Becoming a writer is not a career path most people will commonly pursue, especially in Singapore where everyone prefers to have a stable job and a thicker wallet.
As content writers at HypeQuiva, we have many “writer moments” that we encounter. If you’re a writer yourself, here are 13 moments you probably know too well.
1. “10 hours of work for 10 minutes of attention”
If you’re not a writer, you’ll most likely be shocked by this fact: the articles that we write, just like the one you’re reading now, can take up to an entire day for us to finish (sometimes up to a week, or even more!), and in return, we only get 10 minutes of your attention as you simply browse through the
We spend hours and hours sitting in front of our laptops typing and churning out ideas, all to create content from scratch. Nothing is given; we only have our laptop, camera, and creativity to fill up the blank document.
After all that, we still have to go out and take pictures — No matter rain or shine. Learning to grow a thicker skin is also a must to survive the negative comments from some people out there, and taking pictures in public places even when the situation is not favourable.
2. Sorry, but our life isn’t as exciting as what we make it seem to be.
We might be posting pictures of us doing exciting activities on our social media accounts, but to be completely honest, most of our time consists of sitting behind the desk and facing the screen till our eyes and butts hurt.
The fun things just don’t happen 24/7. I’m sorry if I ruined your imagination of this “perfect job”.
3. After work, it’s still work; we never really stop working.
Truth is, we never really stop working; even on our days off. If we chance upon any interesting places or amazing food (yes, especially food), we’ll have to take plenty of pictures because “I might be able to use it in an article one day”.
Looking for new ideas for articles will always be at the back of our minds. Being in the outdoors is where the best inspiration forms, since what we do is tied so closely to real-life.
4. We get the most and worst of all criticisms.
This is especially so for digital platform writers, like us, as netizens can be really cruel with their words. I mean, what’s there to lose for them, right?
Even after all the effort, we will still be nit-picked on every single mistake (not saying that it’s a bad thing). Or sometimes not even mistakes at all, some people just want to be mean.
But we do appreciate constructive criticism! Just keep in mind that in the art of language, many things can be pretty subjective.
5. Feeling like it’s the end of the world when we lose a document.
To any writer out there who has once lost a document, I understand your pain. I’ve been that idiot one too many times.
6. Everyone assumes we know every word and treats us like a walking dictionary.
People seem to think that we have read through the entire dictionary. Yes, we may know more words than you, but we don’t know every single word that exists in this universe.
We make grammar (heck, I actually spelled this wrongly and had to rely on spell-check) and spelling mistakes too! I know, hard to believe — But we’re only human. We’re all learning every single day, and that’s partly why we love being a writer.
So next time before you judge, please don’t be so hard on us, alright? We have feelings too.
7. The never ending workload, and SO. MANY. DEADLINES.
Everyone thinks it’s all fun and games to be a writer, or that we spend 50% of our work time not doing real sh*t. Truth be told, there are a lot of deadlines to be met in this industry. I’ve lost count of the number of times I burnt the midnight oil just to rush up some work.
8. Becoming more accepting & understanding.
Often times, we have to do a lot of in-depth research to really find out about the things or people we’re writing about. We would never become these people; but we will always listen and try to understand by putting ourselves in their shoes, as much as possible.
Receiving so much information and going through different experiences tend to broaden our mindsets. I’ve come to learn empathy and compassion from the things we see, and the stories we hear. While we’ll never be able to stand from their viewpoint, writers (and most people in the similar industry) are the closest to understanding them.
9. Writer’s Block
Yes, we’re creative people. But having to come up with articles after articles everyday sometimes freezes the flow of brain juice.
Writer’s block is crazily frustrating, and it feels so real to us! With pressure of deadlines nagging at the back of our heads, it can really be difficult with the added backend work that has yet to be completed.
Here are a few personal tips I’ve learnt to avoid writer’s block:
Take Breaks. I like to take small breaks in between a couple of hours to relax my brain so ideas don’t get stuck from overworking.
Have some chocolates. I’m not a big fan of chocolates, but they do help a ton. Chocolates help to release endorphins, known as “happy hormones”, which help us relax. And once the stress is gone, ideas will start to flow in no time.
Hydrate yourself! I go through at least 3 bottles of water just from the time I spend in the office.
Do some stretching. I hate feeling stiff and I’m a pretty restless person. So midway through doing work, I’ll start cracking my back and stretching my legs.
Ask for help. It’s okay to ask for some assistance from colleagues — I do that all the time! Since we have an open space concept in the office, it’s easy for us to be like “hey, what’s the best places you know for blablabla”. Ideas will come so quickly I have to struggle to pen them down. After all, five brains are better than one.
Or maybe we could just skip all that and…
Yeah, right. If only we could do that.
10. We get weird Google search history that no normal human should be researching about.
When it really boils down to using the internet for ideas, we’ll always end up with weird Google search history.
11. Everyone thinks being a writer is a piece of cake.
Everyone seems to think that being a writer is an easy-peasy job. But truth is, it’s not that easy! To create something from nothing, from scratch, from a blank piece of document staring back at us, it really is quite challenging if you think about it. Also, we have to make it different all the time to ensure that it contains interesting content.
12. Most of us don’t (and might never) get the acknowledgement we deserve.
Yes, our names are credited, but people don’t usually want to find out who’s the person writing it (plus the names are often written in such tiny fonts), they’re often only interested in the content. People don’t acknowledge this career path, and you have probably heard things like “it must be nice not having a real job”.
But when we finally receive the recognition, everything becomes worthwhile once again.
13. After all these, we still love it!
Despite all that, we still love our job — Because it’s ultimately our passion!
As someone who has once given up on something I feel passionate about, here’s my advice: If you have a passion, NEVER let it go. The road ahead may be tough, but remember that hard work and passion reap rewards. Persevere, and believe in yourself.
I don’t know about the others out there, but for me, I could never imagine myself doing something that doesn’t involve creativity. How about you?
Featured Image: source