Sunday, July 6, 2014

I need a hobby! -- Jen Doktorski


This month we’re blogging about hobbies. When I sat down to think about my post, I realized that sadly, I don’t have one. Unless you count obsessively checking my phone and email to see if my agent has reached out to me. When I’m not busy writing, or being a mommy and a wife, I’m either reading, running, or listening to music. But are those hobbies? In my case, I don’t think so. Especially since I run, read, and listen to music in order to come up with plot and character ideas. Running does serve the added purpose of keeping my butt from expanding while it’s planted in the chair writing. But still, it all feels connected somehow.
The more I thought about it, the more I was like, “Hey, I want a hobby. No, I need a hobby.” I want to walk into the craft store with purpose. I want to carve out time or a space in my home for all my hobby stuff. But what space? What stuff? What should my hobby be? I figured I’d start with a list because I always start with a list.

Sewing. In seventh grade I took sewing as an elective and spent the semester making a corduroy pillow shaped like a “J” and a purple, velour jogging suit. (Yes, it was the 80s.) Ever since then I’ve thought many times about buying a sewing machine and trying my hand at it. Maybe I could turn worn out jeans into cool handbags or make a quilt from old concert tees. Who cares if my buttons don’t stay on without crazy glue, and I use duct tape to “hem” pants? Not me. I still have time to learn, right?

Photography. I love taking pictures and every once in a while I get lucky and capture a really great moment or image, which I’ll enlarge and frame and hang in our living room. But my picture taking is still a long way from being a hobby and my phone has made me lazy about remembering to bring my camera, and my eyesight isn’t what it used to be, and not everybody thinks my dog and my shoes are as cute as I do.



Dollhouse construction. Last year, after Santa delivered an unassembled dollhouse kit to my daughter, and I discovered that the cost to have said dollhouse assembled was double what Santa paid for it, my daughter and I spent nearly twelve months building the Cranbury Cove model. It was a great mother/daughter project. It was a loooong mother/daughter project. And though completing it felt like a great accomplishment, neither of us felt compelled to repeat it. But we do like buying those cute dollhouse miniatures.
 
Art. I enjoy drawing and painting and have at least a smidge of talent in this area. Owning an easel, and sketchpads, and all kinds of cool pencils, paints, and charcoal would be awesome. I could take an art class, maybe develop my skills enough to illustrate my own picture book someday. Because the publishing process isn’t difficult enough.

Collecting. Someday if I have lots of disposal income—because, ya know, I’ve finally managed to write that bestselling series with a concept so huge it would be like rolling dystopia, zombies, vampires, and terminal illness into one gigantic ball of awesomeness—I’d love to collect things. Art, rare books, antiques, old maps, tiny tea cups, rescue dogs, Mustang convertibles, waterfront property. Anything. Everything. Because when Joss Whedon buys the rights to my books I’ll be able to do that. For now, refrigerator magnets will have to satisfy my yen for collecting.
Miscellaneous. These are not serious contenders, but so long as I’m listing, I may as well include them. I’d love to be able to surf, play guitar, golf, speak a foreign language, remodel and flip houses, and water ski.

List making. I think we have a winner.

 

12 comments:

  1. I love this post, Jen. Also, I do think pics of dogs and shoes are cute : )

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  2. Thanks, Jody. I can't get enough of cute dog pictures myself. :)

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  3. Too funny. Have fun making lists! :) I could totally relate to this post. I have the same problem. I have sampled many hobbies, some stick, some don't. I especially enjoy scrapbooking and still consider it one of my hobbies even though I haven't touched the stuff for two years other than to drag out scraps for school projects that my kids tell me about last minute. Thank goodness I have my supplies! I do have my writing & since I don't get paid, I suppose that is my current hobby. Kids do suck up so much time, but it is worth it. I have even joined them in some of their activities. I have gotten a brown belt in Tae Kwon Do because I enjoy taking the classes along with my kids. Currently, I sit on the nice shaded porch of our sailing club & watch as my 3 kiddos sail off into the bay. Sometimes I use the time to plot stories, but mostly I visit with other moms. Yes, the double life of mom-writer is a hard, but rewarding one. Hobbies come and go, boo-boos happen, and writing often takes a back seat to taxiing kids around town. But hey, through all this life marches on and I just do my best not to miss too much of the parade. I am going to go out there and make my own fireworks. Okay, I am seriously a little too preoccupied with this whole Fourth of July weekend thing. Happy Hobbying whatever it may be.

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    1. Very true, Karen. The double-life of writer/mommy is tough but I would never trade it either. Remember, even writing you don't yet get paid for is work. Much like all those jobs we do as parents :) Happy 4th of July weekend!

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  4. I'm with you on the list making! And the obsessive hope that one day Uncle Joss will buy the rights to my books, too. (Oh Joss! How many future YA writers did you create? I dare say it was enough for a dance of joy.)

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    1. I love Joss, Joy! Enough to name my dog Buffy. :)

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  5. Ha! List making is a good one! I'd love to learn how to sew, but the times I've tried it has not gone well. I want a dollhouse and things for it, but the time I tried constructing one, I had no patience for it. I feel hobbies should relax you, so why not the things you mentioned like running, etc.?

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  6. Maybe running is a hobby, Margie. My husband talked me out of that one. Aside from the one 5K I run every fall, it's certainly not a competitive thing for me and it does relax me. :)

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  7. I agree with Margie, hobbies are things that relax you and that you enjoy so it sounds like you do have some winners here. Like you, I'm a mostly non-competitive runner (even 5Ks are more for me than for the love of racing). I love your shoe photos and I take lots of cat photos myself so I am with you on the animal pics! Also I am ALLLLLL about turning old concert tees into things and you don't even have to be an awesome seamstress to do it. I definitely am not but I made a bunch of old shirts into a dress thanks to this book! http://www.amazon.com/Generation-108-Ways-Transform-T-Shirt/dp/0761137858 I probably don't do it often enough to be a real hobby, but it's fun!

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  8. Oooh, thanks for the link, Stephanie! That books looks very cool. All the comments talk about how the instructions for every project are very clear and simple. Perfect. My concert tees may have new life.

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  9. Ohmygosh. I have a zillion dog photos, too, Jen.

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  10. Don't underestimate list making LOL! It helps me feel better to cross off a thing or too and not miss important things ((((hugs))))

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