Re: FWD: Losing my profession?

Subject: Re: FWD: Losing my profession?
From: "Keith Cronin" <kcronin -at- DALEEN -dot- COM>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 31 May 2001 06:11:54 -0700

It?s a tricky thing to take the thing you have a passion for, and make it
your job.

On one hand, it can be great ? you?re earning a living doing something you
probably have an aptitude for and already like doing. And in the case of
tech writing, you found the writer?s goldmine ? it?s the most money you
can make as a writer of anything other than bestsellers.


There is also an inherent danger to this tactic. When you care this much
about something, the pitfalls and disappointments you?ll inevitably face
are much more painful to endure. After too many of them, you can start to
?lose that loving feeling? for your calling. Sounds like you?ve fallen
victim to this.

My advice? Get out. Realign. (I think somebody else used this word in
their response ? excellent choice!) You can save the enthusiasm you have
for writing by taking control of when, why, and for whom you write.

I speak from direct personal experience. I was a fulltime professional
musician for over 20 years. After lots of ups and downs, the downs started
dominating, and I was finding it frustrating and impossible to earn the
living I wanted and felt I deserved. I felt music had betrayed me, despite
my years of toiling. (Had to go through that period of self-indulgent
whining, but I?m past it now.) I got out ? not out of music, but out of
relying on it as a way to earn a living. I am so much happier now, and
enjoy music more. And now I don?t have to take musical jobs I don?t like!
Perhaps you can find a similar place in your life to put writing, while
you find another line of work.


Be realistic, and realize that EVERY job has its frustrations. That?s why
we get PAID to do this stuff.

And I have to throw in a word about being *appreciated*

Are tech writers appreciated? No. Not at the molecular level at which so
many writers aspire to be appreciated. (If only they knew how hard I
worked on that FrameMaker template, etc.) But I have to ask: Does anybody
appreciate ANYBODY that way?

I sure don?t. Of the 200 people in my building, I cannot tell you how any
of them spend their workday, outside of the half-dozen within earshot of
my cube. I don?t know what software they have loaded on their machine (or
what software they wish they had), what kind of deadlines and politics
they battle with. And I don?t care. As long as they are pleasant to me,
contribute their part to projects on which we?re working together, and
don?t hold me back in my efforts to complete my own projects, I?m a happy
camper. I suspect they feel the same about me.

You are responsible for your own happiness. Your job does not have to be
the sole source of your satisfaction. It doesn?t even need to be a major
source of satisfaction. It can simply be an enabler; something that
provides the means for which to enjoy the things in life that are more
important. Or it can be much more ? it?s your call.

Nobody else is making your happiness their top priority. Realizing that
can be a big step towards taking the initiative in finding what overall
job/personal-life combination will make YOU happiest.

Good luck ? I hope you find a situation that makes you happier!


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