How has writing rewarded you? What has it cost you?

Other essays in Rhobin’s Rounds

This is Rhobin’s task for her Round Robin in November, 2018.

I really, truly and absolutely cannot think of one negative about writing. So, that’s the second half of the essay out of the way.

If you read my first aid document for people struggling with issues like depression and anxiety, you’ll see that doing creative activities is one of the seven measures necessary for a good life. (Actually, this is an early chapter in my coming book, From Depression to Contentment: A self-therapy guide.)

I’ve always been cursed with a crazily creative mind. When I was a kid, I invested this creativity in torturing my stepfather without ever doing anything I could be punished for. When he banished me to Australia, learning a new language and culture, playing sports, outwitting teachers, and acting as a shoulder to cry on for other kids were some of my creative activities. Then it was research, and building… and building was the chrysalis my writing emerged from.

All this century, my creativity has been invested in writing. So, I am in the happy situation that if I can’t write, I am grumpy. When caught up in my ideas, I am grumpy. Otherwise, I am sweetness personified. Ask my wife.

So, that’s one reward of writing (not the excuse for grumpiness, but the benefits of creativity). The second is the opportunity to research. Last century, if I wanted to research something, it was a day outing to the University Library. Now, naturally, I just crawl into my computer and do it there. I guess if I wasn’t a writer, I’d be researching anyway, because learning new things, thinking deeply about issues, comparing the findings of different experts, all that scholarly stuff has been one of my addictions since childhood. Well, now I hang it onto my writing projects.

Since 1972, I have been a passionate environmental and humanitarian activist. The third good thing about being a writer is that it gives me a voice to advance issues I care about, like the survival of all complex life on this planet.

But I need to stop now. I have a book to work on.


Please leave a comment (well, I suppose you could take it with you). Then visit these nice ladies, each of whom will tell you something about the same topic.

Rhobin L Courtright
Skye Taylor
Victoria Chatham
A.J. Maguire
Beverley Bateman
Connie Vines
Diane Bator
Fiona McGier
Judith Copek

About Dr Bob Rich

I am a professional grandfather. My main motivation is to transform society to create a sustainable world in which my grandchildren and their grandchildren in perpetuity can have a life, and a life worth living. This means reversing environmental idiocy that's now threatening us with extinction, and replacing culture of greed and conflict with one of compassion and cooperation.
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12 Responses to How has writing rewarded you? What has it cost you?

  1. Veronica-Mae Soar says:

    Although I write short stories in various genres, a lot of them, and my poems, are an attempt to put over ideas which I think are more easily passed to people that way than by lecturing them; so I am an eco- poet, doing my bit for the environment. All my work in that area is under Creative Commons

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love research which, to even some of my writer friends, sets me a bit apart. In fact, I was told by one writing tutor to just ‘write the damn book’ and do the research later – which might work for some but not for me. Research has also led me to some lovely and interesting people and places, including a private brewery in England where I sampled freshly brewed beer from the barrel.


    • Dr Bob Rich says:

      What stupid advice! If you get some detail wrong, it’s GUARANTEED that some reader will pick it up. This tutor sounds perfect for the world of fake news and disbelieving evidence.
      Like you, I prefer to base what I do on the known facts.
      Besides, research is fun.


  3. judyinboston says:

    Interesting post. I was rather astounded you found no negatives to writing like rejection, self-doubt, money-spent. You must be a totally optimistic person. I liked that you also enjoyed doing research. For me, learning things I would have never encountered if not for my writing is a huge positive.


    • Dr Bob Rich says:

      Hi Judy.
      No, I am not particularly optimistic. As good at seeing the worst as the next person. However, I practice equanimity about everything.
      A few months ago, I submitted a short story to a contest, and it was exactly what they wanted. I was confident of doing well, but didn’t even make the shortlist.
      Thirty-odd years ago, that would have been a downer. Now, a little dip in mood, and “Oh well,” and life goes on.


  4. Dr Bob Rich says:

    Thank you, Skye. Except when I don’t like where the characters are taking the story. I’ve put away one of my projects because everything is so horrible. I wouldn’t enjoy reading it, so I’m hoping that by giving the people in the story a forced holiday, they’ll relent and have a few good things happen to them.


  5. okwriter says:

    I loved your post, starting with you couldn’t think of one negative about writing. 🙂 And then writing that doing creative activities is one of the seven measures necessary for a good life. I had never thought of that, but I agree. It’s hard to be depressed if you’re being creative and doing something you enjoy. Great post.


    • Dr Bob Rich says:

      Thank you, Beverley.
      Before humans got corrupted by civilization (or “civilization”?) everyday activities involved a great deal of spontaneous creativity. That’s one of the things we need to recapture. I’m making myself a butterfly net straight away, and capture some of the creativity flitting around my computer.


  6. Rhobin says:

    I thought I had posted before, but must have messed up. I enjoyed your post and I am an environmentalist and humanitarian promoter, most often through my writing.


    • Dr Bob Rich says:

      Yes, Rhobin, I know we are fellow travelers. Fiction is far more powerful in changing people’s minds than lecturing at them, because they can be inside the minds of other people. Very difficult to do any other way.


  7. Skye-writer says:

    I’m with you about loving what I do. I’ve had other jobs along the road of life, some that I liked, some that I loved, some that were tolerable and one that I hated. But writing is a joy every day.


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