1. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Does anyone else consider writing a core piece of their identity rather than a hobby?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Mallory, Mar 13, 2012.

    I've been a writer my entire life. Even when I was 2-3 years old and didn't know how to read/write yet, I was still coming up with characters and storylines and trying to express them as well as I could at that age (according to my parents and daycare people). My kindergarten teacher thought I had a mental problem at first because I was so wrapped up in my own world all the time. When I learned to read a few years later, it seemed natural and fitting that I'd write my own stories too, and so I starting writing around the same time I learned basic reading. There was never a big "I want to be a writer when I grow up" or "I want to try writing" moment - it's just been a major, ingrained part of my identity for my whole life. When I go through periods where I don't write for a while (too much work on my plate, really active social life, etc.) I start feeling depressed and stressed out, but then when I start writing or planning a story it fixes that feeling immediately. Even my thoughts are usually in terms of written-out sentences the way I'd write them in a book.

    I don't really consider writing a hobby the way I consider gaming, improv, swimming etc. to be hobbies. Instead it's a major part of who I am as a person. Is anyone else like this? I'm curious how many out there think/feel the same way.

    I'm not trying to be pretentious in this post. Of course I'm not the best writer in the world - there will always be people better than me at anything.
     
  2. Metus
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    Metus Senior Member

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    Definitely. I started seriously writing when I was about eight (or trying to , at least; I never got very far. The longest book I wrote back then was only 60 pages). It became a defining characteristic of who I was very quickly. Writing was a source of pride, at first. Entertainment. Eventually it became an escape from OCD. Now, it's engrained in who I am. Giving up writing, to me, would be like moving to a different country. My entire world's built around it. If for some reason it was gone, I wouldn't feel. . .right. I just feel. . .purposeless and wrong. . . when I don't write. I could never give it up. What else would I do?
    I feel miserable when I don't write for more than a day. I think about my charaters and ideas at pretty much all hours, and sometimes it's really hard to fall asleep I have so many thoughts bouncing around. This week alone I wrote 45 pages of plans and experimental scenes, and that's not counting the actual, more polished writing on my pc.

    I agree with Mallory, there was never really a thought that "I want to be XXXXX". When I was a kid, I wanted to be a firefighter, or a pilot, or something. Writing was just there. Part of me. And now that I'm older, my other interests have faded, and I find myself writing more and more. I still don't plan to find employ as an author, (I prefer to write what I want, not what sells.), but writing is who I am.
     
  3. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I was much later when I inexplicably started to write -- I was 33.

    To me it is first and foremost fun, a way to stay sane. However I have loved every job I've ever done (OK not telemarketing and there was this one dress shop ...). Whether or not it is cleaning toilets, barmaiding, archaeology, museum work, I find a way to have a blast and put my all into it.
     
  4. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think childhood is the fertile garden for most potential writers. So many children have 'story worlds' they live in, imaginary friends... (Although I'm not sure if that's as true nowadays, since it seems so many children are living in front of the TV, video game or computer. When do they even have time to imagine for themselves? Another subject, however.) While I didn't start actually writing stories until perhaps third or fourth grade, I know I made up stories almost constantly in my head. Taking a bath was an oceanic adventure :D

    But note, I said potential writers. I think whether that blossoms depends on how one's family deals with it. My parents played along with all of these things, read to us religiously, and never derided or discouraged our fantasy lives.
     
  5. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I do. That's all that really needs to be said.
     
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  6. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I do consider writing more than a hobby, definitely! I quit for a couple of years and those years were the most dull in my entire life, and i didn't know why. But taking it up again was soooo nice. :) i don't have other hobbies either, I'm a quiet person who prefer staying at home rather than participating in a number of activities when I don't work and I'm the happiest this way. Writing is something I have always done, in one form or another. Diaries, stories, school assignments, two huuuuuge novels I wrote in my teens - I need to write to express all these ideas I have, all the things I daydream about.

    Writing makes me happy. I was fortunate as a teen cause my parents encouraged me to write, it kind of runs in the family, and I was actually the one not taking it seriously, I never considered it as a potential career, or even the possibility to one day submit something I've written. It wasn't until summer 2010 that I came to peace with the idea to write something to be read by others, and that is when writing felt fun again, it took it to a completely new level.
     
  7. NeedMoreRage
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    NeedMoreRage Member

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    I would consider my imagination and creativity a part of my personality, not so much my ability to write. If i were to quit writing, I would simply move on to something else that lets me exercise those two things. I more or less picked writing because it was the cheapest and easiest medium to exercise my thoughts. I also picked up graphic design for similar reasons. So no, I pretty much consider it a hobby. I enjoy it a lot, but I know where my passion for it really comes from.
     
  8. mugen shiyo
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    mugen shiyo Contributing Member

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    Yeah. When I try to stop and can't it's a definitely something.
     
  9. Dubya
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    Dubya Member

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    It never occurred to me to write until last New Year, when I set myself the challenge of writing a novel, (the last thing I wrote was an essay for my English 'O' level exam in 1974!) I am now an addict.
     
  10. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Apparently I knew the alphabet at a very young age (as in a is for apple etc., and recognising the individual letters)

    I suppose there's a pattern there, because I read a lot as a child & soon wanted to express myself by writing as well. So yeah, definitely a part of me.

    Playing music rates higher though. ;)
     
  11. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    All my life I've been desperately trying to do something creative, even before I had the skills to do so. I am unable to listen to a song on the radio without wanting to grab my guitar and play along. I cannot read a novel or a short story without wanting to dive in and write one. I want to participate. The idea of just sitting passively in the audience and letting others provide the art is unthinkable to me.

    Creativity is a core of my identity. Whether it's writing or music doesn't matter that much, but I think I prefer writing, because it seems more permanent.
     
