I am a writer.
I have another job too. It is a job that people consider a “real” job because, I suppose, I have to drive to it and stay there, in a space that is not home, and do work-related things until I leave. No one bothers me at that job. They do not call and say, “Hey, since you’re not busy, can you do x, y, and z?” They do not get irritated when I don’t immediately answer texts, because they know I am working. No one asks if I can pop out and do them a favor.
Of course not. Because they respect my working time. And yet very few people aside from my partner respect my writing time. Which is also working time.
I often wonder why that is, why people treat writing as a hobby or an indulgence rather than as work. Is it because of the pernicious and fuzzy geography of “home”: the fact that my writing workplace is also the same one where I eat cold pizza and dance to bad 80s music in my free time? Is it because I do not have to get in a car and go to an Important Place? Is it because I am writing sweet and sexy romances and not the next great American novel? Is it because people think writing is a “a spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings,” like Wordsworth said, and therefore requires no actual effort?