I often get asked why I write so much about hobbies, thoughts, and insights. The simple answer is that it’s something I’m passionate about. But there’s more to it than that. It’s kind of an identity. I think it’s important to have a hobby or creative outlet that is entirely your own. Something that you can do purely for the sake of enjoyment, without any expectation of results or recognition.
In this post, I share my deeper philosophy and reasons for writing about hobbies.
Who Are You? Thinking Out Loud
I welcome instrusive thoughts. “Why are you doing this? What purpose does it serve?” You need to be thinking about your actions and their consequences. But there’s a limit.
An intrusive thought is a thought that pops into your head that you don’t want to have.
You can overthink things to the point where you stifle your own creativity and enjoyment. That’s why I believe it’s important to have at least one hobby or activity that you do purely for the sake of enjoyment, without any expectation of results or recognition.
This post began one early morning…
On the way to work, I started as I always do. I walk, coffee in hand.
I walk a fair distance, and when you walk, your mind wanders.
As someone who is always thinking about something, I’m easily distracted. Some may consider these thoughts intrusive. They don’t make sense and often don’t lead anywhere. But for me, these thoughts are essential to how I process information and make meaning of the world.
So, I often find myself thinking about things that have nothing to do with what I’m supposed to be doing. As a kid, this got me in trouble. A lot.
But now, as an adult, I’ve found that these thoughts can be channeled into something productive. It’s part of that creativity I’ve been accused of. Yes, I’ve been told to stop dreaming so much.
Well, I am who I am.
On this particular day, I wondered a bit about why I have so many hobbies. I paint miniatures, of course, but I’m interested in photography. And there are other things, too. I like to draw, and I’m always looking for ways to improve. And then there are the things I do for work, which include writing and a ton of research.
Intrusive Thought #1: Am I Wasting Time?
Am I wasting my time? Wouldn’t it be better if focused my efforts, my intellect, my emotion in a specific “thing”? Is it possible to focus on one thing and be good at it?
The answer, of course, is that it depends. There are people who focus on one thing and become world-renowned experts. But there are also people who focus on one thing and never amount to much.
Although I haven’t decided yet, I have a feeling that my diversity of interest is part of an identity issue. From what I understand about psychology, when a person doesn’t know their identity, they often try on different personalities, or at least interests, until they find one that suits them.
MAYBE Having Multiple Hobbies is a Sign of a Identity Problem
An identity problem is when you feel like you don’t know who you are or what you want in life. You may feel lost and uncertain about your future. This can be a difficult and frustrating experience. However, it is also an opportunity to explore your interests and find out what makes you happy (source).
In teenagers, that age of uncertainty, it’s not uncommon for them to try out different things. They might be into punk one day and goth the next. They might go through a phase where they’re interested in philosophy, and then they move on to something else. And that’s okay. It’s part of finding yourself.
But what about adults? Surely, by the time we reach adulthood, we should have a pretty good idea of who we are, right?
Well, not necessarily. It’s not uncommon for adults to go through life without ever really finding their niche. They might have a job that they don’t love and hobbies that they only halfheartedly pursue.
This makes sense to me. We live in a world where we’re constantly bombarded with choices. And with so many choices, it can be hard to know what we really want.
I think that’s part of the reason why I have so many hobbies. I’m still trying to figure out who I am and what I want to do with my life. But I’m okay with that.
I’m enjoying the process of exploration. And who knows? Maybe one of these days, I’ll find that one thing that I’m really passionate about and I’ll be able to focus my efforts on that.
How to Unify Too Many Hobbies
In the field of physics, the holy grail is a theory of everything. It’s a unification of the four forces that govern our world: gravity, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear forces.
In a way, I feel like I’m searching for my own theory of everything. I’m trying to find a way to unify all of my interests into one cohesive whole.
I’m not sure if that’s possible, or even desirable. But it’s something that I think about often. How can I turn my disparate hobbies into a unified whole? What is the common thread that ties them all together?
Maybe I have found it—a Theory of Everything. An identity that rules over all hobby identities.
Intrusive Thought #2: Do I Have a “Theory of Everything”?
I believe in the power of words. There is something inside the power of a word. A sound. A shape. They have meaning. And that meaning can be used to create or destroy.
I also believe in the power of stories. They are the way we make sense of our lives. They give us a framework to understand the world and our place in it.
In beginning was the word…
So, maybe my “theory of everything” is that everything starts with a story. A word. A sound.
And maybe my mission in life is to use those stories, those words, to create something beautiful. No, not beautiful. Useful. I want to be useful. Show or share a purpose.
Maybe that’s why I write. I’m not sure why these people write—it’s a tad dark—but it’s kind of endearing to see that people still use typewriters.
