Writing and hobbies

Many times I am seeing the question, “Tell me about a typical writing day.” Or I see posts about how an author is writing so many words in one day. I think, “Yeah, right!” Then I am reminded of NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. I was able to write 50,000 words in one month. How did I do it? I took writing as my hobby.

I define a hobby as something that is done in my spare time that I enjoy doing. It may be reading, drawing, sewing, quilting, crocheting, or any number of activities. For me, I have time for one hobby. If it is reading, then in any spare bit of time I have, I read the book I am currently engrossed in. If it is drawing, I pick up my pencils when I get home, while I’m on hall duty at school, or any other opportunity I have. The same is true of any of the other hobbies I have.

When you view writing as a hobby, it means picking up the pencil, the tablet, or the keyboard at any opportunity that you have–on break at work, out on a photo shoot, while the kids are down for a nap, etc. During that specific time, you write. You don’t let life ruin your opportunity. You write. The story that is bottled up inside of you pours forth onto the page. When you are done, the tale lies complete before you. It doesn’t matter if you plan your way through the story or let the story tell itself. When you have writing as a hobby, the novel comes out.

There is a danger though in viewing writing as a hobby. It is the idea that it doesn’t take work to write. It’s like in the photography realm. Just because everyone has a camera on their phone and can snap a photo doesn’t mean that every person with a camera is going to have the eye to see, the know-how to do it, or the guts to snap the perfect picture and then put it on canvas, metal, or in a frame. Writing is the same way. Even though it is my hobby, it is also my craft. I have learned how to make the words flow together to sound the best. I have practiced dialogue; I have studied my editor’s and proofreader’s corrections and am learning from them to become more professional. I still believe that anyone can write–just as anyone can snap a photo. The difference will be those who decide to write and make a difference. Write to tell a story. Write to show a new world to a new audience. When you write like that, your hobby has become your passion.

So, this November, as NaNoWriMo comes closer, write as a hobby. Tell the story that is brimming inside of you. Do a little bit of research and let those characters come to life. Write to be read. Who knows, maybe you will have a story that is ready to be told.

What's your take?