Hobby != Profession

I would hate to be a writer…

See, I love writing… whether it be the odd poem (not in a long time, but it has happened), my latest blog entry or a vague storyline for something (game or otherwise). But boy do I struggle to get there… I have nothing but admiration for those that choose to make writing in any shape or form their careers.

Over the past few days I have been trying to think of something vaguely interesting to write, however that ugly beast known as ‘Writers Block’ chose to rear its ugly head. Thankfully I dont have my entries due by a deadline (god forbid), and I tend to write when I actually feel like writing. This writers block got me thinking… How many times do you look at something and think ‘Wow I would love to do that as my career!’ ?

What sparked this entry was a conversation with my better half, a week or so ago. We were talking about cooking, and food in general (we both share a passion of cooking), and Fran said she would love to be able to make a career out of cooking, because she loves it so much. While I understand the sentiment, I pointed out the fact that when she cooks, she cooks for genuine pleasure and most certainly doesnt have 30+ people in a single kitchen yelling back and forth with the noise of 40+ dishes being cooked at a time…

I know that Im just as guilty of this, as my retirement dream is to own a cafe, due to my all-consuming, overpowering obsession with that glorious black gold known as coffee. I love making coffee, drinking coffee, and thinking about coffee. To the point where I stumbled across a coffee magazine, dedicated to that aromatic, diminuitive little bean, and its everything I ever dreamed of in a magazine about coffee. Im going to stop talking about coffee now, because my fingers are starting to run away with themselves, and if left unchecked I could talk about it for hours…


As I was saying, I have also fallen into this mindset, where I think that hobby = profession. While there are situations where this does happen (and usually these people are the most renowned in their respective fields), most of the time, we ‘common’ people dont truly understand the blood, sweat and even tears that go into running a respective business. I have no freaking clue how hard it is to run a cafe, but from what Ive seen I realise that its not what you would call a ‘calm’ profession.

I think the turning point for someone truly turning their passion or hobby into a real profession is the point where they truly realise what they are getting themselves into, and still want to do it. To know how badly they are going to get screwed around, precisely how many stomach ulcers they will recieve in the process of realising their dream, and most importantly: how much money they stand to lose (not to mention things of a personal nature; marriage, relationships and friendships). Money doesnt grow on trees, and the costs in setting up a business can sometimes set you back years before you start making an actual profit… But if your passion (read: obsession) is powerful enough, nothing can stop you.

So next time you see something on TV/in a magazine/at the movies, and have a knee-jerk reaction of ‘wow, Id love to do that as my career’, think to yourself…

How many stomach ulcers can you survive?


Note: If you are wondering what the != means in the title its a programming expression that means ‘does not equal’.


3 Responses to Hobby != Profession

  1. john says:

    Money does not grow on trees, but any good Italian would know it grows UNDER tomato plants.

    I have stomach ulcers and my hobby is not my career.
    I have no intention of making my hobby my career because its a performance based hobby and you have to be damn good to make a decent career out of it.

    Instead of running a cafe, how about owning. So you still get all the free coffee and the final say…UNLESS your cafe becomes world famous and you so damn exclusive that you can run it at you pace.

    Please allow me to explain.
    There is some korean guy over in America. FAMOUS COOK, all the “famous in crowd” go there. Donald Trump the billionaire goes there to eat.
    This guy has several restaurants that run as normal, but he has 1 that he works in that runs differently. This is the exclusive one. Its not exclusive in the sense you have to be someone to go there. Its a case of you have to be someone to want to go there.
    There is no menu, no price, no team of chefs. ONE guy cooking, thats it. This guy is so famous people go in, and he tells them what they eat. You have no idea what you’re going to get. He’ll just cook.
    I thought that was a great idea.

    I think the whole cafe thing would be awesome, as I too have had that dream many a time. Unlike you the thought of coffee has not yet put a little wet spot in the front of my pants though.

    Some of my thoughts.
    As you can see I don’t often suffer from “Mental block” when it comes to writing unless it needs to be specific eg uni crap.
    I find the trick to writing is just to write and try not to think.
    I do this well.

  2. Marianne says:

    Oh my Lord Adam, You seriously could have knocked me over when you said that you have written poetry! When? I thought you hated poetry, that’s why you don’t like reading mine? 😦 I must admit, I do like your style of writing. It’s very conversational, which I think would win readers over. You would make a very fine article writer and should consider that in your field of work. I believe you could have a good freelancing job doing that (writing about IT. HOwever, it seems to me you have a creative streak a mile wide. I have two options for you to use that to your advantage. If you want to write poetry, READ IT. Seriously, that is the best way to learn how to do it properly. In the meantime, just write WHATEVER COMES INTO YOU HEAD, WHENEVER THE NEED ARISES. Put it away for a while, then when you feel like it, take it out, read it and pick out certain words or sentences you like. Then go from there. Write something else, remembering to include what you picked out. You have a philosophical nature so use that in your poetry, if you so desire. Remember, you are only writing for yourself and NOTHING is rubbish, not even your worst sentence. As a hobby, writing poetry is a very theraputic thing to do and I am sure you have the ability.But, unless you are extremely talented, poetry writing does not pay well. Oh, and don’t forget, you can always enter your poetry in competitions too. The second thing you could do is write fantasy. You LOVE reading fantasy, have done forever, so you could start off trying to write fantasy short stories. If that works, you could always (as a hobby to begin)try writing a fantasy novella, then maybe graduate to a novel. You just need to find something different, original. I have a text book called Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Source book, that i could lend you so that you could get a feel for the genre. YOu have the talent, as I said. And no, I am not biased. You are a very good writer and I couldn’t be happier for you. Now, if only I could get you to read my poetry!!! lol, let me know what you think, ok? Cheers, hugs and many kisses to you and Fran ok?

  3. Kirsty says:

    Hey Adam – try Lo Zucchero in Dalkeith for wicked coffee. I worked in Fremantle with the wife of the couple who own it. The food is amazing – and pretty well priced too – but they roast their own coffee on site and it is truly outstanding. If you go, speak to George, the guy who owns and runs it. Tell him I sent you in and he’ll explain how the machine works etc. They have a website too…

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