When Is A Hobby Not A Hobby?

19 Feb

That is the question I am pondering today.

I’m mulling on this having been interviewed as an expert on blogging *cough*.

Vino in hand - Sam shares her blogging tips

Vino in hand – Sam shares her blogging tips

Now I have to confess, I do not see myself as an expert.  I am (as Wikipedia terms it) a hobbyist – that is: “Anyone who does an activity solely for fun”, otherwise known as an amateur from the French for “lover of”.

So I write my blog because I love it.  I love sharing and I love hearing from you.

However, writing-wise I guess in the last year, things have sort of changed.  My hobby of “writing” has entered new territory with the book publishing deals and strangely while nothing has changed, in the same way, things have changed.

My hobby of “writing” isn’t just now my hobby – it’s also kind of what I do.  It’s like this thing which I used to do every so often has now become this thing I do more often than not.  And, I have to admit, when you do something more often – you end up having more expectations of yourself.  You want to get better at it – you want to learn more and to progress.  And, that was one of the reasons why I chose to sign with a literary agent.

But in doing that it left this “void” in my life – I no longer had this activity which I used to do every so often and just for fun.  I had brought my outside interests in.  And that’s fine and I am sure there are plenty of functioning individuals who get on with their lives without any hobbies or outside interests – but I believe the special term for such people is workaholics – which I have never fancied the accolade of being!

So, the “aha” moment came while chatting with a friend over a glass of vino.  The hobby topic got mentioned, analysed, dissected and sorted.  A new hobby was found.  A plan was hatched.  And before you could say “hobby” the Surf Camp was booked.

Yes.  You heard me.  Surf Camp.

surf camp

The new found hobby is to become a Surf Chica.  Which I guess is more like a hobby-goal rather than just a straight hobby activity as such.  But I reckon if I decided to collect thimbles – I would start with the goal first to enable me to do the hobby e.g. I want to collect thimbles from the 18th century (preferably with hand-painted roses) rather than just generally “I want to collect thimbles”, or even more so: “I want to collect STUFF”.

Anyway, it’s all getting too overly thought about now and that does not fit with the hobby mentality – which is purely for fun.  I do not intend to be a pro surfer and having never held a surf board in my life, have very little expectation of success.  I am a scaredy cat swimmer who doesn’t like getting water in their eyes and have enough trouble balancing on a pavement, let alone contemplating standing on a moving piece of fibre-glass to “catch a wave”.

But to hell with it.

Hobbies are about having fun.  Hobbies are that special day-pass in your everyday world where you get to be a lifelong beginner and never need to improve – as long as you are smiling.  Hobbies occupy a different space in your life – a place of amusement and pleasure and no more tick-boxes than: did I enjoy myself?  

But maybe that’s the rub with hobbies – because you enjoy them so much, you want to spend even more time doing them.  And then when you do, you turn around and realise – what was once your hobby is now your job – and so begins the hunt for a new hobby, or was that a new job?

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