I have been mulling. I got a rather unexpected call today. A person I have been writing for, for a number of years, asked me to be his “resort writer.” What that means is that every couple of months, I dash off to some resort on the Island or the Gulf Islands, spend a few days living a life of luxury and exploring the local attractions, then write about it from a personal perspective. All expenses paid – plus getting paid for the article.
Yes, it sounds like a bit of a dream job. But I decided to think about it. I wanted time to mull for number of reasons: first, my past history with the publisher, who can be a bit unreliable. Second, to think if I really, really want to do this.
In the end, the answer is no. It isn’t even a maybe. And it’s not a no because it wouldn’t be fun. I mean, who wouldn’t want an all-expenses paid trip to a luxury resort? (well, actually – it doesn’t appeal to me all that much – tenting on a mountain holds more attraction.) And it isn’t about the writing – that would be pretty darn easy.
In the end, it’s about something far deeper. I know who I am and I know what I am called to do. Now that I no longer write for a newspaper, I can focus on the kind of writing that’s important to me. I know what I am called to do with my writing – I am called to inspire. If I am going to be paid to write, then it will have to be about something that matters: the environment, social justice, love, peace, caring, helping – the big themes.
I no longer want to write “for money.” Writing an article in a glossy magazine that will draw more people to spend money on luxury accommodations and food – no, it’s not right for me (or write for me).
At this point in my life, my writing has to be based on my principles and convictions. And I know it’s the right decision because it feels right.
But I had to think about it. I have spent most of my life saying, “yes” to any and all work – to any and all work requests, including, “I know the deadline is ten minutes from now and it’s Sunday night, but could you please just churn out 500 words?”
No – I am done with that.
From here on out, what I do – for money or for gratis – must be done out of love and passion – out of knowing that I can make a difference with what I do.
Oh – and by the way: see the man in the photo? I love him. Just thought I’d mention…