do in this field is to be taken lightly or, to put it more clearly, derided.
In my journey as a blogger and a free lance writer, I have often come across people who take the 'free' in 'free-lance' to stand for 'unpaid-writing'. That's where the problem lies, that's where the dis-respect for the craft lies. And it irks even more when a person who has never even spoken to you in the span that you've known each other suddenly approaches you to write for them pretending to be an acquaintance, rather a close friend. That's blatantly impolite.
When I take writing assignments, I put in my time and effort which need to be understood by the client. Yes, I do the hard work to promote, advertise and review works and businesses which are not mine. The footfalls on those posts are publicity for someone else's dream. So, why the assumption that I do that for free? For certain genuine social causes I understand but not when profit for the client is involved.
It's simple. If you want exposure for your business on my website, you need to pay. The free writing that I do is for myself and for the charities or causes I like to be involved with. In fact, why only me any blogger or free-lance writer would attest to that.
I think as a community our importance as social-influencers is huge but we lag far behind when it comes to the point of being given our due. That's where we need to stand up and say no. Why? Because the person asking us to write for free wouldn't have done so had the space on our website not been worth it. Think about it.
So, today I leave you with this thought 'I write because I want to, not because I have to. And certainly not because someone thinks I have to.'