I have more hobbies than anyone I’ve ever met. Sewing? Of course! Clothes, quilts, curtains, even puppets. Music? I can make passable sounds from half a dozen instruments or more. Sports? Okay, not so much, unless you count yoga and Tai Chi… and walking. I could name dozens of other hobbies I pursue, things that fill my time with joy and growth.
Lately, I’ve become more focused. I have always planned on writing as a career and have reached the point where it’s time to move forward. With growing demands on my time, most of my hobbies have been gently shelved for revisiting on another day. But I don’t miss them. As a writer, I don’t have to.
One of the best things about having so many hobbies is that I can give them to my characters and describe them with authenticity. I can draw on my experiences learning the piano for one character, and my experiences… well, drawing, for another. It gives the characters more depth, because the experiences they have with those hobbies are real, even if they’re mine (I was the only person in my drop-spindle class who somehow was able to spin my fingers into the yarn I was making – twice! I don’t recommend it. It isn’t very comfortable.).
Even better is when one of my artistic hobbies improves my writing itself. When I draw, for example, I start to look at everything differently, to really look at the world. I notice things, little details, that I might want to incorporate in a picture, and find that the descriptions and settings in my writing become better.
Art feeds art. And for every new experience we give to ourselves, for every new medium of self-expression we explore, our writing becomes that much richer.