I went to a convention a few years ago and while speaking with one of the guests about what they do (comic book artist) a very intriguing question was asked about the enjoyment that he must have felt every day when at work because he was effectively being paid to do his hobby. The answer made me think then but it seems to be very pertinent to me now.
He gave the classic line of ‘If you love your job you never have to work a day in your life’ but he followed it up with the qualifier that needs to be remembered when you try to embark on a journey into turning any hobby into a career.
When you have a hobby, you get to choose exactly what you do with it.You get to decide when you engage in the activity and what direction you want to take it. If you don’t fancy ‘playing’ on any given day, you don’t have to. I can remember when I played various sports that I always had the choice to miss training if I wasn’t feeling it that day. If I fancied a week off for any particular reason, I could just say that I was unavailable for selection and I was free to do something else.
When you get paid for doing your hobby, then the level of freedom around it is suddenly curtailed. You may wake up and decide that, I’m not feeling that creative today so I’ll just have the day off, but now you may be up against a deadline. You have to get stuck in even though it’s just not there and do your best to churn out something without the usual drive you feel when partaking in the activity you would normally love.
I’ve found that I’m encountering days like these now. I’m not suddenly a full time author but the book is out there and I’m aware that there are people out there who are waiting on the next installment so the timescales I’m now working with are much tighter. My first book was years in the making but the second one is set to be unveiled early next year and I can just feel that tiny increase of pressure building.
I still love writing and having the world of ‘The Circle’ in my head all of the time so nobody panic. It’s just going to be interesting to see how I handle it.