Writing is not a hobby

Writing for me is not a hobby.

A hobby is something in which one dabbles.

I don’t dabble in writing. I drown in it. (even if I don’t want to)

I sometimes get the perception that people think it’s cute that I have this little “hobby” of mine. I write, I publish, I keep producing a variety of works. It keeps me busy on weekends and during long breaks and vacations. It occupies my time. Isn’t that what a hobby does? People know it’s what I do, and how I am. Isn’t that nice?

One having a hobby gives off the connotation of an amateur – one who is finding his way and learning the ropes of any given field. In this way I am, in some respects, a hobbyist, but my hobby isn’t writing. It’s being an author.

Is there a difference? Yes, a big one!

Being an author is my hobby in the sense that “I have no idea how to best market my books!” This is the area in which I am continually “learning the ropes,” and even though I’ve been doing this for a couple years now, I often consider myself to be just a novice at handling those post-writing, tedious tasks that all authors (especially indie authors) must complete: book covers, synopsis writing, self-publishing, self-promoting, social media, etc…

But the writing? No, I’m not a hobbyist. It’s what I do, always, even when I’m not technically writing anything, I’m still a writer. It’s inescapable. Writing has moved beyond a passion or a weekend fling because I have nothing else to do. And while I’m growing as a writer, experimenting with new genres and continually learning in my craft, writing embodies the creativity that I have always wanted to unleash. One reason I know it’s not a hobby is that I am painfully unsatisfied with my works. Sometimes I hate to read what I have written. I hate to find mistakes. I hate to acknowledge a poorly written sentence, a messy phrase, or a flat character. As a hobbyist, I always say “good enough.” Not as a writer.

While I may not currently make my living from my writing, my writing has become an integral part of who I am. It’s the creative outlet which helps me express myself. It’s my driving passion that makes me look and re-look at our world, while trying to figure out how things really work.

I put words in front and behind other words. Sometimes with success. Sometimes with failure. But all the time with a pensive mind that seeks to communicate human behavior. And possibly a little piece of myself.

I’m a writer.

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