I’m a stickler for words. When writing, I will spend half an hour deciding which word to use. Should I use cavorted or gallivanted, and should they smirk or sneer? For me, words have strong connotations, and their specific meaning should not be taken lightly. So, when I see or hear self-identified writers use terms such as a pastime or hobby when referring to writing, I am struck.
For me, writing is a way of life, a potential secondary or supplemental income, a chance at financial stability, a real business endeavor. I designate 3-5 hours to writing, editing, and planning my works every single day and only wish I could allot more. I seek out professional advice from more seasoned writers and have recently signed a contract with a freelance editor to review my work. I read books on the craft of writing to improve my skills and am considering taking refresher courses in grammar and writing.
Now, don’t get me wrong; I support writing for leisure. For some people, publishing is not their goal, but writing brings them joy. To me, this is acceptable, if not commendable; after all, how many people nowadays write just for the fun of it?
Please understand, I am not trying to put down writers of leisure, only I believe it is important to identify your reasons for writing. Are you writing simply for the fun of it or do you plan on publishing your works? If you chose the first, more power to you. If you chose the second, then you can’t view your craft as a hobby or as a pastime. It should be more to you than that. It’s a second job, heck, a way of life. Otherwise, you might as well not even bother. Regardless of how you are going to publish, whether traditionally or nontraditionally, your product has to demonstrate skill, polish, and if nothing else thought. No one wants to purchase a story that reads like a fanfic. Take your craft seriously or readers won’t.
Obviously, you know where I stand on the issue, but what about you? Is writing a pastime or a way of life? Please complete the survey below: