“Why are you wasting so much time and energy on writing? You should really take a break. It’s only a hobby after all.”
I’ve been getting this a lot lately, especially now that I’ve had to take an unexpected trip. I went crazy trying to find something so I could stay in touch with my agent. We’ve been working on some not so little changes to one of my novels and I have an editor waiting to see them. I really can’t afford to be incommunicado with her.
Even my wonderful husband, who teases me about loving writing so much it couldn’t possibly be a job, has done everything in his power to help me.
But to others, including members of my own family, don’t understand that while I may not be getting paid yet, this IS my job. They only see it as a somewhat silly, but relatively harmless way to pass the time. In other words. My hobby.
At first I was angry. Okay, all right, I’ll be honest. I was downright pissed. Then I realized they don’t understand. How can they? They’ve been taught they’re whole life that something is only considered a job if they get paid for it.
It doesn’t really count until I’ve got the green in my hand.
While I consider this time I’m not getting paid, my internship, until I get “hired,” they will only continue to see it as a hobby. They forget that a doctor isn’t a doctor until he goes through 8 years or more of unpaid training.
Anyone in the publishing industry goes through some kind of internship. Plumbers, electricians, glass blowers, all have apprenticeships. These positions are all unpaid, or the pay is so pitiful it might as well be unpaid, but no one considers these hobbies.
So what makes writing so different?
I’m going to venture a guess and say it’s because it’s fun. Not all the time. There has been plenty of times I’ve wanted to bang my head on the wall because a scene wasn’t coming out right. But, despite all that, we love it.
Just like people who collect stamps or seashells. They love doing it and though it may not earn them money, they keep doing it.
So, I guess, if that’s the case, then yes, writing is a hobby. But it’s also my career. And I love my career. :D