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Being a Writer Is One of The Best Things That Has Happened to Me

Updated: Oct 15, 2019

by Rachel Yeoh. |

“So, what do you do for a living”

“I write. I am a writer.” (wide-eyed)

“Oh, so you write storybooks?”

No honey, I write stuff to pay the bills.

Remember when we used to have to write our ambitions in school?

Being a ‘penulis’ was never one of my options. It was something along the lines of ‘cardiologist’ or ‘nutritionist’ and maybe I did write ‘superstar’. Now that I work full time as a writer for blogs, publications, corporate companies and social media agencies, I can say that it is so much better than my ambition list in high school.

Here’s why I think so:

1. I can work anywhere and anytime

Like a genie in a lamp, I have the power to work anywhere but are bound to my clients - and that is fine. I love writing at my own scheduled time, outside of the usual working hours. You see, there is this thing called the writer’s block and honestly, being confined to working hours does not help with the unblocking, in fact, it enhances it as you’ll just see me wasting time staring into space or shopping online on Zalora.

Image source: Same Day Papers

But voila, remote working means that I can work when I am most productive - and that is usually at 6.50 AM, in my PJs and munching on granola. By noon, my brain does the Gandalf thing where any other information I try to squeeze in, it goes ‘You shall not pass!’ - this calls for lunch and siesta!

Also, new environments excite me. When I find myself feeling uninspired, I will (at non-peak hours) drive off to a new cafe in town and write and up to date, this method has not failed me

- just my wallet.

Another thing - there is no need to take leave if you can finish your work ahead of time. Bangkok next week? Count me in!

2. There's always continuously learning

If you want to be a writer, you need to be learning new things all the time - new trends, new ideas, discoveries, new methods, new ghetto sayings. Only then can you create content for your audience, or in most cases, your clients.

I love how information is brought to me, often tied in a compressed folder in my email. Yes, brown paper packages tied up with strings have certainly evolved after The Sound of Music.

Though most people would not find churning new information everyday fun, it has certainly put me in a position where I am able to engage in conversations without feeling like I know nothing about the discussed topic.

That being said, maybe it is just the inquisitive, ‘kaypo’ me - any information is juicy information.

3. Making full use of the Internet age

I often ask myself, is there a better time to be a writer? The literacy rate has spiked these past few decades and oh, the glorious Internet. If there is anything that will motivate you to write, it will be the number of people that will be able to access your work. It makes the time you put in worth it.

When people let me know their thoughts about what I have written, I am always ready to hear them out and engage with them. I love it when they are able to relate to my points or experiences or in exchange, give me some pointers I can improve on.

Would I be a writer if I was born 20 to 30 years earlier?

Don’t think so. Thanks, Internet.

4. Time for hobbies

Talk about a work-life balance - it is possible if you are disciplined. I like the fact that I can tell myself stop, switch my focus and come back to it later without having prying eyes wondering why I am not pumping in the work at an allocated time. If I am feeling restless, I can head out to the gym, when I am hungry, I can head to my kitchen to cook up a meal. Hiking, shopping and travelling can be done on a weekday, as long as I plan my time and work schedules accordingly.

Of course, there are times when deadlines can kill (when it is 3 AM and you can’t sleep because the due date has passed and I am still writing the introduction of my passage) but I can be in charge and choose to sleep in after I click send on my article.

You know the quote, ‘Do what you love and you will not need to work a day in your life’? I am telling you that it is a LIE!

As much as I like writing, the effort has to be put in to put out what readers would like to read. It is time-consuming and not always fun. Also, you may be tasked to write something you are only remotely interested in and sometimes, subject so boring you might drift to sleep in the middle of it all. Plus, cultivating the discipline to get work done is no joke!

But one thing is for sure, this is a job that I can continue to be consistent at. There are good and bad days but the good outweighs the bad. I am not wasting my time getting stuck during the rush hour jam nor am I being forced to only generate content at a specific time allocated by my higher-ups.

That, my friends - makes me feel like I am living my best life.

You may find out more about Rachel on her Instagram too.

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