Thinking About Writing As A Means of Livelihood

Thinking About Writing As A Means of Livelihood

Making my ways to earn through what I love the most


8 min read

Originally published on my website

In May 2015, during the last days of college, I kept expressing a wish which no body cared to reply or attend to. They had no reason to. I casually wished to my friends I wish we had something of our own, some of us, so that we wouldn't have to go away from each other and these memories and friendship. Some of my batchmates ended up doing their things. None of my close friends did. Ever since, I've been dreaming to start something of my own.

Thinking about starting something of one's own, Arjit Raj comes to mind. We were neighbours in final year of college in 2014-15. I remember our constant brain storming sessions. He was fondly called Andaman ( where his folks lived back then ). He was the topper of mechanical engineering batch. Always dreamt big. Right from the first year, he set targets, achievable goals. He'd sleep at 9pm, get up at 4am, and work towards whatever he wanted to do.

I remember in 2014, early on, as we entered our final year of engineering, he set a target to become a Quora top writer by December. He did it by September. In 2nd year, he had a bad internship experience. He decided to do something about it so that no Indian student would ever have to face what he did. He started curating internship experiences on internfeel. He included me in his endeavour and for some time I edited and posted internship experiences on the wordpress website.

He made udemy courses before it was cool and earned from them. He quit his first job out of college in about a couple of years and just started making stuff. Arjit always pampered me. I knew I didn't deserve his praise, but he still kept at it. I don't know what he initially saw in me. But he eventually decided to stop.

We had a fallout when I promised re making from scratch but never did. He was the first person to call me out on my tendency to over commit and not deliver at a consistent rate. After that I never promised anybody anything I couldn't do for them. In fact, I almost stopped committing. I haven't talked with him in years. Now that I've quit my job and have actively started a thought process to figure out ways of making a good living without being employed, only Arjit comes to the mind.

Scratch To Quit Job

I'm not special to have urges to quit job. I'm not even one of those people who have it hard with their bosses. Yet, I've constantly felt the urge to quit. In the last 2.4 years, I've had to have a staggering amount of commitment to not quit. I'm glad I did, and I learnt a lot along the way. Most of all, I learnt a very important skill in life – how to keep at something you do not particularly enjoy doing, with a sense of responsibility, ownership and gratefulness.

Though lesser salary has been a reason to constantly mull over if all the work that I was putting up was worth it, something bigger drove the urges to quit, more than getting paid less. To feel free is the simplest I can put it. If I can find ways to monetize the things I love to do, what better than that? That's what started to make me think a couple of months ago. Even if there'd be an initial struggle, wouldn't long term benefits come more quickly?

Ever since December last year, I've established one thing – whatever I do, if I don't find ways to earn an income on my own by the side, I'm going to keep having constant urges to quit. So this year I decided to start.

Taking A Serious Look At Writing

I love to write. I write short stories, poetry, essays and technical articles about code gymnastics. But I never wrote consistently. So I made two goals for myself. I want to get paid writing two kinds of articles.

  1. Writing for news / literary magazines.
  2. Writing for tech / coding magazines.

I want to write about stories and books that I read and hear. This way I'll get to read and listen more, and possibly get paid. Sounds really cool, doesn't it? I'm going to make it possible, and document everything – failures and successes, as I do so.

I want to write about the code that I read, because I want to read more code. So basically I'm just playing deals with myself.

I recently pitched an article to Smashing Magazine and got accepted. They pay for each article you write. Getting paid to do something of my own is the best incentive for me there has ever been.

Meanwhile, I'm working hard to bring to life an idea I've had for quite a while. That'll be the first ever end to end product I'd have worked on :) In all honestly, apart from all the reasons for trying to make this product — having a sustainable passive income while I sleep being one of them — I'm doing this to show it to Arjit, so that we could collaborate like we used to, but with me putting as much effort, life and vigour as he does.

This year I only have one resolution — establish this cycle:

make something self sustaining ➡️ earn through it ➡️ invest it back in learning ➡️ make something else with that learning ➡️ ∞