Is Writing a Hobby? (Answered & Explained)

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I’ve been writing for over 30 years—professionally for the last 13 years—and it use to bother me when people called writing a hobby.

Is writing a hobby?

Writing is a hobby for people who write for personal entertainment without seeking payment or employment. Writing fits the definition of a hobby. Examples of writing as a hobby include blogging, fanfiction, and unpublished poetry. Writing can also be a side hustle and a full-time profession.

In this article, I’ll fully explain why I think writing is both a hobby and much more.

Is Writing a Hobby? (5 Good Reasons)

Writing is a hobby but it’s not just a hobby.

I think the word “just” is where my emotional defenses use to come up. I felt obligated to defend my passion by balking at the idea that writing could be considered as “just another hobby.”

To me, that placed writing alongside doodling and playing with Legos (not that there is anything wrong with these pastimes).

1) Some Writers Write as a Hobby

Some people do write for fun.

Others write to pay the bills and build their financial empire.

I’m in the latter category. I make my living as a writer, but I started out writing stories just for fun. I wrote as a teenager because I enjoyed it.

A few years later, I wanted to become a novelist (and make money at it). That was when writing transitioned from a hobby to a professional aspiration for me.

However, lots of younger and older friends of mine write purely for pleasure.

2) Writing Meets the Definition of a Hobby

One of the most obvious reasons writing is a hobby is because it qualifies as a hobby.

According to Dictionary.com, a hobby is “an activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation and not as a main occupation.”

Writing meets that definition. I enjoy writing, and it’s a way to relax and escape from the daily stress of work, school, and family.

In fact, writing is one of the most relaxing activities.

When my writing is going well, I enter into a flow state where the activity is almost effortless.

3) Fanfiction Is an Example of Hobby Writing

One great example of writing as a hobby is fanfiction.

Fanfiction is fiction based on characters or settings from an established work of fiction, created by fans of that work rather than by the author.

In other words, fanfiction is writing based on someone else’s ideas.

For some people, that’s their hobby. They enjoy taking someone else’s characters and creating new stories with them.

Related: 50 Must-Read Power Rangers Fanfiction

4) Blogging Is Another Example of Writing as a Hobby

Many writers like to blog as a form of self-expression.

An unpaid blogger who does not want to earn money from blogging is technically writing as a hobby.

Blogging is a great way to exercise your writing muscles, try out new ideas, and connect with other writers and readers.

5) Poetry Is a Version of Hobby Writing

People who write poetry for themselves might be engaging in writing as a hobby.

There is no requirement to publish poetry.

In fact, many poets choose to keep their poems to themselves.

Anyone who writes anything for fun and without intent to publish and make money falls into the category of hobby writing.

Is Writing a Hobby? (Answers for 10 Types of Writing)

You might want to know if a particular type of writing is considered a hobby.

To get straight to the answers, I made a simple chart.

I hope you find it helpful.

Check out the following chart to find out if writing is a hobby:

Type of WritingYes or No
Is writing poetry a hobby?Yes/No
Is grant writing a hobby?No
Is technical writing a hobby?No
Is writing stories a hobby?Yes/No
Is diary writing a hobby?Yes
Is journal writing a hobby?Yes
Is essay writing a hobby?No
Is article writing a hobby?Yes/No
Is speechwriting a hobby?No
Is songwriting a hobby?Yes/No
YouTube video by E.N. Chaffin—Is Writing a Hobby?

Is Writing Poetry a Hobby?

Writing poetry can be a hobby but it can also be a profession.

It depends on the poet’s goals and motivations. Some people write poetry simply for the love of it and don’t care about getting published.

Others want to publish their poems but don’t do it for money.

Then there are poets who make a living from their poetry.

Is Writing Stories a Hobby?

Writing stories can be a hobby, a career, or some combination.

It depends on the author’s intentions, visions, and future plans.

Some people write short stories, novels, or screenplays for fun and don’t care about getting literary agents, publishers, and building an audience.

Others want to publish their stories but don’t do it for money.

Then there are authors who want to make a living from their creative writing.

Is Journal Writing a Hobby?

Journal writing can be a hobby or it can be a way to document your life.

Some people journal as a way to record their thoughts and feelings. Others use journaling as a tool for self-reflection and growth.

It comes down to your perception and purpose for journaling.

Is Essay Writing a Hobby?

Most of the time, essay writing is not a hobby.

It’s more accurate to say that essay writing is a skill or a tool that can be used for various purposes.

For example, students might write essays to demonstrate their understanding of a topic or to showcase their experience with an activity.

Is Songwriting a Hobby?

Songwriting can be a hobby.

You can also write songs to perform for others or as a ghostwriter for rappers or other professional artists.

You can certainly make songwriting a career.

Is Writing a Hobby for Unpublished Authors?

Writing is a hobby for unpublished authors who do not want to get published or receive compensation for their books or novels.

However, just because your book is not yet published does not mean writing is a hobby for you.

It’s possible to write a book and never publish it.

You may keep your book to yourself, or you may give it to family and friends.

