For being such complex individuals, people have a tendency to group almost everything into dichotomies. Life and Death. White and Black. Fantasy and Reality. By themselves, they are such stretchable concepts yet are even part of a bigger dichotomy: Good and Bad. Or maybe we're just writing in a bipolar fashion today. But that's what writing feels like.
You love it at first and you keep doing it. It's a fantasy become reality. Then it's a hobby. A passion. And you decide you'll make money with it. You become self-employed like a starving artist because you're stubborn and only want to write what you like. But you take on a bit more projects because you need the money and need to grow you "resume". And then maybe you'll land a contracted job. Make even more money. And you become a productive writer who's "made it".
But deep inside you feel empty. Like this so-called passion has become "just a job". Sometimes it doesn't even feel like writing. It's self-marketing. It's social media. It's editing. The amount of actual writing is little and those days you spent creatively wasting time to write whatever to your heart's content are long gone. A distant memory. Your fantasy has quickly become a stagnant reality. Or was it all a lie to begin with?
There is a bittersweet feeling to turning your passion into a profession. Many people keep their hobbies as hobbies for a reason. Somewhere on this path the reason for embarking on it gets lost. But you've come so far. You can't turn back anymore. So you stay on the path and you're not living the dream anymore. Just the reality of it. But nothing really changed. Only you did.
The world doesn't seem as beautiful as it once was. People are not as welcoming anymore. And you're on your own. Why has the glint in your eye vanished? Waking up in the morning isn't what it used to be. That hop in your step is replaced by the drag of your feet. You're tired. You're depressed. What happened?
It might be writer burnout. Or it's fatigue. Or more accurately, having to write because you have deadlines has such a sobering effect. There is no fantasy. Even in creative jobs, the presence of a deadline, editors, and clients will find a way to trim those juicy fantasies until they're lean and useable.
Even as a blogger, things like SEO, content marketing, and Google Analytics are a thing. As a writer, it's all about marketing yourself, finding clients, and time-management. But somehow you have to find time to still develop your creativity and keep your fantasy world alive. What do novelists who also write full-time ever feel? Like a machine?
Like movie making, the process of writing - building upon an idea, an opinion, a vision, can be lonely, frustrating, and prone to a mixture of emotions greater than your vocabulary. But all you need is to keep your fantasy alive - to keep that seed of passion buried but nurtured time to time. It may be a prisoner in the writing life but you need to see each other. And feel each other.
Making that compromise between a profession and passion and creativity and technicality can be frustrating. Or you can simply choose one of the two and live with all the consequences. Good or bad.