Writing: Hobbies, Interests, and Obsessions

I do not have what you may term an addictive personality. I’ve never idolized rock stars or actors, never followed sports teams, never consumed information on a single topic until i could call myself an expert. I’ve never been obsessive about anything with one huge exception: Books.

A lot of parents have to bribe and cajole their kids into picking up a book. My mom got mad at me sometimes for reading too much especially, for instance, while we were driving through the lush landscapes of Hawaii.

While my other interests waxed and waned, reading was always a constant. I can’t even begin to count how many books I’ve read over the course of my live. A lot of them I remember, some of them I’m sure I’ve forgotten, but each of them played a part in shaping the way I think, the way I see the world, and how I approach my second-found love: writing. Love of books lead me toward my Creative Writing major and it helped me find career paths that won’t just be jobs. This, I think, is one of the biggest gift anyone can find: a way to make money doing something you would do for free.

This kind of persistent obsession is kind of important if you want to make a career out of being a writer. The path to publication is a struggle and it doesn’t necessarily get easier over time. You will constantly be bombarded by critics and critiques, both constructive and destructive, and have to find a way to cope with this. You’ll have to push through exhaustion and writer’s block and characters who just won’t do what their told to come out the other side with a book that someone somewhere is guaranteed to pick up and think is the worst thing ever written in the history of publishing. Hopefully this will be balanced by the people who pick it up and believe the opposite, but humans have a tendency to linger over the negative more than the positive.

Take a moment and look at your life. What are the things that have always spoken to you? What passions have always filled your heart, even if they sometimes faded to the background a little? Look at those and find a way to use that, in your writing or in your life. There’s enough misery in the world already. We each have to find our own way to keep ourselves happy.

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