Writer or hobbyist?

Yea, it’s been a while. I caught some sort of really weird cold that I’m just now getting over. It was pretty bad. I had so much drainage that I was choking while I was trying to go to sleep. After that symptom went away, it was a nagging cough that kept me up. I started feeling bad last Friday, and I just now am getting over it. Pretty much, I spent the entire of last week sleep deprived, only getting four hours of sleep on Wednesday. Every other day, I only clocked in three or less. Needless to say, not a lot of writing got done during that time, so I have a lot of catching up to do.

However, laying there awake, staring at a dark ceiling gave me time to think. I’m sure all of us writers have a lot of writer friends that we like to share our craft with. Now, this post is sort of a “calling out” to the rest of my writing friends, but it should be useful to anyone else that fancies themselves as a writer.

But rather than just saying, “Just write, dammit!” I’m going to go a little further. Basically, a person must first, before writing, determine what he or she expects out of the experience. What I mean by that is, why are you writing in the first place. What’s the purpose? Do you just enjoy it and see it as a fun hobby? Do you feel yourself particularly skilled in the craft and want to make a few bucks? Is the driving factor of writing a combination of many factors that culminates in your desire to provide for your family? Figure out what you want from your writing, and then work accordingly.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with writing as a hobby, or to publish a book six years down the road. But I don’t think that’s being a writer. That’s just writing. However, my goals are a lot loftier, so I’ll be talking to those among us that want to turn writing into a source of income: AKA, the writers. Here’s where I tell you “Just write, dammit!”

Seriously, I don’t get it. Like I said, I know a lot of “writers” but so far, I’m the only one that’s published.  That speaks volumes about not only how easy it is, but also how little a person has to know about the craft to publish. What’s the hold up, guys? Do you not have enough time to write? Well, how about this. Writing working 43 hours a week at a grocery store while looking after a three-month-old and doing most of the household chores while my wife went to college and did homework. Sure, it’s not as busy as a lot of people. But It’s busier than a lot of other people. That was my November the year Emily was born. I wrote a 50K novel in one month for NaNo. Actually, it was 53K I think. And it wasn’t finished.

It’s simple. Make time for what’s important. Of course I made time to play with Emily and spend time with my wife. But I also made time for writing. And I’m not kidding about that 43 hour a week stuff. The assistant manager really sought to put the “ass” in assistant, but as long as he was handing out overtime checks, I was gonna take them.

So TL:DR. You’re not a writer if you don’t write. Period. You’re a hobbyist who likes writing. And that’s absolutely fine. But if you fancy yourself a writer, and wish to turn it into a source of significant income, then do it! No excuses. I don’t care how “tired” you are or how much “stuff” there is to do. Even with nine hours of sleep in four days, I still wrote for as long as I could on my latest draft before nearly collapsing at my keyboard.  So, write. And as we continue down this road, I’ll share some awesome ways to do just that.



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