But if you write with the intent of getting published one day, then writing is not a hobby for you. It’s a professional aspiration.

And, if you are in the process of writing a book, I wish you the best of luck in your writing journey.

Is Writing a Hobby if You Don’t Make Any Money?

Writing can be a hobby if you don’t make any money.

However, writing can also be a temporary unpaid internship aimed toward a full-time writing career. I wrote for years without making any money.

When I did start making money, my “take-home pay” was in cents, not dollars.

Just because you don’t make any money from writing now doesn’t mean you never will. Many writers don’t make money until years after they start writing.

The important thing is to keep writing, even if you’re not yet getting paid.

Is Writing a Hobby for Young Children?

Writing is usually not a hobby for young children, but it can be a hobby.

Most of the time, children write to learn the skill set of communicating ideas through words and other symbols (punctuation).

Children might also write to express their feelings.

At the same time, some young kids do write simply because they enjoy it.

Is Writing a Rich Man’s Hobby?

Writing for leisure is sometimes viewed as a luxury of rich people (men or women).

This is primarily because writing is an intellectual exercise.

Historically, the most educated and intellectual individuals came from the higher class. Everyone else was too busy working and making a living.

However, not all writers are wealthy or particularly intellectual.

In fact, many writers live below the poverty line. And many writers started their writing careers without making any money.

So, no, writing is not a rich man’s hobby. It’s for anyone who enjoys it.

That includes the rich, poor, and middle-class.

Is Writing Only a Hobby?

Writing is not only a hobby.

Writing can be a side hustle, a passion, an income stream, an art form, a ritual, a chore, and a full-time profession.

As you can see, I believe that writing is a hobby—and so much more.

Many writers (myself included) earn a living from writing. I pay all my bills from the money I earn from blogging, writing books, and doing affiliate marketing.

While I write for fun, I also write to make money.

And I’m not alone.

These other types of writers also treat writing as more than a hobby:

  • Screenwriters (such as Disney writers)
  • Video script writers
  • Novelists
  • Authors
  • Video game writers
  • Professional bloggers
  • Copywriters
  • Technical writers
  • Grant writers
  • Resume writers
  • D&D Book writers
  • Songwriters
  • Speechwriters
  • Jingle writers
  • Medium writers
  • Movie review writers

Is Writing a Job or a Hobby?

Writing can be both a job and/or a hobby.

It depends on your focus when you write. If you are writing to make money, then it is a job. If you are writing for fun, then it is a hobby.

The same can be said for any other activity.

For example, if you fix cars as a hobby, that’s one thing. But if you fix cars as a job, that’s another.

Is Writing a Hobby if You Make Under $600 Per Year?

According to the IRS, the federal threshold for completing a 1099-K form is $600.

Therefore, there is an argument that writing for less than $600 legally qualifies as a hobby.

However, I made less than $600 for decades. Yet, I always considered writing a profession and not a hobby.

When Does Hobby Writing Become a Business?

Hobby writing becomes a business when you start treating it as one.

This includes tracking your income and expenses, setting goals, marketing your work, and more.

If you’re not doing any of these things, then you’re still in hobby mode.

But if you are doing these things, then you’ve moved into the business territory.

It’s up to you to decide when that happens.

How to Tell the Difference Between Job and Hobby Writing?

The easiest way to tell the difference between job and hobby writing is to ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I write mainly because I enjoy it? (Hobby)
  • Do I write because I want to make money? (Business)
  • Do I track my income and expenses? (Business)
  • Do I have marketing materials? (Business)
  • Do I have writing goals? (Business)
  • Have I made money from my writing? (Business)
  • Have I professionally published my writing? (Business)

If you answer “no” to most of these questions, then writing might be a hobby for you. There is nothing at all wrong with writing for fun and relaxation.

But if you answer “yes” to most of them, then writing is probably a business for you.

Here is a good video that helps you figure out if writing is a hobby or career for you:

YouTube video by E.N. Chaffin—Is Writing a Hobby?

Is Writing a Good Hobby?

Writing is a very good hobby. Writing can help you relax, exercise your mind, heighten your communication skills, and explore your imagination. It can also be a great way to express yourself. Writing can be a fun and rewarding pastime for people of all ages.

Here are a few reasons that writing is a good hobby:

  • You can do it solo (no need to gather up hard-to-reach friends)
  • It’s free (no need to buy expensive tools or resources)
  • You get to know yourself (the process of writing forces you to reflect on your thoughts and feelings)
  • It’s portable (you can do it anywhere)
  • It can help you cope with difficult times or emotions (For example, after a loved one dies, some people find solace in writing a goodbye letter)
  • It makes you a better speaker and thinker (writing refines your ideas)

Final Thoughts: Is Writing a Hobby?

The greatest thing I love about writing is that it can serve as both a hobby that you enjoy and a service that gives you financial freedom.

Over the last few years, I’ve made thousands of dollars per month from writing.

Before you go, here are a few hand-picked articles just for you:

Sources

IRS
Dictionary.com

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