Friday, June 06, 2008

Story and Writing: A Life

(pic taken from here)

Here's a realization I had this morning: I don't understand why some writers feel bored about certain types of freelancing jobs, i.e. writing jobs. One thing I've noticed as the days go by in my new job is that each writing project is the same but different at the same time. It's like writing a story. The freelance writers I know also write stories and they don't seem to get bored doing it.

In my new job, writing a review for a certain product needs a beginning, a middle and an end-- just like a story. I come up with a title and a first-liner and from there, I have enough to start the piece. Now, I usually have a hard time in shaping the idea (in a review, the product whereas in the story, the concept) into a real, "solid" written piece but once I get past that and into the writing per se, it's amazing how everything comes together.

Thinking about it further, any type of writing is also about writing the story. Copywriting, business writing, academic writing-- it's all stories but only how the story is told, the tone of the story that's different. (I, for one, could never get the hang of business writing-- the same way I had a hard time with writing an erotic story.) Just think of your company boss (a consultant who wants the business proposal done right) or your section editor (who wants you to write a six-page study on Blu-ray) as a fiction editor who wants your story done right.

Going back to my example of writing a review, the trick in looking at any writing task as story-writing is in making what you write about understandable to your reader. Imagine yourself as someone telling a story to your friends, whether a political speech or a tech review or what-not. What's the point in writing something that no one else can understand?

Which is why I feel like I can't get bored doing this writing gig, whether as a copywriter, a speech writer, or a storyteller, or...

...Now only if I could get rich doing this. *sigh*


M.R.M. said...

On good days, that's how I look at it, too. Your attitude, if you can maintain it, will help ensure the money flows. It's true what they say about persistence, no?

banzai cat said...

Yes, quite right. Still, there are days when it seems like a little shove would see us all end up in the poor house. *sigh*