Sunday, July 21, 2013

When You Need a New Hobby

Writing used to be a hobby. Now I've realized I need a new one.

Not that I mean to stop writing -- I don't. But writing fiction has changed for me. It's not something I do as a form of escapism from real life, or something that relieves stress and angst. It IS my real life. And it's often a source of stress and angst. I don't think the change came from being published -- it comes from focusing on becoming (and staying) published.

I don't make a living from writing fiction -- not by a long shot. Still, I have acknowledged myself as a writer and it's part of my public persona, but more importantly, it's too big a part of my private identity. It's no longer a no-stakes endeavor. The emotional stakes are high.

So now I need a hobby as relief from my hobby. Before I had children, I used to garden and still do, but my schedule doesn't give me free time during prime gardening hours. It's hard to prune roses at 9:30 p.m.

So I've returned to childhood pursuit that fell by the wayside -- drawing. I was a serious art student in high school, but now I find myself shockingly rusty. Still, it's fun for now. I'm actually trying my hand at illustrating my own stories, just pencil, ink, and brush pen. I'm strictly unprofessional and hope to stay that way -- if I start angsting about developing an illustration career, I'll be back scrambling for another hobby.

Is writing a hobby for you, or is it more? When did it change? What other personal pursuits do you have, and how do they interact with your writing?


Angelica R. Jackson said...

I didn't think of writing as a hobby, until the IRS told me differently, haha.

And my photography has definitely dropped to hobby status--possibly even neglected hobby status. But it's definitely a more comfortable place to be with my photos: I use them to complement my writing and for blog posts, rather than worrying about entering competitions and trying to get on gallery walls.

And I've also recently resurrected my drawing skills; been playing around with some line drawings for chapter pages of Crow's Rest. They may never be used, but it's a good release to create them.

Liz Penney said...

I have been thinking about this. I write full-time - for clients, articles, work for hire novels, and my own novels. I used to garden (can't in this rental house), I used to hike all the time (don't live in the mountains now), etc. Got to make myself break away for an off-line life!