  12. Cassiopeia Phoenix
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    Cassiopeia Phoenix Contributing Member

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    Writing is waay more than a hobby for me... Even though I will go to the college and graduate in something that's not even in the area. I want to graduate in Biotechnology, lol. I always had the habit of writing... And often my teachers say I write very well. BUT I'm not exactly the most creative person in the world... So even if I know how to write well, which I doubt it, I don't have... Ideas. I never have, and when I have feels more like a mash up of everything I've read and seen rather than an original idea, so...
     
  13. CheddarCheese
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    CheddarCheese Contributing Member

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    I guess this means I'll have to be the lame one here...

    No. I don't.

    Nothing actually sticks out in writing that would make it any more than a hobby to me than anything else. Sure, I put more time into writing than I do most other hobbies, like snowboarding, but that's because writing demands long hours of work. Don't get me wrong; it certainly isn't the case that I don't like writing in any way (I am here after all), but it's not like I can definitively say "I live my life as a writer." Because it's not a big enough part of my life to claim that yet, especially with my post-secondary education in my face all the time. Maybe it's because I can't write well, or because I might lack motivation, but I can't say writing is a 'core part of me'.

    That said, the closest any hobby will ever get to that status is probably reading! I can certainly say that I am a bookworm.

    I hope you don't hate me now. :D
     
  14. Metus
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    Metus Senior Member

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    No, we don't hate you. We're just disappointed. ;)
     
  15. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Thanks for all the replies! It's cool to see all your perspectives.

    Cheddar, there's nothing wrong with that. There are some things that I consider merely hobbies -- swim, visual arts, acting, etc. -- and there are people out there who view those activities as core parts of their identity, and I don't think that makes me lame. Likewise, viewing writing as just a hobby isn't inferior or doesn't mean you're lame. haha. :)
     
  16. marcuslam
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    marcuslam Senior Member

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    Writing is everything to me. At the moment, I have no interest in being in a relationship, because I demand the extra writing time. I often say to people that when I finish writing my last story, if I just vanished, that would be fine with me. Nah, I'm not crazy or anything. I go out everyday to play basketball, etc. Life is pretty good!
     
  17. RusticOnion
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    RusticOnion Contributing Member

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    I consider creativity as a whole a-part of me, thing is, writing is how I create.
     
  18. baggy
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    baggy Member

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    Yes writing is a very fundamental part of who I am. Due to treatment & medication a few years ago I completely lost my imagination, I didn't even dream (or at least I didn't remember them) and while I was still the same life just seemed a bit dull without it, I was so used to having other worlds in my head. Whether it was a change in medication or the fact I was over the active treatment phase my imagination came back with a vengeance. It was like my brain was constantly bombarding me with ideas I couldn't write them down quickly enough. Things have settled down now but I might be changing back to the original medication for the next 12 months, I'm hoping it won't fog up my brain again.
     
  19. The Magnan
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    The Magnan Active Member

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    Writing is practically my life... as in I allow my imagination to consume me some days when i'm at home. I'm also a thinker, and a heavy one at that, its there my ideas our routed. However, I do coursework when I need to and concentrate my subjects. I hope to do Creative Writing as a course at Uni.
     
  20. CheddarCheese
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    CheddarCheese Contributing Member

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    Thanks for that! I hope you're right.

    I just thought it would be strange denying this, since this is a writing forum and all. But I guess that's why I'm here, to make writing a bigger part of my life. Maybe when I'm older, I can re-answer this question.
     
  21. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i've been a serious, professional writer for the past 30+ years and that IS 'me'... not merely the 'core' of my being, but what i am and seem to have always been meant to be... my 'day job' is as a practicing philosopher, which of course involves writing about what i observe, so is another reason i am a writer first and foremost, with 'side-lines' such as helping aspiring writers, as well as the needy, wherever i am and however i can...
     
  22. Fullmetal Xeno
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    Fullmetal Xeno Protector of Literature Contributor

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    I feel like i was born to be a writer. My thoughts flow on paper when im in the mood, sometimes i go up and down. I'll be on a spree one week and have a procrastination problem the next. Whatever i feel it sometimes flows deeply when i write. I largely focus on getting the correct words for poems, even after the hard work i still feel small when someone tells me they were lost in my pool of rythm. I guess it's a sign that i suck! lol just kidding. I will never stop, no matter how terrible i am. I just need practice i suppose. Actually i have the same outlook but it wasn't until 3rd grade did i notice i was doing it. Beforehand i used to make handed characters with my hands with my best friend of mine and we would annoy our classmates when we were in the second grade lol i will never forget that. I use to call these charcters "Artverse" It was so dumb but it was kinda like a comedic fictional universe. We used to draw cities all the time, we constructed a fundemenmtal universe for 7 year olds. I stopped making stuff for it in the end of 5th grade due to more mature and better ideas. I attempted to make a slightly more mature version in 6th grade but it was korny and stupid and i felt like it was so dumb that i never wrote about it again. It was a failure of an atempt, but it was a portrayal of these charcters on paper with a new look but a more mature persona of these enriched personalities, i juust got so bored with the comics i had to stop. I use to make comics when i was in the 5th grade with the 3 or 4 main charcters of the universe. I made atleast 450 entries and several special booklets of it, but most of them were lost and now i only have like 3 or 4 left if im luckly. My childhood was pretty vibrant, i had a sense of stupidity and imaturity but atleast i was on a road to a passion i deeply enjoy.

    Sorry for the life story.. i kinda dragged a bit.. Now i construct more real and interactive universes... a more meaningful image.. I still carry on my personal tradition but with real and more realstic characters and with better names and detail of course. :D
     

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