As a career I write blogs and books (currently I’m working on a book called My Life is a Puzzle), as well as doing public talks at schools and in the community.
When I tell people that I do this as a full-time career, it gets taken various ways. Some query as to how work as ‘easy’ as that could be called full-time work. Then there are some people who acknowledge that constant writing and public speaking are very difficult, and they will tell me that I need to give myself a break. My answer there is always that if I didn’t enjoy literacy so much, I would indeed hate my job.
Blogging is very difficult to do. Typically I have to write three blogs a week (to various places) that have to be at least 600 words long. Coming up with topics is somewhat challenging, and having to thoroughly write 600+ words on that topic from documented facts makes it even more challenging. After writing the blog, I then have to edit the grammar and punctuation in order for it to sound right. If it is full of mistakes, is the wrong length, or doesn’t suit the target audience the blog can’t be published. Editing is extremely important because regardless of how many blogs a person has written there will always be initial errors. We also need to do the editing at a time when we’re wide awake and active. Many a time I have edited a piece late at night when I didn’t feel like I was tired. Yet the next day (after a good sleep) I always spot very clear errors that I completely missed the previous night.
Writing various blogs, articles, or sections of books each and every week isn’t always easy for me or anyone else to do. Doing the research and editing is boring and time consuming. However, in the same way my sister draws and sketches to calm down, I use writing to zone out. That’s why writers are generally able to grin and bear it when it comes to having to constantly write up material.
Public speaking is also something that is very difficult to do. Watching a presentation is so much easier than being the person up on stage. While doing a talk at a conference and/or in front of a group of people, we’re 200% aware of every eye fixed on us, and while we’re listening to ourself speaking we often sound like a broken record. This is even worse when we’re talking for as long as an hour or more. Yet when a person is strongly focused on the reason for doing talks as a career, it again makes them grin and bear with the challenges.
A speaker and writer’s work doesn’t just involve those activities alone either. In fact 90% of the hard work comes from promoting what we do, so that we’re able to talk at venues and/or sell our books. Promoting our work requires us to be on social media constantly and it’s very difficult for us to get interaction with our posts, as so many other people are doing exactly the same thing as we are.
Being a public speaker and writer does require a lot of emailing as well. Most of us can’t afford a manager to do this for us. So we have to do all of the business work ourselves (which as just mentioned is the most challenging part). All of the work combined allows us very little time each day to do anything else but write, email, take calls and practice speeches.
Yet every career is hard in its own way and work can never be avoided. However being passionate about the job itself (desiring rewards and money isn’t quite as strong) enables us to accept the challenges.