A few weeks ago I was asked what my hobbies are. We all had to list ten things. And anything writing-related wasn’t allowed on the list. To be fair, nothing job-related was allowed.
I just sat there, unable to answer.
Yoga and other exercises are seen as too constructive to be a proper hobby, though I was allowed to add yoga to the list because they felt sorry for me (no other exercises were allowed).
Walking with my dogs made it to the list. (Because I didn’t add that I would work out plot-problems while spending time with them outdoors…)
Sewing was allowed on the list – but not the various kinds, only a generalisation.
Where others were allowed to add reading and watching TV to the list, I couldn’t do so. Reading is part of a writer’s work – even reading for pleasure mostly ends in learning. Watching TV is just another medium of storytelling…
Ah, listening to music. No. I do that while I write.
Obviously obsessively cleaning isn’t a hobby, it’s a job. Or something much more sinister…
I added people-watching and eavesdropping in the mall to the list. After a few tsks and suspicious glares, this was allowed. I’m sure they suspected that these two items were writing-related (and every writer reading this knows it to be true).
Playing on social media? No. Blogging? No. Writing stories for Wattpad? No – that’s obviously writing. Tsk-tsk.
I was beginning to get worried.
Trying out new recipes on family? Okay, on the list it goes.
Hanging out with friends? Really? Dressing up and going out with friends? Fine.
*Crickets doing their thing as I try to think of hobbies.*
I couldn’t think of anything else I like to do. I still can’t.
Dejected I went to the bookstore to look for something outside of my usual genres to read. And I found a little gem that can teach me how to draw.
An old memory of when I was a little girl came to the surface as I saw the step-by-step instructions. There was this TV show where the guy would teach you how to draw an animal using shapes. I’d always been intrigued. This book works on the same principle.
After two hours (most of it spent reading the instructions) I was able to draw expressions, faces and a female warrior ready to fight with her awesome sword.
I’ll admit that it isn’t as great as the artist’s examples, but it’s the best I’ve ever drawn. (Yes, it’s true: I drew these pictures!)
So why the sudden interest in drawing? (I hope you’re asking this…)
I always liked the idea of drawing. I even remember drawing fishes and the like when I was a little girl.
But when you sound like you’ve swallowed a dictionary due to voracious reading, you don’t really want to stand out in anything else when you’re a tween or a teen. And add to that the horrid curriculum we had in art… Perhaps if my English teachers had squeezed the life out of creativity like those who’d been forced to teach art did, I would’ve been a veterinarian or perhaps living my own version of Grey’s Anatomy. Come to think of it, I do like blood and gore…
Daydreaming aside, I decided to acquire a new skill. And like Steve Beaumont says: “I have had no professional tutoring: everything I have learned has been self-taught, proving that anyone, with practice, can produce fantastic and fantastical art.”
Who knows, maybe I’ll become a writer-illustrator.
And take over the world! Mwha-ha-ha!
What about you: what are your hobbies? Can you list ten that aren’t related to your job in any way? How do you feel about drawing? Have you acquired a new skill recently? If you did, what is it and what prompted it?