For years I worked on my writing. I joined Medium in 2019 the same year I wrote my first Ebook. The second I started writing I knew I found my passion.
Then the algorithm on this app drastically changed. When before I had been making $25–50 a month on this app, I started making single digit numbers. When the financial benefit started dwindling, so did my writing. I was no longer getting the dopamine hits from creating and writing.
I wrote freelance ghost writing articles for publications about things that were menial and not even on my radar. Several about skincare alone. While I have no problem with skincare and use it myself regularly, it is not something I am passionate about. At least I was not passionate about it then. I wrote these articles simply for the money. Simply to make a living.
There is nothing wrong with doing something for the money alone. I am not saying that trying to survive and pay your bills any means necessary is in any means wrong (within reason, let’s not harm others). The problem came in the sense that I was only writing for others. I was only writing for the money. I stopped writing for myself.
I stopped taking the time to write the things that brought me joy and fulfillment. I didn’t make a point to find a creative outlet. This started a domino effect to my mental health. Though, there were other difficult things in that time, so this may be a chicken or the egg scenario.
I walked away from writing almost completely. I thought writing was clearly not my calling anymore and I needed to figure out what was.
The extrinsic motivation conundrum
It reminds me of the experiment done on preschoolers. The study was published by Stanford in the 1970’s. It measured the desire of children who wanted to color and draw. Then they began giving the children rewards for the drawings. These children in the beginning loved drawing for the sake of drawing. You would think that when they began to be rewarded for something they loved to do, the reward would be like the cherry on top.
In this experiment, the children that expected a reward showed less interest in the activity than the students who…