>I have been wondering this too. I have spent many years in trying to go
>pro with my writing, and now I find it almost painful to write.
Mmmm, I know *exactly* what you mean. Fortunately, I stopped before I
completely ruined it for myself. I no longer write fiction, but I
don't mind writing articles, technical pieces, etc. My sister, OTOH,
has been writing poetry for the past 20 years, and has just this year
started sending it out, and almost immediately started getting
published in small press, and is now selling to the commercial market
>been considering trying in another field, and I've been wondering if I
>would take something else that I love and turn it into something that I
>can barely stand to think about.
Apparently, there *is* that danger.
>It's interesting that you were also turned off of jewelry making. I've
>been wondering if it was primarily the state of the present day fiction
>market and the narrowness in my particular field of interest that caused
>the problems that I had.
Heheh...I don't know. A LOT of people send mss around for *years* with
nary a nibble, and they turn out to be best-selling authors, when they
finally get their break. I've read tale after tale of the very same
>Yes, I've had a few pro sales but they were
>enormously difficult to get and didn't bring much pleasure.
Not much fun in that.
> It's been
>tempting lately to think that those ten thousand people would buy ten
>thousand earrings, and if nine thousand of them think my work is ugly
>then I can still aim at the ones who don't. There doesn't seem to be a
>huge glut of wannabe jewelry craftsmen, at least not like there is of
>wannabe authors, not like there are a thousand candidates for each
>potential sale like there is in fiction.
True, and you don't have the level of competition that you do with an
editorial staff...unless, of course, you're attempting to sell at
>I hope that more room for success would mean less room for bitterness.
See, for me it wasn't really bitterness. I guess I'm just not a bitter
person. I mean, I was *disappointed*, and sometimes annoyed, and I got
sick of doing the work, but I was never bitter, really. I had made the
choice myself, so I didn't really think that I had any right to be
bitter about it.
>When I like to do something, I like to do it right. I spend hours on
>what I am doing. I don't like things to be quick and easy. It's very
>difficult for me to find the time to work on my projects and finish them
>at the quality that I aspire to.
Exactly one of my problems. I can never charge enough for my work to
recoup my investment in _time_.
>Having the goal of turning pro makes it
>easier for me to dedicate the time and energy and materials to my
>projects. I need to have a goal and a dream -- I hope that I can have
>that while I can keep some of the fun and relaxation.
See, I wouldn't feel right selling pieces for a pittance, that I had
spent weeks or even months making. For me, to be able to do it for a
living would also ruin it because I would have to compromise
*quality*, which is something that I refuse to do.
> My day job is more
>pleasant than Shane's was, and it pays better, but I still feel like I
>sold my life for a series of McDonalds Happy Meals. I itch constantly.
>I don't want to sit still. Maybe I would feel the same way if I were
>doing something I loved full time?
I really don't know. *I* have had that experience, but apparently
other people have had better luck at it than I. That's one of the
areas I'm trying to explore with this discussion. Interestingly
enough, as a sidebar: I've had very good response here, in
rec.crafts.dollhouses, and pretty fair response in rec.crafts.misc,
and even rec.crafts.carving, but *zero* response with the stampers!
Not one person has taken the time to respond with their 2-cents, and I
*know* that there are pro stampers over there.
> Certainly, I didn't choose my current
>occupation out of a hat - this was something that I enjoyed and that I
>was good at. All of my first hand evidence would lead me to believe that
>doing something full time turns it into a chore. Those sort of doubts
>have made me reluctant to try it again, but I keep thinking about it, so
>I might make the experiment again.
Another avenue that we have explored in this discussion is to pick
something that you *don't* currently do as a craft, but something that
you might enjoy doing. Learn to do it as a *job* exclusively, saving
your "real" hobbies for enjoyment and doing your new one as a job.
That way, if you find that you do ruin the fun of it, you haven't
killed a craft that you love.
> I'm not ready to give up on writing
>yet, and I'm not good enough to take a stab at turning pro at jewelry or
>dollmaking yet (I still have a lot to learn) so I'll keep mulling over
>this for a while.
Well, it'll definitely give you something to work toward. You could
write about the process of becoming a professional crafter!
>Thank you for bringing the subject up. It's done my heart good to hear
>from people who are doing it. And in the meantime I am enjoying having a
>hobby that doesn't bring any external pressure with it.
Well, that's what hobbies are all about, presumably. :)
Nice to hear your POV.
Ted Kennedy's bumper sticker: "My other car is under water"