There comes a time in every creator’s career when they must make a decision. That decision is a simple one to make: hobbyist or business?
Hobbies are just that—something to pass the time that you enjoy doing, that you can sink a lot of money into without seeking any kind of remuneration. Collectors are generally hobbyists. Dabblers are general hobbyists. Know anyone who makes their own craft beers but doesn’t really look to sell them? Hobbyist. Someone who owns/makes planes or rockets to fly? Hobbyist. A hobbyist isn’t too difficult to find anywhere you look.
Making a hobby into a business venture is something totally different. This means you have brought your skill to a level where people will pay you for it. That payment is an acknowledgement of the time and effort you’ve put into learning your craft, and having credit is being recognized for doing what you do.
Some creators just want to tell their one story and be done. They’re not looking to make money, they’re not looking for (comic book) fame and fortune. They just want to have their one book on their shelf so they can look at it and say, “I did that.”
Don’t misinterpret me. There is nothing wrong with being a hobbyist. There is nothing wrong with making the decision to become or remain a hobbyist after seeing the cost it takes in time, effort, and money to bring a comic from your brain to the shelves. It can be daunting, and saying that you don’t want to go through that has no shame attached to it.
If you make a decision now as to what you want to be, you’ll have a much easier time of it. There isn’t anything that says you can’t change your mind later, one way or the other. Just understand that you’re going to have to make the decision eventually.