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Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Harbouring a hobby - Tania Vaughan

I have a confession to make that's not easy for a writer on a writers blog.

I am harbouring a hobby called writing!

You may think that's great, it's such fun, what better hobby is there? But for me, it's not supposed to be a hobby.

It's my passion, my desire, one of my reasons for working from home and for having an office built. The problem writing has not attained the lofty place of purpose in my everyday life.

How do I know?

I know because everything, and I mean everything, distracts me from it. Housework, cooking, washing, walking the dogs, meeting friends, spending time with family ... everything.

My writing gets pushed aside, as if of little importance, like a hobby that one enjoys but only if time allows, after everything else has been done. Writing gets those stolen moments that I allow, as a treat.

What is it that pushes my passion to write down into hobby status?

Guilt! Pure and simple guilt. Writing feels like an indulgence. Surely something I love so much can't really be work? Can there really be any worth when there's no financial gain?

To be fair, there's no financial gain in housework either but it is a recognised 'job' for a wife and mother, and so receives some credible status. So the world tells me.

When I shut myself away in my office to write I am assaulted with thoughts that begin, "I should be doing ... something else, anything else".

I know these thoughts come from an enemy that doesn't want me pursuing what God wants me to write. I know my guilt comes from a society that puts monetary value and status as worth on a job. I know the thoughts are lies but it doesn't stop them coming.

I'll be honest I haven't yet figured out how I'm going to combat this. I need to promote my writing from hobby to work status and accept that no money does not mean no worth. It's going to take a lot of discipline and lot of blocking out time in my diary, but I've named it now and I'm determined.

Do you struggle with attaching worth to your passion? What are your tips or words of wisdom? Share them below, I'd love to hear your thoughts.



Tania Vaughan started Let's Talk About Ministries after writing her book "Let's Talk About Sex and Relationships - A Bible study for single women".

Through devotionals, mentoring and teaching, Tania seeks to encourage every woman to claim the full life that Jesus came to give them. Online Bible studies and her blog can be found on her website www.taniavaughan.com




14 comments:

  1. You have summed up exactly what happens in my life. One of the ways to ensure that it is treated as a job, is to put writing time in the diary and that is sacrosanct. Everything else, including housework should also go in the diary. That way ther is a a time for everything

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    1. It's just what I'm trying to do - it's the rearranging the becomes a problem!

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  2. I think we all struggle with this unless we've made it to 'professional writer' status and someone's giving us deadlines. I really don't want to think about how many hours I've spent on the current WIP, something which may never see the light of day if I don't self-publish.

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    1. I think you're right Fran - although I'm sure we often feel like the only one as we watch what we perceive to be quicker success and production.

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    2. Doesn't matter whether it's a mere 3 yrs (as Jesus had for his ministry) or the 85 that Caleb had, Fran. I loved your book. There's nothing self-indulgent about it. Give up the struggle but don't give up the writing.

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  3. I have had to come to terms with this and accept that for me, writing is a hobby. It is also a vocation, and a calling - but still a hobby. Not in terms of importance or value, but simply in the practical matter of how much time I can give to it. I have other commitments - to work, to church, to family - that have to be given time as well. Very often these things must take priority. So, for now at least, writing is a hobby.

    What I refuse to accept is that it is therefore unimportant. On the contrary. Writing is part of who I am, part of who God made me to be, a talent and a vision he has given me that I should value and use as opportunity occurs.

    Inevitably, these things come into conflict. My vision and my heart's desire is to write, the necessity and duties of life often dictate other priorities. The frustration that results is probably an inevitable part of being a writer!

    But I will live with that frustration, in order to both fulfil my duties and keep my dream alive.

    Thank you, Tania, for a challenging and thought-provoking post that I'm sure will strike a chord with all of us.

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    1. Thanks Paul - also learning to live with the frustration - you are right - whatever our hobbies they are an important part of our lives and our downtime :)

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  4. You are an excellent writer, and what you have to offer is of crucial importance. Stand back and see yourself through my eyes, gal. Or through God's.

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    1. Thank you my friend - your encouragement keeps me going :)

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  5. I so identify with this, Tania. I look forward to my days off because they're my "writing days" - but then I either get distracted by all the other jobs that need doing, or feel guilty for not doing them! I sometimes find it helps if I set an alarm - if I promise myself I will do nothing but write for the next 2 hours (say), I tend to make more progress.

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    1. That's a good idea Fiona - I ended up running around today because I got so caught up in writing and ended up being late! I know no pleasing some people ;)

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    2. Sounds like a perfectly valid excuse for being late to me...

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  6. Getting older helps - I'm aware if I don't get on with it, I may run out of time! Thinking of Mary Wesley helps. She had her first book published in her 80s and went on to write a fair few more. Great post...

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  7. Argh. Just lost my comment. Basically I said one word, deadlines. When they feel manufactured, the help of an accountability partner is crucial. Great post. Can relate.

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