Hobby vs. Work
Posted June 19, 2010on:
I am an author. Before you all go “duh, we can see you write a blog,” I mean a fiction author. Sometimes I write novels, sometimes short stories. On top of that I write this blog. I spend a lot of time in front of a computer or with a pad of paper. In all cases, it is work and not play, no matter how much I enjoy writing and reading.
Why would I work so hard on a hobby? Well, one day, I promise myself, I will be published. I polish my craft, rewriting and re-editing the various stories until they shine, at least to my eye. Then I send the manuscript out into the world and ask for opinions. I don’t want the story I hand to my friends to be anything less than wonderful, so I take the entire process very seriously. (It’s like having a baby, raising it, and then sending it off to college. The end goal is to raise a successful adult, someone who, for instance, can get a job on the other end of the college trip. The problem is that you, the author/parent, have done all you can and the rest is up to to the story/kid. Very nerve wracking. I can only imagine it is actually worse for a true parent.)
But regardless of how I would love to be a paid author, and work hard to get good enough to be one, I’m not. I’m a hobbyist. It is entirely my choice how much effort I put into it. It is entirely my choice how long a novel takes me to write. I can spend 5 minutes or 30 writing every day. Why do I spend 30? I don’t have a publisher hounding me for my next draft. (And so you know, 30 minutes is really a short amount of time for an author to spend writing. I’ve heard of hours being dedicated to the craft by other hobbyists).
I work hard at my hobbies for the same reason I work hard at my job. I believe that a person should enjoy his work. If that’s my work philosophy, then wouldn’t my hobby philosophy say to work at what I enjoy?
Yes, it can get exhausting to be constantly working. No doubt about it! I also have a few purely passive hobbies (oh, television, you ruin me!), but I still believe in always applying myself in what I create.