Have you ever had a moment where no matter what you do or say nothing will change? No matter if you changed your style, your dress, your attitude it’s not quite right? You don’t have the strong feeling that you’ve done the correct thing. There are millions of “BUTS” in your head.
I’ve had those moments too.
It’s how you deal with them that matters those moments. It’s how you take a ‘you’ break, and to think about what is going to be the A-C-T-I-O-N you will take next. You’ve got a good solid idea going for you. You’ve got the willingness to write or at least to make some time to write…. but…
Yes, that big but. According to a few people I talk to saying the word “but” negates everything you say before that statement. Let’s say I’m speaking with a person who asks me what I am doing. What should my answer be?
I am a writer, but it’s really a writing hobby.
I am a writer, but it’s only for fun.
I am a writer, but I work outside the home.
Nothing is wrong with any of these statements. Nothing in the least, after all, it’s a qualification. I’m letting people know that I am a writer. Nothing more correct? That’s the trouble with writing, and with becoming a writer in more people’s eyes you have said the “but.” Let’s dig a bit deeper with the ‘buts’ behind these “I am a writer” statements.
It’s really a writing hobby
No it’s not. If you want to blog or to write a novel it isn’t a hobby. It’s a potential business, and you are trying it out and you want to put your heart and soul into. You have the passion for it, and you want to learn the ins and outs of this business. This means an investment of both time and money and a more forceful personality than what you might normally want to have. A writing hobby means you don’t give a care what happens, and bonus if a couple dollars here and there are made.
A hobby can make money, however, “I am a writer” to most people means that the bills are paid with your writing. It means that you have a business plan that you have created and are following. You have a five year plan, or even a five month plan and you are working towards that goal. You’ve heard countless times the “write a daily number of words.” With a hobby, it doesn’t mean much. It is a suggestion and you are welcoming people to exploit your boundaries for their own good. You’re not being specific in making it clear that this is a business, or a passion and it has a priority in your life.
It’s only for fun.
Writing can be fun, and you’ve just made yourself a built in loophole to destroy your writing career. If it’s not fun, you don’t have to do it. If it’s not as easy as it looks you can say “no thanks”. If you don’t feel that editing is worth it, well it’s not fun and you don’t need it you don’t have to worry about it, because editing to you is no fun. The same holds true with a blog. Should your personal goals not be met, you can always get out of it because “it’s only for fun.”
Writing is fun, it’s a great thing to have when you need to vent, or to plan, or just to do something that isn’t related to anything more than you. That being said, the challenges come when it’s not fun, be it going beyond the brainstorming, or editing, or a daily routine of writing a blog post. It’s more of a chore some days than others. What makes a writer a writer is when the ‘non-fun’ things do not stop you from writing and you can still have a goal in mind when it comes to making sure it’s fun.
I work outside the home
This one is a time management one. On the surface it’s not an excuse, it’s a good reason. I’m sure almost anyone who has worked a eight or ten hour shift will attest to the fact that you are tired. You’re mentally drained, or simply want to put your feet up and play a video game or watch some TV. It’s a legitimate reason, everyone needs some downtime. Working outside the home means paying your bills, and we all need electricity to function when it comes to writing and editing our books. (What was normally acceptable before isn’t as much now.) Working outside the home means the personal commitments to other parts of your life, family, buddies, hobbies, need to be put on the back burner.
The back burner. The novel you’ve promised you’d take a weekend off to write? Have you at least asked around if you can book it off at work? Have you asked about not doing a hobby or a “meeting” for something or other you don’t have the heart for anymore? That novel will still be there, and you can still write it… some day. Maybe after you’ve retired, because logically Grandma Moses was older and she did it. Grandma Moses also painted at a young age, so the reasoning that she started when she was older really isn’t as true as it first seems. The back burner is the place where you put the dreams you had on hold for other less important things, or where you have it to work on until it can be important for you.
What’s the answer?
What will you say when it comes to a life with less excuses and more passion and joy?
The answer can be mind blowing or it can be a simple conversation when you don’t have an excuse, and you are proud of who you are and what you do.
That moment, that point when you realize that you are a writer. That mind blowing moment when you are asked “what do you do?” and your answer is: I am a writer.