When writing becomes a vocation and not merely a hobby

Creative_Writing_Courses

While I admire anyone who loves to express themselves through their writing, there comes a time when you have to choose between continuing with what to you is an enjoyable hobby, and taking it up as a full time vocation. Please note that I did say vocation and not occupation. There is a marked difference…

It takes an awful amount of guts and determination on your part to take that giant leap into the uncertain world of literature, often for little monetary gain let alone plaudits for your work from the reading public and your peers. Apart from anything else you can expect to endure a lot of heartache, angst and sleepless nights as I can personally vouch for from my own experience gleaned over the past two decades as a relatively successful published Indie author.

Right now I’m back in full writing mode with my latest WIP, which if you have actually been reading my posts and not merely clicking ‘like’, you will know is a romance between an artificial intelligence and a human, set against a scifi background. Forgive me I digress, but the ‘clickers’ of this world do tend to annoy me especially when they don’t actually bother to read the post they have just ‘liked’ (the viewing stats don’t lie!).

Now where was I, oh yes – I was about to say that I rarely if ever get a good night’s sleep when writing a new book, at least until the first draft is finished. Nagging thoughts about something in the story literally wake me every night anywhere from midnight to four or five am. For instance, I woke at one am this morning to correct a particular passage in one of the chapters already written, that endlessly bothered the editor in me. The downside of getting up so early is that I’m lucky if I’m still awake after six-thirty pm. So relaxing in front of the television in the evening is out for the moment.

While the amateur loves the idea of writing thousands of words while engaging in a writing phenomena like Nanowrimo, or indeed some hard working writers I know in the traditional publishing world who must set themselves a daily word count in the multiples of thousands, due to the demands of their agents and publishers, I do not follow suit. In my case I don’t see the point in churning out thousands of words each day, which in all probability will end up being edited out as totally nonsensicle by your’s truly.

Instead I tend to write between two to five hundred words, (the latter being roughly the length of this blog post) knowing full well that when I do go back over them, that in all likelyhood three quarters will either get deleted or be re-written so many times that in the end they bear little resemblance to the first attempt, before I’m satisfied enough to move on to the next part of the story. Even when writing posts like this one, I spend more time re-writing than anything else (thirty-two times so far).Β  πŸ˜‰

So, if you are thinking about making your hobby your vocation, take it from me it requires total dedication and a will of iron on your part. One last thing for you to remember – what works for me won’t necessarily work for you.

Now then I’ve been away from my W.I.P for far too long. So for now that’s it folks.

More later,

Jack

πŸ˜€

Advertisements

17 thoughts on “When writing becomes a vocation and not merely a hobby

  1. Jack, sensible thoughts. Not many writers tell it like it is! I write under 500 words most days and edit extensively. Cannot free write in the thousands through a first draft, then edit. It might take another year to finish the WIP, and I’m okay with that. I’m retired and not writing to make money! Have a great writing week. Chryssa

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I used to teach Grade 1 and had summers off. I could kick myself for not writing more then. However, that’s neither here nor there. Looking back does no good. Of course, it was harder back then in some ways. There were no PC’s nor the internet. James Michener wrote he spent so much time in the library he ended up marrying a librarian. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. you know Jack strange as it may seem I entirely agree with you on this. As you may have gathered I don’t often get much time to read things, but tonight I decided to give my latest WIP a rest and catch up your (and others) blogs. I really agree with the sentiment that long hours of writing thinking you have it just so then the ‘niggles’ start keeps you awake. I have a sort of answer to that I tell my wife the problem and she normally finds the answer (her logic is nothing like a normal persons) but writing is a lonely learning curve and as you said what works for one does not always work for another. Good luck with your book keep us up to date. rgds Michael

    Like

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s