Being a Hobbyist and A Change of Plans

In today’s Journal

* Quote of the Day
* Being a Hobbyist is Fine
* A Change of Plans
* Of Interest

Quote of the Day

“The person who makes a success of living is the one who sees his goal steadily and aims for it unswervingly. That is dedication.” Cecil B. DeMille

Being a Hobbyist is Fine

I received a nice email from a former seminar student. I hadn’t heard from her in several years. She had requested a full set of the DVD seminars I’d offered, had received them, and wrote to say she looked forward to watching and listening to them.

She hadn’t written for several years and was only now digging out from under other responsibilities enough that she thought she might start writing again. But she wasn’t at all excieted about it, and I understand that.

For her, writing stories is a hobby, not an overwhelming passion. It’s something she enjoys doing when she feels she has time to do it. Yet she wants to do it as well as possible or not at all.

I understand that too.

My youngest son is an amateur HAM radio operator. He even runs the “head-end” for a major cable company up near Flagstaff. He was a prodigy. At 4 years old he was pointing out “radio towers” whenever we took a trip in the car.

I’m like that with writing. I wrote my first short story before I ever attended school, and even though I’ve done many things in my life, writing is the one thing I’ve always gone back to. Like Roy with his driving interest in radio signals, writing is more what I am than something I do.

On the other hand, I’m interested playing guitar and singing too, back when I could still carry a tune. (grin) I’ve written dozens of songs, and for several years I performed them (along with covers of others’ songs) all around southwest Arizona, especially Yuma when I and another guy entertained at the Chilton and other places there.

At one time I even thought I might do that as a career. I still have a guitar, but at this point in my life I haven’t played it for several years. Though I once sort of aspired to being a professional recording artist, it wasn’t my passion, so it will never be more than a hobby for me.

My dual passion is writing and teaching, and I suppose that’s enough.

A Change of Plans

Wow. Busy times.

My writing schedule doesn’t matter to you, nor should it. But I thought I’d let you know I’m as susceptible as the next writer to changing circumstances and allowing the new reality to change my mind.

Also, my brain works very fast, but trust me, I’m not bragging. It’s a blessing sometimes, like while I’m racing through a story with my characters, but it’s often a curse, like when I write something in this blog and send it off, therefore cementing it in a time and place.

For example, on Thursday I said I would start a new novel, remember? I was going to read back over a few chapters of the previous novel—the early chapters that contained the catalyst characters for the upcoming novel to get those characters and their situations back in my head—and then I was going to sit down and start the next novel.

But then I had that plant emergency. (I told you about that yesterday.)

So I was going to read back and start the new novel on Friday. But I got sidetracked and spent much of the morning looking for a computer.

My writing ‘puter, a little HP 11.6″ ProBook, has been getting glitchy recently. Twice I’ve had to reset the factory settings to get it to keep working. So I’ve been locked into the hunt for a new computer for the past couple of weeks. I came close several times, but I could never quite pull the trigger on buying one. Something was always a little off or not quite as I wanted it to be.

Finally Friday morning everything clicked. I usually buy refurbished or open-box computers from eBay, but for some reason I went to the Amazon Restored store.

And there I found something I hadn’t even thought about looking for over at eBay: a desktop computer, albeit a minuscule but very powerful one with 32GB of DDR4 Ram and a 1TB SSD. And WiFi and Bluetooth, so the keyboard and mouse are not attached via wires. I already have a great monitor.

So I bought it. It will arrive on Saturday. I spent part of Friday mid-day setting up the area for it. When it gets here I’ll only have to plug it in. Until I get programs arranged, etc. (probably on Monday) I’ll continue to use my current business laptop, which is now destined to either move up to the house or become my new writing ‘puter.

Okay, so finally late Friday morning, I set out to find and read the chapters that contain those characters and situations. Only those situations and catalyst characters weren’t in the first few chapters of the previous novel (where I thought they were). They actually appeared in the novel before that.

It’s okay. I don’t mind. Having written so many novels so quickly that I get people and places and situations confused is kind of a nice problem to have. (grin)

So yesterday afternoon I read over Chapters 17 through 24 of The Road to Santa Fe to refamiliarize myself with those situations and characters. By then, most of my day was over, so I put off the writing until this morning.

So I’ll write this morning and I’ll write tomorrow morning, though I plan to spend most of today and Sunday eating finger foods and watching the football playoffs. I escaped that nonsense for several years, but the play of two of the young quarterbacks especially has caught my attention.

Back in the day I watched Drew Brees play for Purdue, then followed his career with the New Orleans Saints. I also followed Peyton Manning’s career from his rookied year at Indy though his brief stint with Denver. Now it’s Patrick Mahomes (Texas Tech and KC Chiefs) and Joe Burrow (LSU, Cincinnati Bengals).

Who knows, I might even have a beer. (I would run with scissors too, but I can’t run anymore. Too old.)

Thanks for playing along (grin). However you choose to spend your weekend, I hope it’s a good one.

Talk with you again soon.

Of Interest

See “The fungus in ‘The Last of Us’ isn’t fictional. Could it infect humans?” at Anyone want to write a new The Stand?

See “Resurrected Classic Workshops” at Ahem. I’ve received a lot from Dean through his site, through responses to emails, and from taking some of his lectures and workshops, but I’ve never received any worthwhile information from feedback on homework on a workshop assignment.

The Numbers

The Journal…………………………………… 1150 words

Writing of Wes Crowley: Deputy US Marshal 2 (WCG9SF4)

Day 1…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for January……… 36822
Total fiction words for 2023………… 36822
Total nonfiction words for January… 14100
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 14100
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 50922

Calendar Year 2023 Novels to Date…………………… 1
Calendar Year 2023 Novellas to Date……………… 0
Calendar Year 2023 Short Stories to Date… 0
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 72
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 8
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 217
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31

Disclaimer: I am a prolific professional fiction writer because of my zen-like non-process. If you want to learn it too, either hang around or download my Journal Archives at, read them, and try WITD for yourself. For the time being, the archives are free.

4 thoughts on “Being a Hobbyist and A Change of Plans”

  1. I understand the feeling completely!

    Outside of writing, which is my passion, I act as a hobby, took it quite seriously too for several years. But over time I realized that writing was my biggest passion and that, while I love the craft of acting, writing stories was what I wanted to do.
    I still act on the side, do comedy skits here and there, but it takes a backseat to my stories.

    The comment about not being able to run as your too old hit me. I’m not old by any means but I have bad arthritis in my feet due to surgery as a baby. I can’t run either, so I feel you there haha.

  2. Thanks for the subhead “Being a Hobbyist Is Fine.” I really needed to hear that today. (Well, I probably needed to hear it every day for the last *mumble* months.)

    What I’ve just recently come to realize is that I love to write and share stories. Thinking that I have to, or even should, make money from it takes away a lot of the enthusiasm and/or puts pressure on the writing. (The pressure of thousands of other people’s critical voices, that is – people who see writing differently than, say, painting or sketching or playing music as a hobby.) Thank you again!

    • You’re welcome, Peggy. Probably you could think of me as a hybrid. I consider myself a professional fiction writer. Big money would be wonderful, but my primary purpose in life is to lend the characters my fingers on a keyboard so they can tell their story or stories. I am blessed.

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