“Only amateurs say that they write for their own amusement. Writing is not an amusing occupation. It is a combination of ditch-digging, mountain-climbing, treadmill and childbirth… But amusing? Never.”
I am just beginning to understand the depth and the genuine meaning of this quote. I have spent so much of my life on the non-published side of writing, where there was amusement experienced in all that I did in the world of writing: where I would write, what pen I would use, which daybook was best, when the best time of the day was to write.
I don’t find any of these aspects of writing trivial; I think they are all necessary if they contribute to the full balance of the writer’s world. If, however, they are what defines the writer’s world, then there is great imbalance. The reason they are called amateurs is simply because that is what they remain–a person not compensated for his or her work.
It’s the attention and energy we give to other side of writing that makes the difference. For years, I have made the claim that I am a writer–and I am one by definition. In the past decade I have published over 75 pieces in local, regional, and national publications. However, I have yet to cross that all-important, yet quite invisible line of sustaining any real income with my writing.
This is where the amusement ends for me. Publishing those 75+ pieces has been good fun. Those jobs have brought in $100 or so mostly, maybe $250 every once in a while. Nothing above that, though.
I’ve stopped the Merry-Go-Round. Pulled the plug on the whole park.
I’m at work now, ditch digging and mountain climbing, and I’ve never been happier about being dis-amused.