A good friend recently told me not to dwell on yet another rejection of my current manuscript. She said “It is only a hobby. Not your career.”
If I would have kept a journal of my writing path, it would read something like this:
I am invited to a creative writing class by a close friend. Thinking I might like this as I always considered myself creative, I agreed. Remembering how many years ago (before children) I had sent a few manuscripts to several publishing agencies and received good feedback.
The instructor’s first assignment write a short story.
I will write my “Caroleisms” as I like to call them (quotes on life I love to refer to with friends and family) My favorite – “Don’t be a mashed potato. Stand up and be a French fry.”
Instead I wrote about my cats.
At the time I did not know the instructor was a cat lover. This grew a mutual bond. She and the class loved my story and I loved my newfound aspiration to write and see my name in print.
She introduced me to a wonderful new editor and she and the editor critiqued my work.
The long learning process began.
I read, researched and discovered the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers) and through them found a wonderful children’s critique group from which I have previously spoke of. I have been told that it takes seven long years on average to break into the world of published writer. It has been a little over three years and I am at awe by the immense amount of knowledge I have obtained and the wonderful guidance and support I receive.
So, to answer my friends statement – When does your hobby become your passion or your new career. I don’t know, but I do know this –
When one hour of writing, researching and reading becomes four or five hours or every free minute – when you cannot get enough information on writing, revising and publishing – you are hooked and it is definitely more than a hobby.
I would love to hear feedback of your writing journey.