Hobby Horse

I have had something of an awakening regarding my pursuit of publication. The Dysfunctional Diva, a member of my writer's group, made a comment regarding the fact that she was a writer, rather than a hobbyist. She said that if you do not write every day—if you do not work to be published on a consistent basis—then writing is your hobby. After some consideration, I found this to be true, particularly after reading a nice post by YA author Natalie Whipple. So after reflecting on my frequency of writing and my goals for future publication, I realize now that writing is my hobby—and I'm fine with that. I don't believe I have the temperament to ever be a full-time writer. I need a regular job. I need a boss and deadlines and dirty looks from colleagues if I talk too loud or too long on the phone when I should be working.

I like editing. Editing is my job and, in some ways, my passion. Writing is my hobby, my outlet, something I enjoy very much. But when I don't feel like writing, I don't. Listening to Stephen King's On Writing filled me with shame in certain spots, but I see now that it shouldn't. I have a full time job that I love (I will keep you updated on whether that statement remains true when I start my new gig in Vegas), and I also have a hobby I love. If, one day, I make money from my hobby, I will be delighted, no—ecstatic—and very proud. I will consider it an accomplishment of the highest order. But if not... if it just remains a well-written trilogy on my hard drive... I think I would be okay with that. Because I love writing it. I love thinking about it. And I am completely comfortable with being a hobbyist.


  1. While I understand this, I don't totally agree with it. Many of us who write, as you, hold down full-time jobs and sometimes don't find the time, energy, or inclination to write. That doesn't mean we're out of touch with our stories, however, and our subconscious minds will run merrily along, concocting plot elements, dreaming up dialogue, and working on the story line while we're deep in our daily lives. And that's the great thing about a creative mind; it doesn't have to be "at the task" directly every moment. It can do very well on its own, thank you, while our "real world" buzzes on around us. Then when we have the opportunity to hammer out a few pages, we're ready for the challenge, and it's like we're real writers... again!


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