Hobby to Career

Writing used to just be a hobby.  I may have spent my entire life writing stories, but going from writing for fun to writing to be published is a big step.  If I think about it, I made the leap back in 2009.  I focused on one story and dedicated all of my writing time to it. 

When writing was a hobby, I flitted from story to story, never editing and never really thinking about what it would take to get published even though I knew I someday wanted to be an author.  But those were not "wasted" years.  My hobby days were the time I developed my writing ability.  I discovered what worked for me (pantsing!), what didn't (plotting!) and what habits I needed to ditch (too many to list here).

From the Miss Cole Aged Ten Collection (what happened to my handwriting?!)

I love writing so much, there had to come a time when I went from hobby writing to attempting to make it my day job (which is a process I haven't quite finished yet).  And in making that leap, there were other implications. Time had to be spent differently.  For example, gone are the days when I used to sit around playing videogames for days on end and do nothing else.  Now I have to break it up - a couple of hours playing and then BACK TO WORK! Edit! Write! And don't forget your blog!

However, I'm not completely without hobbies.  I'm learning how to play the violin and I dabble in photography too.  Just because my writing stepped up a gear, doesn't mean I had to abandon everything else.  I just have to use my time differently. 

But never feel like you have to stop writing as a hobby and just think about being published.  None of your hobbies have to become your career.  It's always an individual choice.

Comments

  1. There are a few members of my local writers group for whom writing is just a hobby. They come to meetings and share their stories and they're happy because they're doing what they want to do.

    And at the last meeting, we had a new person who was shocked and probably a little appalled to know that the majority of the group wasn't interested in publishing. Just writing for fun.

    It's probably mean to say, but I hope she doesn't come to the next meeting. Because it is an individual choice and no one should be made to feel that their choice is wrong.

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    1. What a shame she can't accept what others want. And no one ever has the right to tell someone their choice is wrong. URGH! People are free to write what they want for whatever reason.

      *rages quietly in a corner*

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  2. Isn't that what we all dream of: getting paid to do what we love? I think we all want to be in that situation where we feel guilty about receiving money for our work because it doesn't seem like work. It's fun! It's what we would do even if no-one gave us a penny for it. There are those for whom it's writing, and they should pursue that as their career. For others, who might write as a hobby, it'll be something else, and we can't expect them to have the same passion about getting published. That doesn't mean they don't enjoy writing; they would just rather be paid to do something else. :)

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    1. I figure one day I'll be a published author with a career I'm excited to wake up to every morning. I love my current job and working with children, but one of these days I want to do my dream job!

      A very good friend of mine likes to write just for the sake of it and she's so happy that way. Yay for her! :D

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  3. For me, my primary vocation will always be my family. I don't want a career beyond that. Writing is a hobby and always will be. Though I can still hope to make some money from it. I've got 5 kids to put through college after all. ;)

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    1. That's so lovely! Good luck raising your college funds! ;)

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  4. Hear hear. I know exactly what you mean. I've done a lot of rearranging of my time in the past year and a half to make sure that I'm devoting a good chunk of time to writing. Some days other things really get in the way (*cough* social media *cough*), but I try to stick to a schedule of sorts. Like you, I've been taking up other hobbies as well. I've been learning the side drum and as of this weekend, I'm now the proud owner of a mandolin which I plan on learning. Yay for instruments! (P.S. Did you know that it uses the same string layout as the violin? GDAE) :)

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    1. Yeah, I need to work on my social media time allotment...

      I did not know that about the mandolin! If I ever have the chance, I'll have to have a strum! Thanks for letting me know.

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  5. Ah yes, I remember spending hours playing video games ;)
    But no more. Writing is more important to me now. I guess it's all about priorities. (I still play, but it's AFTER I've done a healthy session of writing)

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    1. No more indeed! Gaming will have to wait until tonight when I've finished editing a bunch of chapters.

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  6. Ah, having to give up video game time is one of the hardest parts for me. I rarely ever complete a game, and even though I can get sucked into some new releases (Bioshock Infinite! Borderlands 2!) I rarely get to finish them.

    Worth it for the writing I get out of it, though. :)

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    1. I'm so obsessed with Portal right now I have to be very strict with myself and I only play at night once the working day is done :)

      The writing has to come first for sure.

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  7. After years of using videogames to relax, I stopped writing about 8 months ago (I was querying) and slowly realized that I didn't need to play anymore. I stopped completely. Soon I'll be revising the one I queried, and I wonder if I'll go back to gaming to relieve the pressure. Perhaps I should find a way to be less pressured when I write...
    New follower wishing you good luck on your publishing journey. :-)

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    1. Thanks for following! Best of luck to you too! :)

      I find gaming really helps relieve stress but so does writing, which is a far more productive use of my time.

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  8. I think that's a transition we all debate about at one point or another, but I'm with you. I want this to be more than a hobby. ;)

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    1. It's funny, because I think I always thought I was writing to be published, but there was a definite moment when I became far more serious and really dedicated to it.

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