Is writing just a hobby to you?

writing When people, infrequently, ask me how my writing’s going, I always laugh and say I’m not going to be able to retire on my royalties any time soon. This situation is applicable to most writers, apart from the lucky few. I certainly don’t begrudge most top earners their good fortune, they’ve worked hard to get where they are; the exception to this are books that have sold merely for the shock and sensation they cause by their puerile contents, and quite frequently they end up in charity shops, selling for 99 pence or less. charity All that aside, nothing annoys me more than when people say, “Ah well, never mind. It’s just a hobby anyway, isn’t it?” In response, I give them a tight-lipped smile and then walk away. My silent answer to their question is: No, it’s not a hobby, it’s far more than that. As any fellow writers know, it’s damn hard work creating characters, plots and so on. And yes, it’s hard work I willingly undertake, because writing is something I have to do. It’s not like basket weaving, or stamp collecting, all worthy pursuits, I’m sure; it’s a way of life. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about writing. Obsessive? Maybe, but it’s my obsession and one I would never voluntarily give up. writing

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26 Responses to “Is writing just a hobby to you?”

  1. I’m not at retirement level with my royalties either. Like most authors, I still work a day job to make ends meet. Even if my books never make another penny, I will still write. It’s not a hobby; it’s a passion.

    Liked by 3 people

    • It certainly is. I think some of my work colleagues see me as this batty old lady, who writes twee little books. If they read any of The Silver Flute Trilogy, they’d get a shock 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog and commented:
    Well?
    Answer the Lady 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    Writing is not a hobby for me.. it has been a long apprenticeship and now I am doing on the job training.. How about you?

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Spot on about the seriousness of this need to write, that we choose to do. It is a matter of self-worth and indeed, standing up for ourselves becomes redundant when we no longer need outside validation. I like that you reservedly smile and walk away from someone that really does not understand. That takes class!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I started writing again in 2012 after a ten year gap. Written every day and still aiming to make this a full time thing. It’s no hobby, mithering yourself for twelve months at a time, rewriting everything over and over again, covers, formatting and then all of it followed by a deafening wall of silence and no sales. If this was a hobby I’d have given up a long time ago.
    Chris

    Liked by 3 people

    • Chris, you’ve hit the nail on the head. Why, if it was just a hobby, would we put ourselves through all the turmoil and stress becoming a writer involves, if was just a mere pasttime?

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I wonder what the meaning of “hobby” really is. It does sound belittling, but I suspect for many people, their hobbies (collecting things, making things) are passions just as much as writing is for us writers. The difference seems to be that with hobbies there is no expectation of public endorsement in the form of monetary returns; in fact, people usually spend money to pursue their hobbies with no expectation of return. Doing the activity is its own reward, as it fundamentally must be for writers. But yes, it seems those people who say “It’s just a hobby,” are speaking out of ignorance and so should be ignored. If they said, “Well, but it’s an avocation,” or “It’s your passion, so keep writing!” that would show some empathy.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I have plenty of hobbies, such as reading, collecting glassware and so on. Hobbies are a fulfilling occupation, however it’s the dismissive tone used in connection with writing that annoys me. You’re quite right, if people perhaps phrased it differently, it wouldn’t irritate me quite so much.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Lol! That’s exactly what I say too! They want to know the nitty gritty details, as if its ok because its not really a nob is it? They have no idea how hard it is, or how poorly we are paid, when you think of hourly rates and benefits etc that other jobs have. You just have to laugh!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I started writing a few years ago, after retiring from a career in weaving, cloth weaving. I do know weavers, both cloth and basket, who have done quite well. I hope to publish something before the end of the year. I don’t thinks of any form of creative art as being merely a hobby. It’s a person’s passion.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. It’s hard for non-writers (unless they are an artist of a different sort) to understand that by calling it a hobby, they are insulting. I have gotten it in both the art forms that I practice. (Writing and drawing) However, if its not making money, people think of it as a hobby. They also think we do it to “relax” or “we sit around and write all day.”
    I used to get upset over these things–especially if I just finished a 60 hour week, but now I realize, hey, at least they are asking.
    My pat answer has become: “Well, [latest book’s title] not selling as quick as I’d like, but I’ve gotten some solid reviews.” That keeps it upbeat and friendly, but FYI in my brain I’m jabbing their heart out with my favorite pencil.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Amen, Kate. And when my colleagues at day job keep telling me “But you must work here for another ten years at least!” I glare and answer “I’d rather die of starvation!”. But I know I won’t. I write, therefore I am. Eventually, I’ll be able to live off my royalties. Nuff said!
    Best!
    Barb

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know what you mean, ‘cos I feel the same way. However, one has to be realistic I suppose.

      Like

      • Nope! We’re writers! We make up stuff! And we can imagine a future where we live off our hard work… as long as we keep writing! 🙂
        I call writing my real job. And one day it will be. If I don’t believe it, who will? 😉
        Happy writing! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Couldn’t agree more 😀 Happy writing to you too.

    Like

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