Can Freelance Writers Read for Pleasure?July 10th, 2008 by Michael Kwan
When you work from home as a freelance writer, a professional blogger, or an online entrepreneur, it is pretty easy to translate everything in your life into something that is work-related. Nearly every time that Raul (Hummingbird604) goes out for dinner, he creates fodder for a new blog post. Just about any time that Rebecca (Miss604) attends a community event, she has the opportunity for some live blogging.
Casual Reading Enters the World of Work
By the same accord, freelance writers can get their inspiration from a variety of different sources. If you write about the stock market, for instance, reading the Financial Post or Wall Street Journal could be seen as research. If you have a client who requests articles on video games, you may be inclined to browse through Nintendo Power or Kotaku. What was once reading for pleasure has become work-related research.
In this way, I’m starting to wonder if it is even possible for freelance writers to read for pleasure at all, even if the subject matter is not directly related to their area of expertise.
Inspirations and Transitions
My blog post about saving time was partly inspired from my reading of The Tao of Pooh, by Benjamin Hoff. I am not a Taoist and I don’t really do any philosophical writing, but the concept of time (and how we spend it) is related to the areas of freelance writing and personal development. With some careful thought and consideration, you can parlay seemingly unrelated reading into material that perfectly fits into your chosen niche.
Making money online? Inspiration and ideas can come from articles relating to everything from culinary excellence to stamp collecting. Some people have even gone on to compare John Chow to Britney Spears. How’s that for (seemingly) unrelated?
Infringing on Your Personal Life?
Taking this approach to the things that you read on a regular basis — newspapers, magazines, blogs, novels, etc. — has the distinct possibility of infringing on you life-work balance. What was once pleasurable, like reading a sci-fi novel by Michael Crichton, has suddenly been connected to work. Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing is arguable, because some say that there is no need to separate work and play. If you can do what you love and get paid for it, all the more power to you.
For the freelancers (and bloggers) out there who are reading this, let me ask you: do you ever read for pleasure anymore, or can you not help but to find tangential relations between everything that you read and the work that you do in your day job?
Filed under Freelance Writing.