WriTE IT OUT
What is interesting though is that my unifying “activity” always seems to be writing. Even when I was painting miniatures for myself or for others, I was writing about it. And now, as I’m exploring my interests, I find that I’m always drawn back to writing. It’s the one thing that seems to tie everything together.
I put words on a page. Often it doesn’t make sense right away. But as I keep writing, a picture starts to emerge. And slowly but surely, I start to see the connections between all of my interests.
It’s like a puzzle. All of the pieces are there, but it’s only when you put them all together that you can see the big picture.
So, for now, I’m going to continue to pursue my diversity of interests. And I’m going to continue to write about it. Because, in the end, that’s what really matters—Getting words on a page.
Through writing, I can explore the world. Meet people, characters, and experience places I would never have dreamed of. And best of all, it’s for…. What. It’s my way of making sense of this big, confusing, elegantly complex world. And perhaps I’m not speaking of the one you can see.
IS WRITING A HOBBY?
A hobby is a leisure activity that is done for enjoyment, typically during one’s free time (source).
No matter what your hobbies are, there is a good chance that you can pursue them through writing.
For some people, this might mean keeping a blog about their interests. Others might write articles or even books about their favorite topic of interest. Jotting things down on a piece of paper makes whatever that thought real.
Even so, still others might use writing as a way to connect with others who share their interests.
There was a time when journaling, keeping a diary, was considered a hobby. And in some ways, it still is. But now there are so many different platforms and genres to choose from that the options are endless.
You can write about your hobbies on social media, in a blog, in an e-book, or even in a traditional printed book. The sky’s the limit.
Intrusive Thought #3: is Following Through worth it?
“If you follow through an action, plan, or idea or follow through with it, you continue doing or thinking about it until you have done everything possible.” (source)
You don’t grow when things are easy. When times are hard, confusing, you learn the most about yourself.
In many ways, writing has been a way for me to make sense of the chaos in my life. It’s helped me to find meaning in the mundane and to understand the world around me.
It’s been a way to connect with others, even when I feel like I’m all alone. And it’s been a way to build something stable, even when everything around me is falling apart.
So, if you’re looking for a hobby that can help you make sense of the chaos, I encourage you to give writing a try. Oh, what do I mean by writing? It’s listening and talking at the same time.
Anything from traditional journaling to writing a blog or even just posting on social media. That is a kind of speaking and listening, together.
It doesn’t matter where you start. Just start writing and see where the words take you. You might be surprised by what you discover about yourself along the way.
Now the challenge is: Can you keep a thought and follow through on it to fill a page, a book, or more? As much as I enjoy posting a quick note on Facebook or other social media platform, they are bumper stickers. A flash in a pan type message.
The real meat and flesh is in a fully formed thought that you can explore in all its nuances. Follow through on those ideas. Make your words “sticky” by stringing them along until you find an answer; or at least a satisfying conclusion (until next time).
Tips for the Aspiring Writer
If you’re thinking about taking up writing as a hobby, here are a few tips that helped me:
- Don’t worry about being perfect. The first step is just getting your thoughts down on paper (or screen). You can worry about editing later.
- Find your voice. Writing is a great way to express yourself. So, don’t worry about sounding like anyone else. Just be yourself.
- Start small. You don’t have to write a novel to get started. Just write a few sentences, or even just a few words. The important thing is to just start writing.
- Get inspired. Read other writers, watch movies, or listen to music. Anything that gets your creative juices flowing can be helpful when you’re starting out. Go for a walk to nowhere. Pacing is an associated with idea fluency.
- Read a lot. The more you read, the better a writer you will become. Stephen King once said, “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.”
- Keep at it. Writing is a process. The more you do it, the better you’ll become. So, don’t give up if your first few attempts aren’t perfect. Just keep writing and you’ll get there.
- Have fun. Writing should be enjoyable. So, don’t take it too seriously. Relax and let the words flow.
I hope these tips help you on your journey as a writer.
WHY DO I WRITE A LOT ABOUT HOBBIES?
Hobbies are a big part of my life and I enjoy writing about them. I find that hobbies give me a sense of purpose and help me to understand the world around me. Writing about my hobbies is a way for me to connect with others, even when I feel like I’m all alone.
Ultimately, I write to unify my chaotic thoughts, to wrestle with distractive thoughts, to connect with others, to build something beautiful, and to have fun. While I think it’s cliche to say writing is a huge part of who I am, it would be disingenuous of me to not say that writing has saved my life in more ways than one.
If you’re thinking about taking up writing as a hobby, I encourage you to do so. It doesn’t matter where you start. Just start writing and see where the words take you. You might be surprised by what you discover about yourself along the way.
Do you enjoy writing? Why or why not? What are some of your favorite hobbies? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.