The riddle, as originally written by Lewis Carroll for the Mad Hatter, has no official answer, either in the context of the Alice in Wonderland story or in real life. Oh, in the years since the book was written, various other authors and notables, including Carroll himself, have offered answers but all were conjecture or speculation.
These days, I'm faced with a new riddle: When is a hobby like a career? The answer seems perfectly clear: when you get paid for doing it.
I have spent much of the last 2 weeks researching what it takes to earn a living as a writer. And I've fallen down a rabbit hole into a dizzying world full of information, all of which is enlightening and useful. Today however, as I sit back and take stock, I realize that, while I have a long list of bookmarks, resources and lots of advice, I am no further ahead in turning my hobby into a career. What am I missing?
As the March Hare once said, "Why don't you start at the beginning?"
I haven't prepared a business plan. The beginning of any new business starts with a business plan. And writing is a business, despite its "artsy" characterization. But I have neglected to provide myself with any organized guideline for launching this new career. How odd, because I have worked in sales/marketing all my life and I had a personal business plan for every year of it. Curiouser and curiouser.
A written plan adds substance to the idea for a business. Without one, your business is as amorphous as the Cheshire Cat, vague and without a clearly defined shape.
Like Alice, I often give myself good advice but I very seldom follow it. This is the exception and my project for this week is to create a plan with goals and strategies that I can put in place in the coming weeks.
By the way, the most popular answer to why a raven is like a writing desk is:
Poe wrote on both.
(We've all got a little Mad Hatter in us, don't we?)