What are hobbies, exactly? They’re things that take time. Sometimes, too much time. Copious, extravagant amounts fully enabled by circumstance to derail anything improperly prioritized. (For me, that’s basically everything.)
I have a desk job, folks. It’s not the worst thing for a writer, but I’ve also decided to learn to play the piano after something like two decades of indecision on the matter. And of course, I must maintain a relatively strenuous aerobics regimen to keep my malformed heart in working order. I can do it–Rabbit Rue is proof of this–but doing so while making progress on my steadily growing “to read” pile is significantly difficult. I do it anyway, or I’d go insane rather quickly; I’ve been voraciously consuming fiction practically since I could lift a book, so why stop now?
No matter righteous intentions however, things suffer. The cliche of the starving artist is not merely prevalent because the artist is poor, but because the poor artist actually has copious time to practice his craft–those that aren’t lucky enough for fame and fortune to solve cash-flow problems, of course. For the vast majority, that means choosing between subsisting on our writing alone–which is a daunting proposition at best–or compromising with the universe and necessarily writing less often. So here I am, plinking out a few pages every day, spending weeks editing and rearranging, and still loving every minute.
I may not ever get rich or famous doing this, but books are in my blood one way or another, so I’ll continue to fit it into my schedule. There’s never enough time, but I’ll use what I can get.