Writing for Fun, and a Little Pocket Money

Peter B. Giblett By Peter B. Giblett, 5th Apr 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Columns & Opinions

Having looked at the world of the on-line writer recently it also occurs to this writer that there are those that make a contribution just for the fun of it. This is as good a reason to make a contribution as any. The importance is that through the Internet we have an opportunity to make a contribution, to be heard. That is exciting in itself.

Writing for the Fun of it

Having penned two earlier articles about writing (Online Writing & The Role of the Writer) and (On-Line Writers: Journalists or Columnists?), these articles considered this angle from the budding professional writer, or certainly the person with something serious to say. The truth is that not everyone wishes to be serious, some want simply to have a little fun, thus it occurs to me that there is another category of writer not previously considered - the person who is writing just for the fun of it and wishes to make a little money from it on the side.

They may never have anything serious to say. These may simply be reflections of sadness for the victims of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, or they may just be an opinion on how badly cousin Joe acted at their cousin Betty's birthday party. All may be relevant, or irrelevant, but each may attract readers. There are thousands of writers who have been keeping a journal of thoughts for many a years, by publishing on-line they are simply adding their thoughts and opinions to that growing world of opinion. If they make money then that is great but that is not why they are here. Writing for fun is as valid a reason to write as any.

In writing for fun it does not mean that you cannot write a sad tale. The truth is that our emotional states change all of the time and that it is as important to tell the sad story as to tell the joyous one.

Writing Skills

For any type of writer one thing remains true, the better they write the more likely they are to be read and to build a fan base. Writing in teenage slang may attract some readers, but it will certainly put others off. Yet if we write for fun do we care about writing skills? Even the fun writer deep down inside probably wishes to be discovered as the next JK Rowling. Perhaps they wish the editor from Bloomsbury Publishing to come look at their work and see something in it, well that will not happen unless it is well written.

One thing to consider if you write on-line then that may be discovered by potential future employers so it is like presenting our best public image. If we want to write on-line then we should develop good writing skills. That said it is often best to get started writing something and improve over time; indeed you will drive yourself to improve, yet you will also continue to make mistakes - this is an inevitable part of learning and re-learning and improving. We all come back to earlier things that we have written and critique ourselves - perhaps if writing that article today we would write it differently, well there is nothing stopping us from doing precisely that, write it again from a fresh perspective. One thing is certain our perspectives on the things we have experienced do change over time.

Selecting your Topic

Often selecting to topic to discuss is easy, it is what is most pressing on your mind, but at other times you are aware that these are the worst subjects to talk about as all associated events have not played themselves out. Generally there are two ways to select your topic:

* From personal experiences, or
* From reference material

When writing from personal experience it will be heartfelt and based on personal involvement. You will bring with you an interest about the topic and normally the desire to express yourself is driven by a personal enthusiasm. This is often what will drive people to like what you have to say. Topic ideas can come from interests - hobbies, travel, entertainment; career - advice, ethics, improvement tips; family - ancestral stories, your children and their antics, marriage tales; education - achievements, memories, subjects of interests, personal research. The thing about writing from your own personal experience is precisely that - it is a personal viewpoint. Other may have different views but there is nothing wrong of giving your own opinions.

When looking at reference material (like newspapers, magazines, web sites, etc.) this triggers emotions and often the desire to correct errors. Was the person writing the newspaper article wrong? Probably not, they simply see something from a different perspective than you do. Is their viewpoint any more relevant than yours? Almost certainly not. If this inspires you to write, then do it - make it focused and make it how you see it.

Distinguish Yourself

When writing for fun it is much easier to distinguish yourself than if writing an advice column on business leadership for example. The column on business leadership would always need to consider existing theories especially if you intend to argue an alternative viewpoint. Writing for fun has no such limits, who cares what has been written before on the subject at hand, it is you opportunity to tell us your feelings on the matter.

This is all that should matter to the writer, yet readers do see something different. They may not get through the the quintessential you, but they may enjoy what you write and start to follow you. Building a following is not a bad thing, it is about building a fan list - a set of people who find what you have to say interesting. It can feel great to influence others and to get appreciated in turn.

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author avatar WordWulf
5th Apr 2011 (#)

Good assessment of what drives a writer and the difference between those who write intentionally and those who write by instinct.

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author avatar Carolyn Cordon
10th Apr 2011 (#)

This is a nice article looking at the important question of why we write. Writing for fun is how some people start, then they realise they can make money too, and stay committed to doing it. Personally, I write to connect with people, as well as having fun. Earning money is always nice too!

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author avatar Denise O
18th Apr 2011 (#)

Well I am not doing it for the money aparently, darn it! LOL
Yes, to be honest I guess deep down, I wish someone would discover me and say, hey she is not all that bad and give me a chance. I do have to say though, I started this as a way to get a schooling in wirting and I am learning. I also have to admit, I hate networking on sites like facebook and twitter but, it is a must. Nice read, Thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar Nancy Czerwinski
1st Dec 2015 (#)

Peter, I loved this article. It made me think about why I write and the answer is so simple. I love to write fantasy because it makes people smile. There has been occasions where they laugh right out loud by the time they are done reading one of my stories. I love it!

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
2nd Dec 2015 (#)

Nancy I always love to read your well crafted and interesting stories. Thank you for your thoughts.

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author avatar Nancy Czerwinski
2nd Dec 2015 (#)

Thanks Peter for such kind words.

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