Here’s Why “Love The Process” Is Actually A Great Piece Of Advice For Writers

Do what you love.

I’m sure you have heard this advice a zillion times. But does it truly matter to succeed?

I had a friend who graduated college the same year as I did. We studied the same course but at different universities. After finishing college, we began working for software companies and did almost the same thing at our jobs. The only difference was that his company paid him three times more than mine.

I thought he was so lucky to have gotten such a high-paying job. I envied him. He even got a pay raise after a few months of working while I was stuck in the same job with the same old salary.

A year after working at his company, he told me he was quitting.

“Are you insane? You are making so much more than anyone of our age. Why do you want to quit?”

That was my reaction. My friend said, “I hate the job. Every day feels miserable. The money is good, but I no longer want to do it. I’d rather get paid less and do something I love doing.”

His dream was to become a music producer, and he’s now in the process of becoming one. I’m happy for my friend.

Years later, our conversation has stayed with me. I learned a crucial lesson: Money or other incentives don’t matter when you don’t love what you do.

“Doing what you love” for writers

I’ve come a long way in my career. I was an IT engineer who later studied for an MBA and got into investment banking. Now, I’m a writer and agency owner.

Writing was never on my “list of things I wanted to do.” It came out of nowhere in 2020 and has stuck with me since. I love it, which is why I gained so much success.

As a writer, it is essential to love the process. We often think of getting thousands of views and making lots of money. We dream of our article going viral. But if you are only here for these outcomes, you will have a hard time staying for long.

Suppose your article goes viral, and you gain massive attention. Your audience grows, and so does your income from that one post. Then what? It slowly fades away after a few weeks or months. Your views decline, and you’ll have to start from zero again. You might have increased your followers, but you still have to write a new article to get the momentum going.

In writing, it is never good to chase the outcome.

I wrote over a hundred articles before anyone knew who I was. I didn’t make any money off my articles until I had created high-volume work. Today, I’m making a good income off my writing. But the truth is that I’d still be writing online if I wasn’t making any money. And that is probably the reason I’ve gained this success as a writer.

Even the top writers — the ones who make thousands each month — write new articles every week. They have gone viral several times, yet they show up to write. That’s because writing is not about the goal; it’s about enjoying the process.

Keep playing the game

In Atomic Habits, James Clear says,

Goals are about the end results you want to achieve. Systems are about the process that leads to those results…The purpose of setting goals is to win the game. The purpose of building systems is to continue playing the game…Ultimately, it is your commitment to the process that will determine your progress.”

Read that last line again.

Your commitment to the process determines your progress, leading you to success. Therefore, your job is to keep playing the game and not get carried away by the outcome — positive or negative.

You can ask any viral writer how they feel about it. I’m sure the answer is that it was fun while it happened, but it didn’t last very long.

You can enjoy your virality while it lasts, but ultimately, you must return to zero. You have to open a blank page and start writing something new to keep the momentum going.

The purpose of writing

I write to inspire people. I enjoy sharing my experience and ideas so that my readers can learn and take in something meaningful. I love what I do.

Making money feels good, and I’d be lying if I said I have never gone after it. I’ve tried all the tricks and strategies to grow my writing income.

But guess what? I failed. The strategies worked for a while, but it got boring soon. It felt like I was cheating on myself, saying that I loved writing while my motive was something else.

I’ve shut down all the blogs I started because my only motive to begin in the first place was to monetize them and get the good stuff (money). As I said, I didn’t feel good writing just for the money.

You won’t succeed at writing if you don’t love the process. And trust me, it’s not easy — finding ideas, writing, editing, and waiting for people to read your article. Then comes the results. Did the article do well, or did it go in vain? The outcome affects your emotions, especially if the article didn’t do well. Then, you lose motivation to keep going. Everything has to start again.

That’s a tough job.

The only way to remain calm and not go insane is to focus on the work. Enjoy the process and not think of the outcome. Keep it cool when your work does or doesn’t do well.

Writing is a never-ending journey. Only those who like the bumpy roads along the way will succeed.

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