Monday, July 28, 2014

Finding a Hobby (by Margie Gelbwasser)

Growing up, if you had asked me what my hobby was, I'd say, "Writing!" It's what I did when I needed to figure things out, relax, unwind. It was as natural as breathing. When classes got boring, I'd pretend to take notes. Really, I'd be writing a story or poem. I was editor of my high school and college literary magazines, and it was no secret that my dream was to be a published author. The thing about dreams, though, is that once they become realities and careers, they cease being hobbies.

When I write now, I still love it, but it's not the same. I don't write to sort out my life or to relax. Writing now is about the story and where it's headed once I'm done with it. It can't stay in my notebook like it used to. It's final destination is always a book. And that's OK. Not many people can make hobbies into careers (and not everyone wants to either). The bigger problem was the void that was left where a hobby once was.

Not having a hobby made me feel boring. When people ask me what do I like to do, I still answer writing, but that's a false reply. It's not just what I "like" to do. It's a part of who I am. So, when this blog chain topic came up, I racked my brain for something to write about. What else do I DO? Here is my list of loves:

1. My family--spending time with them and taking care of them
2. Walking--for exercise, to sort things out, to work out book ideas
3. Reading--for fun and for craft
4. Watching TV--for fun, but I sometimes cloak it in craft (haha)
5. Cooking--love it and trying out new recipes

All these the things above are good, but hobbies? I don't know. Isn't a hobby supposed to be something you do consistently? And something like a side project? My family is hardly a hobby. They're my everything.

So I guess I'm lame. I don't really have one hobby. And, therefore, am not sure how to say a way it impacts my writing. I've thought about getting one, but I feel I have so much on my plate already, now is not the time to learn a new skill.  I think 2-5 could qualify, though. Maybe I'll make some dish inspired by a new book.


  1. Great post! I like your point about dreams turning into realities and ceasing to be hobbies. But I think reading is definitely a hobby, especially the reading that's just for pleasure and not connected to your writing.

  2. So true--reading was once a great hobby; now, it's always informing and shaping my work!

  3. I've been getting better at reading just for fun, but it's hard to read and not dissect.