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Friday, July 16, 2010

Do you find that your writing comes in handy for other things?

I’ve always felt like writing is not transferable…tradable…if you know what I mean. I have friends who have jobs and skills that they can use as a commodity…trade with others, such as an electrician doing side jobs or a tattoo artist cutting some deals in exchange for something else…like say, electrical work ;)

But as a writer, I’ve never felt like I had something I could trade. I mean, I have had friends come to me to help them write an important letter or edit documents…I even had one friend as me to help write his performance appraisal…and I gladly help when asked…but I’ve never believed that my skill as a writer is something that people need.

This may seem like a strange post but it’s something that I’ve been thinking about lately. What has writing done for me and why did I develop that particular skill out of so many possibilities? Maybe I should have pursued a career that would have played to those strengths more and then I would feel like it was a more useful skill. I don’t know what the answer is but I do know that many of my friends can do more useful things with their talents…things that people need.

I can write a book, novella, short story. I can bring entertainment to readers who pick my work up. I can draft a letter or a speech with little effort…something that I know many of my friends can’t or don’t want to do.

What does my writing do for me? Well, a lot…What does it do for others? That I don’t know.

What do you all think? Does your writing serve a purpose? Can you use it as a commodity? Do your friends value your skill?


  1. Have you ever read something that excited you? Inspired you? Lifted you up when you were having a bad day or provided much needed distraction when the real world was too much to take? (Of course you have, or you wouldn't be a writer!)

    Trust that somewhere your words are giving those same gifts to someone else. You might not always hear about it. I know there are many authors I have yet to thank, although the internet and social media make it easier. But they're out there.

  2. To be honest I tend to look over things that my family want checked. I did end up writing my Dad's Father of the Bride Wedding Speech for my sisters wedding after finding out what he wanted. (I did have to check some of the jokes though.)

  3. As a writer we have the ability to create new worlds and transport people out of their daily lives, whether it's for a moment, like my flash, or for hours, like a novel. I think we have been blessed with a most amazing skill.

    As far as practical uses, I write business letters for the Regional Manager of my company, I write poetry, stories, cards, etc for friends and family. I've given stories as gifts. My pursuit of language gives me excellent communication skills that I use everyday. I wouldn't trade my talent.

    Of course, it wouldn't help me get off a deserted island, but at least my imagination wouldn't let me get bored. :)

  4. Having a talent such as writing can be a commodity. Using it as a barter/swap thing is definitely possible. Your writing skill is probably more valuable than you think. The ability to write a proposal, a letter, a resume because you have a gift with words can be quite a good commodity that could be exchanged for something you need. I have traded my writing, my designing or sewing talents for things I needed. I've helped many individuals create resumes or business letters.
    Obviously, you're a creative individual, and quite possibly you have other left brain talents that you may not have even explored yet.
    There are people in the world who wish they had the creative talents of a writer, a singer, an artist, and then there are people who have these skills who wonder why they weren't blessed with some other gift. I think we are all unique and everyone has something valuable within them. Let's hope people are smart enough to recognize their ability and not waste it.
    By the way, I love your Assassin's cover art! :)

  5. I'm of two minds. One: I don't value my office worker or retail friends lower than friends with the skills you speak of, though I don't particularly want them to file or ring up any sales for me. Tradable skills are neat, but so are lots of things.

    Two: I agree with the others. The enjoyment a good story gives shouldn't be underrated.

  6. My writing skills helped me acquire a job for which I had no formal trainng. That's one practical application. And like many other writers, I've assisted friends and family members with resumes, letters, essays, and advertorials, when asked.
    Once upon a time, I wrote a letter that enabled the program I worked for to get a grant of half a million dollars. It was a one page letter :)

    I write fiction because I need to, and because I hope to entice readers into a relationship with the characters I create.