First off... writers block, anyone? No problem!
My dear friend Mandi, is providing lots of delicious novel writing tips HERE, on her blog, in preparation for NaNoWriMo. Not to turn any NON NaNoWriMo writers away, there are lovely tid bits and excellent advice for ANYONE with a WIP! I actually think I'm a few posts behind, but she's been delivering quite the showing of AWESOME SAUCE writing tips! So no excuses. Go check 'er out!
Secondly, I had an experience the other day that I wanted to get your oh-so-awesome opinions on, dear writers....
I--ahem--OBVIOUSLY spend a lot of time on the computer these days.
Shocker, I know.
But I'm sure you ALL can relate. I mean... I know we secretly share this romantic notion of one day using a quill and ink pot to pen our lovely novels out in pretty scroll-y letters on thick, creamy parchment paper like Jane Austen (wait... did she even do that?!)... but lets be honest...
We'll never ACTUALLY do it.
Why? Cause its just too stinkin' easy to type-a-roo away on the ol' Mac... complete with spell check and Scrivener.
BUT... being on the lap top brings its own extra baggage. Like email. And social media. Both of which I share a love/hate relationship with. But I digress...
If you are anything like me--despite your best intentions--you leave said email and social media sites open and logged-in while your attempt to navigate the depths of your imagination. And I learned, this week, that APPARENTLY, SOME people keep track of how much time said applications are open.
Last week, a friend of mine--who shall hereto forthwith be referred to as Nincompoop (holla, Mandi!)--informed me that "I spend too much time on the computer," and "should find a new hobby that doesn't involve a Mac."
I proceeded to tell said Nincompoop that "I get paid to take pics and edit photos of people," AND that "I consider writing a part time job." Both activities, you know, BY THEIR VERY NATURE, involve a lot of computer time.
To which Nincompoop--in not so many words--replied, "You're dumb. Writing isn't a job. Its a hobby."
This was me:
|Closed Caption: MEH????|
Obvious creep-tastic-stalker nature of his knowing EXACTLY how much time I spend on the computer aside, his comment sorta stumped me.
A hobby? As in... like... a hobby? You mean... like FUN?
For a moment, I starred at my computer, thinking I'd read my chat bubble wrong. Like... did he REALLY just say that?? SEEEE-RIOUSLY?!
My knee-jerk reaction was to yell "OFF WITH HIS HEAD!" And proceed to man the witch-hunt for his ignorance. Because... um, I have never ONCE considered my writing as mundane as a simple "hobby." That word is SO watered down... so simple... such an incomplete description of what I--what WE--do as writers. It honestly baffled me that he would call it that.
I proceeded to tell him such, when Nincompoop, in all his nincompoop-y-ness, argued that since I wasn't ACTUALLY GETTING PAID to write at this point in my life, that I couldn't call writing a job.
Which, got me thinking...
Does an actor attending auditions consider themselves at work... EVEN IF THEY AREN'T PAID TO AUDITION?
Does a professional athlete consider a VOLUNTARY extra work out "play time," or part of their job?
What about an UNPAID intern... is that technically just a "hobby"?
How 'bout a PRO BONO lawyer?
Or a musician working the local bars for FREE, just so they can get that first foot in the door?
Because these people are not getting paid... does that mean what they do is not "work." That their activities are any LESS a job than someone like my marketing Nincompoop?
MY opinion is obviously a bit fatty NO on that one...
Writing is not always fun. Sometimes? It just plain sucks. I don't spend countless hours revising and revisiting and pounding the freakin' H-E-double-YOU-KNOW-WHAT out of each and every word because I ENJOY it. Because its a HOBBY.
Lets be honest... if I wanted to relax, I'd read someone ELSE's work.
Writing is work. Trying to get published, IS WORK. Writing synopsis's and queries and going to conferences and nail-bitting over whether or not that agent is ACTUALLY going to respond SOMETIME in my life, IS WORK.
A hobby? For real?
*steps off soap box*
I'm curious, though. What do YOU writers think? Do some of you agree with Nincompoop? Or do most of you (as I suspect) valiantly stand behind the idea that an OUT OF WORK writer, is still a WORKING writer?
P.s. I promise that if you agree with Nincompoop I won't think you're a nincompoop too ( : I really am curious as to the general consensus here!