“That is alright, but what do you do to earn your bread and butter?” asks the first character again.
“I Write!” replies the exasperated friend.
The scene was meant to raise a few laughs, and it did so successfully.
On a serious note, however, the scene represents the truth for thousands of people who write. A large section of people who write are not sure whether it is a hobby for them, or is it something that they want to do for a living. This confusion is the biggest reason for writer’s block, and writer’s burnout.
Anyone who sits down on the table to write should know whether he is writing for fun, or for money, before he attempts to put the first word on paper.
Why, you ask, is that important?
It is important because writing as a hobby, and writing as a profession are totally different things, requiring different kind of inputs and producing different results. You can’t write as a hobby, and expect to make money out of it (that can happen, but you can’t expect it as a matter of right). Similarly you can’t write for money and infuse your writing with your personal writing quirks.
Once you know what you are writing for, you can change your style to suit your purpose, and you will find that your rewards are closer to your expectations.
For example, most people start a blog as a creative outlet i.e. to write as a hobby. But, when they see so many blogs out there making a lot of money, they begin to want to make money from their blog too. And when that does not happen, the blogger begins to feel a bit frustrated and the blog instead of being a outlet for your creativity, becomes a tool for choking that very creativity.
So, what is writing for you – a hobby, or a profession?
(Image courtesy: kristja from sxc.hu)