This was just brought up on Facebook, as one of the authors there commented that another author just flounced and quit writing because it was too hard or something (I didn't see the original post). I guess a few authors have gone through that. And yeah, writing--or rather the in general "creating"--IS hard. It's not easy. It's brutal work at times, and you don't get recognized for it. And sometimes, people will criticize you for it.
So, why create? Why be an artist?
It's my belief artists aren't necessarily good, famous, rich, or even talented. Artists are artists because they create art. That's it. A three year old scribbling in crayons is an artist. A ninety year old writing their memoirs is an artist. Hell, the guy in Close Encounters of the Third Kind who sculpted Devil's Tower out of mashed potatoes is an artist. Artists create art. That's it. It's that simple. It doesn't have to be good art, or famous art. It doesn't mean they are starving or rich. All they do is create. Everyone in some way is an artist... but I think what people mean by artists is not "can they make a living doing it" (although that would be lovely), but rather, "Do they NEED to make the art?" Maybe that's just my definition. The people I would consider "professional" artists are those who NEED to create. Everyone creates, so everyone is a creator... but those who do it out of the need to create something new, to tell a story, to share a picture, to snap that perfect photograph, to design the perfect building, to make something new... I think that's the "professional" artist. In that case, it's because it's their profession, their drive, their need to create.
I write because I need to write. In my own definition then, I am a professional writer. It's my profession... not a hobby. It may be part time right now--I think I clock in between 20 and 30 hours writing a week, sometimes more, but almost never less--but it's still my profession and it's not 'cause I get paid for it.
*waves a hand* Idle thoughts. Am writing right now! But it's in the secret experiment. When I ... get to a certain point the SEKRIT EXPERIMENTS, I'll share it here (and ONLY here, since no one reads this anyway, heh), as well as my results. In the meantime, rest assured I am still working on The Princess of Wands. I'm up to 47.5K, which is just a stone's throw away from novel-hood. At this point, I'm guessing the length is going to be.... another six to eight chapters, which should be around another 30-50K words. It's still hard to guess "for sure", but that's a reasonable estimate.