Not Just a Hobby

Published April 10, 2010 by LS Murphy

I crochet. I love it. Someone asked me recently why I do it. 

 “I need a hobby,” I responded.

“I thought writing was your hobby,” he said.

As an unpublished (for the most part) writer, that stings. Even if I could point at a magazine and say “Look what I did”, the attitude doesn’t change. And it probably won’t for most of us. Unless we reach John Grisham or J.K. Rowling like status, unless we can bring in the big bucks or win awards, some people will view our hard work and efforts as just a hobby.

It will always hurt. Most of us writers are used to it.

So if you are a friend or loved one of a writer, published or not, let me give you some advice. Writing is not a hobby. It is a definition of who we are. If we do not create, we are lying to ourselves. If we do not put pen to paper, fingers to keyboard, we are not living our lives to the fullest potential. If we do not write, we will not be happy.

The next time you meet someone and they tell you they are a writer, don’t ask them what they’ve published. Ask them what they write. And they’ll tell you everything you need to know about who they are.

It may surprise you.

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2 comments on “Not Just a Hobby

  • Very well stated — especially about writing being the definition of who we are. Ironically for me, though, the times I am asked most often about what I have published is when I am at writer’s workshops. Maybe it’s in a different context there, but it’s still a surprisingly stinging question that I would never ask. Overall with my writing, I’ve published a lot, but nothing fiction-wise. And fiction, to me, is my “real” writing. Although I did have an interesting encounter at my work convention in February when I met a member of the association who recognized my name from the articles I write for the magazine. He introduced me to one of his co-workers who came up by saying “She writes all the articles about the convention in the magazine!” I can’t wait to get that kind of reaction for my real writing instead. We’ll get there …

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