Writing Bites

MoFo throwing in the towel???

Advice to aspiring scribes and ink stained wretches

MoFo's writing career began nearly 20 years ago.  MoFo was actually a technical student at the time.  It was the dawn of the desktop PC era.  In technical work the job of figuring out how to use the new-fangled gizmo's usually fell to the students of that time.  Employers and coworkers wrongly assumed students were getting trained on the devices.  In the early days PCs were applied mostly to spreadsheets and word processing.  MoFo was never really keen on writing since high school, but, it was suddenly MoFo's job. It started simple enough, writing technical reports and manuals.  Techies are notoriously poor writers, even MoFo.  Didn't matter because no one in the office was any better, often worse, especially with the new-fangled PCs to contend with.

So to pay the bills MoFo began to hump it through the work of a writer about half the time at work.  Mostly crappy tech writing, but, occasionally a little PR for the office.  The writing improved a little from all the practice.  Luckily at the time though and unknown to MoFo tech writers who are also doing tech work are paid at the tech work scale and not the scale of writers.  Unpleasant as half the work was things went OK for a few years.  Then some health and personal problems caused MoFo to stop working the tech world.  Problems kept MoFo's options limited.  So with all kinds of odd jobs here and there filling in the holes somewhat, MoFo got the crazy idea to branch out into other kinds of writing.  Though unpleasant at is, writing seemed one of the few ways out of the hole.  MoFo would have preferred bricklaying if that had been an option.

MoFo tried many styles and niches in writing.  Humor, fiction, essays, short stories, opinions, scripts, etc., whatever might offer a chance to making a better living.  Turns out pure writing is actually fairly poor paying for the work, if you can even find someone to pay you for it.  The biggest hurdle is material.  What the heck to write about to build examples or a portfolio for potential employers?  MoFo borrowed material from any and all sources.  MoFo got bad advice that went something like "You have to be noticed or make a name for yourself to be a successful writer!"  MoFo likes attention even less than writing, but, still looking for a decent paycheque strayed way out of the comfort zone of just writing manuals.  Trying to make a living can make a person do many distasteful and unpleasant things!  Am I right?

It dang near worked.  MoFo nearly sold a short story to a magazine, had some volunteer letters and essays published and once got offered a tiny columnist job.  The style and content that seemed to get noticed was the worst.  We live in an angry world where people seem to prefer reading stuff that gets them worked up or reflects their own dissatisfaction.  MoFo knows going farther down that road was likely one of the more promising avenues, but, MoFo didn't like the negativity and brooding of that style.  MoFo sorely wishes the humor and fiction had showed more promise.  But at some point even the best efforts have to be given up on as dead horse.  After nearly a decade of trying MoFo has arrived back at the same conclusion as in high school, writing bites! 

With some more changes in life on the horizon its time to try making a paycheque at something else.  Writing was a life experience for sure with some good things and bad things.  Mostly bad for all the work involved (ain't that life!).  Even the purely tech writing was always hard and unpleasant.  MoFo was also always uncomfortable with any of the attention the writing brought, good or bad.  MoFo don't want to be famous or a big deal.  MoFo always just wanted to make a living as an ordinary shmoe.  The readers or audience also likely thought it was all about the content when really it was more about making a living.  MoFo may have done some small good (or bad) with the writing content about social issues.  However, again, MoFo largely used what had often been said before by others.  Some noticed and puzzled over the way the content varied wildly and widely due to the casting about.  No single reader ever saw all the content because MoFo tried many different venues over the years via the web.  It would surprise many just how widely the content varied.  Oh yeah, I forgot, at the very start of the effort a decade ago when using free public internet access, MoFo got damn close to landing a gig writing about sport fishing in North America for a publisher in Japan.  Weird eh?  If MoFo could write in Japanese it would have been a go.  It now seems very strange and bizarre that trying to make a living led MoFo so far from the tech writing.

Some the health and personal problems that restricted MoFo's choices seem to be fading or show signs of change.  So likely soon MoFo will have some more life changes and close down the Hot Dog Stand as part of winding up the wretched writing career.  Perhaps if MoFo lives long enough a couple fiction novels still in the works may be returned to.  For now though,  MoFo is just depressed with and dog tired of the writing!  There's gotta be better and easier ways to try to make a buck!  Hopefully, at least MoFo can now write half decent cover letters.  That's about all the good that came out of it!

Be warned all who want to try making a living as a writer!


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