September 21, 2009

THE WAY OF THE WRITER: Intentionality, part 2

This is the second part of my thoughts on "Intentionality".

Practical intentionality. What's that all about? Well, it's about all the stuff you do in real life. Money. Family life. Spiritual life.

If you are a writer, you simply must take note of these other parts of your life. Writing and creating are good, but often I see people letting other things take a backseat to the creative parts of life.


Money isn't a bad thing. It makes the world go around and is the root of all evil, but it's not really a bad thing. But, if you are making a living with your writing/creativity or supplmenting your regular income with it, here's some things you should remember:

1. If someone pays you to write something, that's income. And you should report it on your taxes. When you are doing small jobs for people, it's easy to hide, but it's also illegal to hide it. If you made enough money to pay income taxes, and you got paid to write, it's part of that.

2. It's not a bad idea to get help when figuring out how to deal with those taxes. There are some special things you can do with your taxes when you write and make money . . . or even it's it's considered a hobby! Things like write off comic books. :) But you really should get help with that. My blog does not qualify as help, by the way. My blog is telling you to get help.

3. Be smart with your money. Keep track of it. Don't use credit cards. Etc. Creative people aren't really very good with numbers, often times. Keep track of your money and ask for help with taking care of it. Be intentional.


I've banged this drum in some other posts, but I'm doing it again here.

Creative types are too often lethargic types. Heck, Americans are too often lethargic types! DO NOT let that be you.

Now, if you're like me it's either too late or it's getting to be too late. By "too late" I mean you're already overweight and getting worse. But it's NOT too late to get started taking care of that!

If you work a desk job, any desk job, it means you need to work extra hard at getting yoru body healthy and keeping your body healthy.

There simply is no reason not to set aside three hours every week to work at getting healthy! There simply is no reason to stop eating so unhealthily! (Bonus: it's being smart with your money, because if you eat less you're buying less!)

But writers and artists are already working low impact jobs. If you are into science fiction, fantasy, or comic books then you are even more likely not to be into physical activity. (Let's face it . . . you know it's true. The Simpsons' comic book guy wasn't created in a vacuum!)

But that doesn't mean you have to stay the cliché! But you have to be intentional about it! You simply must.

I've written enough about this, but I just want to close with this: a healthier life is a better, longer life. And a longer life means you get to share more stories with the world!


Americans don't just ignore the unhealthiness of their physical bodies. We're also pretty good at ignoring our spirit. This topic is a little difficult to talk about, of course, since so many people believe so many different things. Of course, I approach things from a Christan perspective.

But Christian or not, as a writer you spend a lot of time looking inward. When you are creating, you are playing the part of God. And if there's emptiness inside, that emptiness will be expressed. But if you are seeking truth in your life, that search will be expressed in your output.


The bottom line is this: you shouldn't just be seeking to be the best writer you can be. You should be striving to be the best person you can be . . . which will help you to be a better writer. You should be intentional with your entire life. You should strive to be empathetic in your relationships; this will help you get into your characters' skins. Healthy body = healthy mind. Etc.

The point is, you CAN be a great writer. But you have to be intentional about it.

~ Ben

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