Writing used to be my hobby. Then I started doing it for a living — not just with my book, but at my various day jobs over the years. You’d be amazed how spending a whole day finding words for someone else’s vision, while fun and rewarding (er… most of the time), can deprive you of the energy to pursue your own vision, especially in your precious free time.
So what you do then is, you start to make time for it. You do it even at the times when you don’t feel like it. You are determined and steadfast and you hope your hard work pays off.
I don’t know about you, but that’s not exactly how I want to describe my hobbies.
When writing became my job, I had to find other hobbies. I had a brief foray into the world of competitive Irish dancing (and no, I’m not posting pictures). I teamed up with an old friend to learn Esperanto. I crocheted half a scarf. I taught myself Photoshop (which eventually turned into part of my job, so no more hobby there). I began what would be a lifelong obsession with updating my website.
And in 2006, I found the mother of all hobbies.
My mother and stepmother both sewed, but I never took the time to learn how to do it. Only as I got older did I see the appeal in being able to create something unique and customized. Visiting home in March of ’06, I made a dog-sized quilt for Winston.
And that’s how it began. Now I have two sewing machines and a serger as well as an entire room that is technically both my office and my sewing room but, let’s be honest, is really called “The Sewing Room.”
Last spring, after we finally had some order landscaped into our jungle of a back yard, sewing moved briefly to the back burner while I discovered the joys of gardening, growing lettuce from seed and lovingly pruning our tiny peach tree (which produces tiny peaches).
And that’s not all. I’m dying to learn a language, to start playing tennis again, to teach Winston to run an agility course. Not to mention that I have books stored up in my head that need to make it onto the computer, and books stored up on my bookshelves that need to be read.
I try not to go on and on about all of my various interests, mostly because my husband looks at my sewing room and gets this look that’s a combination of highly worried and about-to-be-indignant. After all, our house only has so many extra rooms to accommodate my hobbies.
But secretly inside, I let the little fires burn. I even light a new little fire whenever I see something I want to do or try. There are more ways I’d like to spend my days that we have days to live on the planet. There’s less time to experience all of it than I would need. Some of it is, frankly, impossible. Much of it I’ll never get to.
And that, my friends, is where the writing comes in verrrrrry handy.
PS – I switched blogging platforms over the weekend, so my old KatieAlender.com site feed isn’t working. If you subscribe to my blog via RSS, please click the link above and grab the new feed! And let me know how you like the redesign.
PPS – My other hobby is spending way too much time playing with the image editing features at Photobucket — in case you couldn’t tell.