Friday, July 27, 2007

Hobby or Living?

By G.Parker

Being a writer is a beautiful thing. Unfortunately, life gets in the way and you find the thing you love is relegated to the spare moments of the day that you can fit it. If you’re really good and conscientious, you schedule your day so that you have the time you need, and you tell everyone so that they don’t bug you. But, even that doesn’t help if you’re working in your home–especially if you have children.

I have several children that have inherited the writing bug from me. My oldest daughter, for one, is very talented in the area of sci-fi and fantasy. She has some great story ideas, one of which I was tempted to enter for her in the quarterly fantasy/sci-fi contest that I came across a year ago. She wasn’t thrilled with the idea because she never finished it. The whole story is the prologue and one chapter. My husband is constantly on her case to finish something. Anything.

My hubby has a theory that he shares with us quite frequently, much to her dismay (and mine – because he’s usually right). He say’s that there is hobby, and then there is profession. A hobby writer is someone who does it for fun, doesn’t plan to do anything with it, and just does it when it’s convenient and fits into the time slots.

A professional writer, or someone who wants to make a living at writing (i.e. ME) schedules a certain amount of time each day to devote to the craft. They are honing their writing, submitting work on a regular basis, and generally WORKING at it.

I think it’s a great idea in principal. I’ve just been having a hard time putting it into practice. I quit my part time job this year because it was costing more than it benefited. I had a lot of time to write at that job, but now that I’m home, I should find it very easy to write here every day. I have loads of time in the morning or afternoon, or when my kids are on the computer doing their homework (since we stay in the room when they are on the computer–especially the internet)–but I don’t.

I find myself distracted by email and job applications (I’m still looking for that perfect part time job) and writing blogs (at least I’ve accomplished THAT goal). It gets to the end of the day and I realize I haven’t done anything constructive toward writing. So, then if I have a reason to be staying up - such as a son getting off at midnight - I stay up and write. The other night I got in over 900 words and part of that was finishing a short story. But that’s been one day this week. The rest of the week all I’ve done is blogs and one short essay which might end up as a blog later on. I guess I’ve got blog fever.

I think I’m using it as a tool to procrastinate. I wonder, thinking of C.L. Beck's blog about being afraid of success, if that’s my problem because I KNOW I want to be a full time writer. Somehow I’ve got to get a grip and test the waters.

I’ll never know if it doesn’t get done.


ali said...

I get way too distracted with blogging. I am very grateful that I'm part of that world, because the writing is like exercise and the reading is like research, but none of it is enough like WORK. I need to work more.

I set some goals for myself just this week and so far, so good. I'll wish you and me luck!

We can do this!

Aneeka said...

I totally agree with your husband's theory. Almost that exact thought hit me over a year ago and I realized that if I wanted to write as a profession, then I had better treat it as one.

Making goals helps out a LOT, I've found. Even little goals. They at least make you feel like you're accomplishing something.

Thanks for the post :) And I hope you and your daughter realize the gems you've got and see if you can pull it out from under the bushel and up on a candlestick :)