Trouble in the Playground
ROW80-1 check in - 03/11 - Schedule for writing

ROW80-1 check in - 03/06 - more than a hobby

I was explaining to someone the other day that I was a writer now, so he asked if I had sold anything. When I said no, he said, "So, it's a hobby then."

I was offended, because to him that seemed to reduce the level of what I do - writing - from a passion to a mere dalliance, to a casual pursuit done purely for enjoyment in my leisure time. To be fair, he knows nothing of what is involved in being a writer, but it still stung a bit. I do hope to make money at this eventually, but in the meantime have the luxury, I suppose, of enough retirement income to live frugally on. That means that my whole day is 'leisure time'. However, for the most part, that is now filled with 'working' at writerly things. I practice writing, I read examples of good writing, I study techniques, I edit, I talk with and learn from other writers, I take courses to broaden my knowledge for my books. After all that, in what's left over as my new 'leisure time', I play the trombone, I take photos, I go for walks in the woods. Those are my hobbies.

Status update:

  • Editing - None really, but I've decided to keep at it on my first book. I do have someone interested in both it and the sequel - based on the summary I sent him. Rather than do a major restructure, I'll do a quick cosmetic check, then send it 'as is', along with my second one. Hopefully he'll see some potential, and also offer some constructive criticism. 
  • Writing - I did another story for Flash Fiction Friday, about time travel. This carried on with some ideas in an earlier one about a portal in time/space. 
  • Other
    • Once Upon a Time - I'm pretty well caught up to the current episodes. I assume this second season is the last, can't see an easy way to wring more out of it. 
    • Courses - I finished the Astrobiology one, and am getting caught up on Aboriginal Worldviews and Education. This is an excellent course, only four weeks long, but packed with lectures, slides, and links to various papers, policies, and other sites. Great First Nations background for my first two novels. 
    • Book Club - This month's was Cool Water, by Dianne Warren, and it was my turn to host the meeting. Spent a while cleaning and cooking - my place is always fairly presentable but nothing like a visit by a group of women to spur a cleaning blitz. Only five showed - about half - but they loved the food, the conversation, and my place. I made some dip, cut up some veggies and cheeses, added crackers and there were our starters. Also made a huge pot of veggie chili, bought some fresh bread, made sure all the glasses stayed full - was great. They liked the apartment too - it is quite roomy, with lots of closets. Several had been expecting a bachelor pad - I'm not sure what that meant. I've been pretty well on my own for 26 years, and raised two kids - maybe it's time to get a circular bed with satin sheets, plug in the lava lamps, and put Barry Manilow on the stereo? 

TBD - Edit. More on the Aboriginal course.





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Eden Mabee

I get you completely, Mike. My mother was the first one to call writing "my hobby" about 20 years ago now. The worst thing about such derisive comments is how they can push one to do things they would normally not do if allowed to pursue one's passions naturally. Especially when one is a teenager and still learning how to control one's emotions...

Your reaction is exactly the right one. I've read your stories. You clearly have a passion for words and learning.


Thanks Eden - I certainly consider it as more than 'just a hobby'. Not sure on the difference between author and writer either, as some say that while an author creates something, a writer can also be just a scribe.
Maybe artist is better, as a writer can be said to create art by painting with words.
I do have a whack of flash fiction online, so when asked if they can read my work somewhere - sure.

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