My sister and I were talking recently about hobbies, and how she had read that a lot of millennials don’t have hobbies anymore because they are so focused on their career and likewise that millennials with artistic careers turn their hobbies into work. Arguably doing what you love is a dream job, my goal of being an author will be wonderful one day, but it doesn’t change the fact that then writing, which is a hobby, would be a job if it isn’t already. Most artists I know treat their hobbies like jobs which of course begs the question, if what you love to do is your job then what else do you like to do?
This isn’t to say that drawing, writing, acting, or whatever other artistry a person does becomes unenjoyable (hopefully it doesn’t, though burnout can definitely happen) but that doing what you love even as a job requires a lot of work, and it’s important to have other interests outside of art, especially if your art is your job.
I was having this issue a few years ago, when I started committing myself to writing and finishing more projects. I still enjoyed writing but with scheduling time to read and write as well as work my normal job, I had to think of what else I like doing, what other things do I do that bring me joy?
Walking is one of them for me but being a woman, I’m limited in the areas I can go and when (or maybe that’s just the paranoia talking). I also like taking pictures with my polaroid camera, but I need a new album to put my pictures before I can take anymore (I have too many pictures and not enough space!). One of my more recent hobbies is sewing, and while I haven’t made much except for a few pillowcases and stockings I have plans and projects that I want to make, most notably this year a t-shirt quilt (that I REALLY need to cut the pieces for this month).
It isn’t about piling yourself with so much that you don’t have time for anything, but finding something that entertains you, so you have some play with your work. Maybe that’s seeing a movie once a month, maybe it’s going to a lecture at a university or museum. Just something to change the scenery, let you learn something new, something that brings you joy and makes you happy.
I think sometimes it can be hard to find and develop hobbies as we get older, because some of these things require time, like say learning an instrument. If you only care about little ditties and just having fun then you’re fine but if you want to really know how to play an instrument then you have to take lessons, get familiar with the instrument so that you can be good at it. And when our lives are already so busy it can seem like a pointless idea to add more to our already full plate.
But a hobby isn’t meant to cause stress, it’s supposed to relieve it. So find the thing that makes you happy, the thing you read about online that sounded cool but you’re hesitant to start. Maybe it’s knitting, maybe it’s baking, maybe its tapestry making, who knows but learn about it and at your own pace enjoy it. You’re in no rush to enjoy things, just find a little time for them to make yourself happy.