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Writing is not a hobby

Writing is not a hobby.

Some people talk about writing as though it is a hobby. Some day they may write a book. Some day that story they know exists within will come out. Some day.

Actually, writing a book takes time, effort, and knowledge. A hobby requires all three and can be intense. But that is the wrong approach to writing.

I understand that there are authors who have a full-time job or maybe they are full-time mothers (a job) and only have a little time to write. So they consider what they do a hobby.

I don’t mean to disparage hobbies at all. It has been my experience that hobbies are very demanding. Yes, I have had hobbies over the years. One hobby I had involved working with Styrofoam, plywood, and a train set. For years I worked on this hobby of building a small village with a train going through it. I enjoyed it immensely.

I poured a lot hours, sweat, and money into that hobby, but in the end it was still a hobby. And the day came when I walked away.

Which brings me to writing.

If you are writing as a hobby you are in effect denying yourself any chance of success. I don’t know of any author who wrote as a hobby and suddenly produced a best seller. In fact, I don’t know of any writer who made good with writing being simply a hobby.

Writing demands more. Yes, it demands lots of hours, plenty of sweat, and significant money, just like a hobby. But it goes beyond that! It requires learning the craft, hours of research, and much trial and error.

I think that what separates hobbyists from authors is the desire factor. A hobbyist is primarily seeking to please herself, while a businessman is trying to make money. Both have a desire to succeed. But the desire to succeed as a writer goes beyond the norm.

What I am trying to say is that when you commit yourself to becoming a writer, you are declaring yourself to be a businessperson. You may not know all that is involved but you are willing to do whatever it takes to succeed.

Some hobbyists may disagree with me, but the fact is that you can walk away from a hobby fulfilled (I did), but walking away from writing isn’t so easy. You see, writing is a career.

It doesn’t matter how much money you make although you want to make money. Writing gets in the blood. You want to write no matter what. Quitting doesn’t seem like an option.

When you complete that book chances are you have already begun thinking or maybe writing another book. And you turn your energies in that direction.

Again, a hobbyist may say, we are the same. But a hobbyist can stop at any time whereas an author finds it very difficult to pull away for even a brief break. There is a commitment that drives the writer beyond the hobby stage.

I’ve written all this to say that if you are going to write think of it as a career not a hobby.

Feel free to comment on this blog. Or if you want to learn more about the business of writing go to my website RFrederickRiddle and watch video with a special offer.

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