You know how they say “turn your hobby into a job and you don’t have to work a day in your life”? Yeah, it really doesn’t work that way. You’ll end up hating your hobby instead.
Not really, of course. That is a bit of a oversimplification. But there is some truth to it. Work is work is work. A hobby is nice because there is no obligation. You can pick it up whenever you want, or leave it be for a while if you don’t feel like it. If, for example, your hobby crocheting, no one will ask you when you’re finally finished that blanket and when you expect to sell it.
Turning your hobby into a job can have its advantages. I, for example, would love to become a full time writer. And there are plenty of examples of people who have turned their hobbies into successful businesses and are loving every minute of it. But on the whole, a job is still a job no matter how much you love it. You still have to wind down and relax at the end of the day. And if your hobby had become your job, what will you do as a hobby instead?
I guess I am struggling with this whole thing a bit. I’m nowhere near turning my hobby into a full time job, meaning I can ditch the day job. And maybe that’s my problem. I used to write my novels as a way to relax from the stress of life in general and my day job in particular. I found great joy in sitting at my laptop and typing away not caring whether it was any good or whether I had an audience for my book.
Likewise with blogging. When I first started blogging, I saw my blog as just a place where I could fling my thoughts, sort of like a curated journal. I didn’t really care about SEO or readers and I didn’t even check the stats for my site. It was just a bit of fun and a way to connect with people.
However, as I am trying to move towards making money off my writing, I find myself right now in a difficult phase. I am not making nearly enough money from my writing to be able to cut down on the day job, but the time I am spending on writing-related activities (blog, paid writing for websites, my novels) is increasing. I find I am pretty much working two jobs: the day job from 8 to 5 and then my writing in the evening.
I’m not complaining. I’m very grateful that I have paid writing work and that I have been able to finish a novel for publication. I’m hoping to increase my paid work as well, although so far it’s not working that well. However, I need to put far more time and energy into pitching ideas than I currently have. I would love to be able to drop my day job to part time and make up the difference with paid writing work. I don’t think that is ever going to happen, though. The amount of time I currently have available doesn’t allow for the time and effort it will take to pitch ideas, chase up editors and market myself.
I have been participating in NaNoWriMo this month, which is probably why I’m a bit overtired. I’ve also been job hunting for a new day job so all in all I’m just exhausted. I used to turn to writing to relax, but now that feels too much of a chore, a task with deadlines and goals. It also doesn’t help that I have set up a book review blog so now reading also feels like a task rather than a relaxing hobby. I’ve started a bullet journal again and had a fleeting thought that I could make that into a project as well. Maybe Youtube it? I cut myself off at that thought. I really can’t turn every hobby into a job or I’ll have no way to relax anymore.
I am sure I will go back to finding writing relaxing. Maybe once the stress of job hunting is over I will have more energy to focus on trying to acquire more paid writing jobs. For the moment I will turn to crocheting and bullet journaling for relaxation.