Is Self-Publishing Work Or A Hobby?

Creative writing is a hobby for many. Some frown upon the idea that their life’s passion is a hobby and they prefer to consider it work. Once you self-publish a story, do you consider your writing to be a hobby or work?

I polled some indie authors on Twitter the other day and 85 people voted on whether self-publishing is work, a hobby, or a mix of both. 41.2% voted that it’s a bit of both, 40% voted that it’s work, and only 18.8% voted that it’s a hobby.

I’d say I’m somewhere in the “It’s a mix of both” category. While self-publishing is work, many of us love writing so much that we’d write whether we made money or not. While I enjoy it immensely, writing is more than just fun – it is work, too. It’s no small feat to write a manuscript of 40,000 or more words, edit it 10 or more times, format it, publish it, and market it. For that reason, I won’t consider it just a hobby, because I’ve never considered it this way even from the beginning. I wrote my first novel with the intention of sharing it with the world and I believed it would sell.

In recent years, I’ve restructured my thinking; I steer away from “all or nothing” mindsets. If my writing continued to only sell one book per month for the rest of my life, and I knew this would happen, I would still write. Even those small numbers of readers matter. If one person loved my story or was impacted by it in some way, it was worth it. Besides, if you gained only one new reader per month for ten years, that ends up being 120 readers after ten years. No, it’s not huge, but it’s enough to have a small fanbase, and some of those fans will share your work, so it’s unlikely that you’ll only sell 1 book per month forever. 🙂 I know some people who have already been moved by my stories. That’s what really counts.

I’d say self-publishing is a mix of work and fun. It’s totally fine if you only consider it a hobby or if you consider it to be work. How you view something has a lot to do with your personality and what your personal goals are.

So, authors (indie, traditional, or currently unpublished), how do you see your writing? Is it more of a hobby to you, work, or a bit of both? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Do you enjoy my indie author posts? I’ve got a lot more for you to binge read! 🙂

5 Tricky Things About Being An Indie Author

Do I Have Any Regrets About Self-Publishing?

5 Things That Happen When You Become An Indie Author

Things Indie Authors Love

For The Love Of Editing

(Photo by Cristian Benavides from Pexels_)


  1. Your post is really succinct and to the point! Good job on the poll! Having some data to underpin your views makes this piece really compelling. I am firmly in the camp of: self-publishing is work! As you already know, I approach my writing like a second job…and secretly I hope it will one day help me work less hours for ‘the man’. Creative writing is hard…especially if you’re after quality in your products. Hat off to anybody who self-publishes and spends day after day refining their craft. I am not at all surprised your poll went the way it did. 👍

    • Thank you so much, Josie. Your comment made my day! I’m glad you enjoyed my post! Yes I was really curious to see what other authors thought about their own writing. It makes sense that many see as writing as work, even if we find some of it fun! I love that you approach writing like a second job – it will surely help you reach your goals.

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