When I went back to journalism from publishing, I experienced a significant decrease in both the quality and output of my (not for work) writing. Turns out, some advice I read in a great writing book (that I lost and whose title I can’t remember) was true: If you want to be a fiction writer, you shouldn’t pursue a career in journalism.

Not that it’s impossible to do both, but writing for a living means you have a little less creative energy to spend on your own projects. This post by John Hornor Jacobs, an advertising creative by day and a fiction writer by night*, argues the same thing.

I’m a believer in creative energy. You only have a certain amount allotted to you every day – kinda like mana or hps in RPGs. If you burn that energy working on the newest TCBY campaign, there’ll be that much less when you get home and pick up the guitar and start writing songs, or hit the keyboard and start banging out that novel.

Bottom line–figure out how to save some of that good energy for yourself.

*John Hornor Jacobs has a book coming out in August, and it sounds pretty awesome. It sounds like a Southern horror mystery type novel; I definitely plan to check it out.

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