So why write? That seems like a decent way to start this blog off, doesn’t it. Why do I want to write? There are other things I could be doing; easier hobbies, quicker pleasures, simpler ways to spend my free time.
Well if I wanted, once I get home from work each day I could park myself in front of the television until it was time to wash the dishes and go to sleep. I could settle in to spend my weekends playing computer games, or working in the garden. I could build things and improve the house. Writing takes time, effort, planning and, if you really want to get into it professionally, putting yourself out there to the constant little disappointments of the inevitable rejection letter. Do you know how many Xbox games I could have played through instead of dedicating a whole day to sitting and writing? How many films and television shows I mean to sit and watch? I want to do both those things, but I put them aside to spend the time writing. Why?
Don’t get me wrong, I do do all of those things, and I enjoy them. Writing is not my only hobby, but it is the one that I love the most. It isn’t always easy, it shouldn’t be, but it’s one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. But more than that, writing is the only thing I do where when I’ve finished, I don’t get that nagging feeling that I could or should have spent the time doing something else. That’s what it boils down to. If I spend the evening playing computer games, I end up feeling I could have spent the time sorting out the house and tidying up. If I spend the time tidying the house, I feel as if that’s all I ever do and wish I’d relaxed. If I do some gardening, there are bills I could have been paying. If I sit down and do my accounts, there’s that list of TV I’ve been putting off watching hovering in the back of my mind. If I watch TV, that was a couple of hours sitting doing nothing where I could have been putting up shelves.
But whenever I spend that time writing, I never feel as if there was something else I should have been doing instead. If I do anything else, I’ll always kick myself that I could have spent the time working on my writing, but never the other way around. Writing is what I want to do.
I suppose that this could be something to do with the fact that, once I decided that I wanted to write for more than just my own amusement and try to make a career of it, I knew that I had to dedicate myself to it. I want to get my novel published, and so I have to put everything I can into making it the best I can, and then doing all I can to get it picked up by an agent or publisher. Every hour I’m not working on that goal, it just one more hour longer before I reach it.
But the problem with being an aspiring writer, at least if you’re not independently wealthy beforehand, is that you do not have all the time to get these things done. I have a job which takes up most of my time, and family and friends that take up more. One of these I can’t give up without tripping over a pot of gold, and the others I have no wish to give up. This means that I have to fit in writing whenever I can; my lunch hours, the evenings, weekends. And yes that means sometimes giving up on those other recreations that I would love to be spending my time on.
But the act of writing is the greatest joy I know. Who knows, once published and earning enough money to be able to write full time it might become something of a chore, more of a job than a hobby, but I can’t really picture that. Writing is something I love.