My family had relatives over for dinner during the holidays and the conversation got around to our latest plans. I mentioned that I got the week off from my day job but that I was still under pressure to get work done, writing work. My aunt said something like, “Oh, no, Mario. What work? You’re on vacation.” Ah, my relatives. God bless ’em, but they can be a bit clueless sometimes. If it don’t earn a red cent, it ain’t work.
This isn’t something I’ve experienced alone. How many times have you heard people refer to your writing as a hobby, as a way to unwind at the end of the day? “It’s not like you’re a real writer like J.K. Rowling.” I’ve heard it all before from relatives and friends and roommates, and it’s a true insult. If you’re writing, you’re a writer. The only time that earning money becomes a factor is when you have to report yourself as a writer to the IRS (that’s a topic for another time).
Maybe writing really is a simple pastime for you. There are writers who never intended for their storytelling to become so fruitful. However, if writing is a serious endeavor for you, try to maintain your optimism and belief that you will eventually get into print. Remember that there are crappy writers on the market today. If their publisher buys their garbage, it’s only a matter of time before work of your quality gets noticed.
Or, if you need something more substantial than quality to keep your spirits up, then think quantity. As a matter of simplicity, I keep my writing material in binders. Dozens of binder. Ask yourself, “Does that look like a hobby?”