Friday, September 21, 2012

Making a Hobby into a Job

By Maggie

Weaving is one of my greatest joys. My loom is just the right size to rest on the arms of my recliner in the evening, light enough to join me outside in the September sun. I love the feel of the yarn or thread in colors bright or soft as they merge to create a piece of cloth, a warm scarf. I love weaving.  It’s a satisfying, centering hobby with money making potential. At this point, writing fiction is also a hobby, one that I want to turn into a job. Let’s look at the difference here.

According to The American Heritage Dictionary, a hobby is: “An activity or interest pursued at ones leisure for enjoyment.” And a job is defined as: “1. A regular activity performed for payment. 2. A position in which one is employed.” These two definitions are easy to understand. They are similar in the pursuing of an activity or interest for enjoyment, as a job is often the result of this pursuit for us. The problem, at least for me, is having myself for a boss.

I retired in 2011 from decades of working as a nurse. This took years of education, ongoing training, dedication, and the benefits of life and on the job experience to do well. This was a profession with specific procedures and protocols, unending expectations of high performance, and bosses with bosses of their own seeing to it that I possessed the required self-discipline demanded of the work. I did all that then as an employee, and now I have to learn to do it with myself as my boss. As of today, the following job expectations are placed on myself by my own bad self:

·         I will continue to take writing classes and attend workshops, conferences, and networking activities with other writers.

·         I will spend time each day in writing activities, including but not limited to, researching, sending out my work to agents and editors, and actual ongoing writing.

·         I will never again, under any circumstances, give up, throw up, or curl up in the fetal position in despair in the face of rejections.

·         I will continue to read the published novels in my genre, old and new, good and wretched.

·         I will self-evaluate my performance at regular intervals, setting specific goals for improvement.

And, as my own boss, I will therefore hold me accountable to the above in fear of unleashing the wrath of my inner witch upon myself.


Patricia Stoltey said...

I especially like that one about not curling up in the fetal position in takes a while to get there, but after a few thousand rejections, it becomes so routine we don't even notice.

Yes, that's a joke.

Jenny said...

Inspiring post, Maggie. I, too, will try hard to resist the fetal position...and all that other great stuff, too!

Jamie Raintree said...

My boss is lazy. Lol! Great goals!

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