Ask An Author, Writing

Ask An Author: Writing as a Career or a Hobby?

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Ask an Author header courtesy of Chad MaugerReaders seem to be quite thirsty when it comes to know those who enable their addiction, a.k.a authors. This is feeding directly into the steady increase in interest in the Ask an Author feature, launched the fay before Valentine’s Day here on Sahar’s Blog.

This new feature will continue to be published here twice a month on Friday afternoons. An amazing group of authors are going to share their answers to a variety of questions, from serious to silly ones. If you are an author who wants to be added to this list or a reader with a question, email me at saharsblog (at) gmail (dot) com!

This Feature’s Question was sent in by a reader who would like to start writing but doesn’t know if he should make it into a hobby or a career: Do you consider writing as your career?  Or do you want it to become your career?”

Sybil Watters

I am an attorney by degree and a writer/author by desire.  I hate lawyers… and I am one. So that is somewhat of a conflict. 🙂  That being said, when I write, I treat it as my job/career. For instance, when I wrote DIXIE, Book One: Open Roads, I took significant time off from work, sat down every single day from 8 AM-3PM until I was done with the book.  Discipline is key and to be a successful writer, I believe you have to have that drive in your heart to make it your career- meaning, gain as many readers as possible, touch lives, keep writing!  Who has time for “hobbies”?

Angela Barry

I would like writing to be my career.  I really enjoy it.  The tricky part is making a living off of it.

Lee Murray

You know, Sahar, this is a great question from your reader because the way it’s phrased is interesting: Do you consider writing as your career? To me, this implies there might be some other option, a notion I find intriguing. Last year, I was invited to read at the local library with a number of other writers, and after the readings there were a few minutes remaining for the audience to ask questions. One of the questions, asked of all the authors, was what did we did for a living? Hang on, we were all writers? Why was it assumed that we would also have other jobs? It made me wonder if writing isn’t considered a sufficient occupation to be someone’s career. Or perhaps the person asking the question—a librarian—had an understanding of just how difficult it is to make a living as a writer nowadays. Perhaps the real question she was asking was ‘how do we sustain our writing?’ As it turned out, my colleagues all maintained other jobs. Did that then mean they were not ‘career’ writers? They love writing, writing before work, in their coffee breaks, on the train home. Their willingness to squeeze their writing in between their paid work commitments makes them every bit career writers in my book. In my case, I’m fortunate to have a partner who sponsors my literary endeavours, but that in itself creates problems around the validity of my work. This is because writing is a stay-home, bum-on-your-seat kind of career. People assume that because I’m at home, whatever I’m doing can’t be that important; they can ask me to feed their cat, or pop in unannounced and stay a few hours* because this writing-thing of Lee’s is just a glorified hobby really, isn’t it? Yes, she’s written a few books, had a couple of stories published and fluked a few awards, but it’s not like it’s a real job. Well, yes it is; writing is my career. I work full-time at it, and I’ve being doing it for years now. While none of my works are bestselling, Graeme Norton isn’t clamouring to interview me, and I have yet to make a living wage from my efforts, I’m committed to being a writer. And if I’m not quite there yet, then I’m going to ‘fake it, until I make it’, doing everything as if I were already everyone’s favourite must-read author, because, you never know, one day I might just wake up and find that I am.

*Actually, people are always welcome to pop in on the understanding that any who outstay their welcome will be killed off in my next novel…

Hunter Marshall

Do I consider writing my career?  I actually have 2 areas I would consider my career.  One being, writing and the other, Social Work.  Right now I can’t do Social Work in the traditional sense so I combine the 2 and write books.  Although I’ve only written 1, there will be more because I love to write what I know.

Karo Oforofuo

In my part of the world, its not easy depending on writing only. All
the same, I want writing to become my career. I believe I can make it

Gregg Macklin

I have been told I have always been a writer, however it was not until I was approaching retirement, that I started writing for publication. Now 20 months after retirement I am writing full time and have two books out, and am marketing several short stories.

Image credit: Chad Mauger.

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