Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Best Hobbies for Writers

Many writers enjoy being alone with their computers, typing away new stories, filling the pages with adventure, heartbreak, love, and happy endings. But sometimes we need to crawl out of our holes and enjoy life. We need to be around people. We need to do something.

We need a hobby! (Other than reading, of course!)

So I've compiled a few hobbies with the writer in mind. Who knows, you may be a hobbiest already and don't even know it. 

1. People Watching:  Oh yes. You know you love to watch people. You walk through the mall and find yourself looking at a young couple and wonder what their story is. You see an old man sitting on a bench and wonder what kind of heartache he's known. This kind of people watching is what can stimulate your creative side and get the ball rolling for future plots.


2. Photography - This is not unlike People Watching, but takes it a step further. Put on a disguise and take pictures of people's expressions. Capturing a face filled with wonder will give you something to look at while writing the scene when your heroine sees the hero for the very first time. Catch a couple arguing and you will have just the right gestures to incorporate into a scene where your hero and heroine have a misunderstanding...you know, build the conflict! Photography is a great visual tool for writers.


3. Pinterest - I've just caught the Pinterest bug and think it may be a great way to gather visuals for your book. Pinterest is basically a bookmarking site. When you sign up, you create boards (think of them like cork boards) where you "pin" things that interest you. You download a button onto your toolbar and when you see pictures on the web that interest you, you "pin" the picture onto your board. A writer could collect pictures of houses, bedrooms, cars, and landscaping to help give depth to their description. One could also collect pictures of models or actors to base your characters on. Collect facial expressions, hair color, clothing...the categories are endless. Check it out and see for yourself.


4. Exercising - Yeah, it's not the most fun hobby out there, but we writers need to exercise and shrink our ever-expanding backsides. A great thing about walking is that you can people watch, dream about your WIP, and burn calories at the same time! I recently bought a recumbent bike for the sole purpose of getting exercise while I read. When I get home from work, I grab my Kindle and ride my bike for 30 minutes. I try to read Writing Books during this time and save the great fiction for my bedtime reading. There are ways to make exercise a little bit fun. You just have to find out what works for you.

This is not me on the bike.
5. Book Club - A hobby that all writers do is read. What better way to socialize than to get with other people and talk about books. The perfect hobby.


6. Metal Detecting - Grab a friend, get your metal detector out and go searching for metal. You get the benefit of exercise; you have someone to brainstorm plots with; you might find coins and valuables to fund your writing. (You do know that writers don't make a lot of money, don't you?) 


7. Massage Therapy - I don't know if this really qualifies as a hobby, but I think all writers should take up this activity. A monthly massage would do wonders to ease those aching shoulders and loosen those stiff legs. 


This is just a small compilation of hobbies that would benefit a writer. Well, maybe not number 6 -  that was a bit tongue in cheek.


What would you add to the list?

30 comments:

Susan Rush said...

Such great advice. Love to people watch, gotta work on the exercise. :) Gonna commit to try all the others.

Freya Morris said...

Do a fair few of these already. Have always wanted to go metal detecting! Seems like sooooo much fun! One day... One day...

Enid Wilson said...

I like to take photo but Pinterest looks very useful. I'll check it out. But metal detecting, LOL. My sister will think I've gone bad if I do that...

Every Savage Can Reproduce

Sherrinda said...

Susan!!! Surely you aren't going to try metal detecting! Like you, people watching is my favorite.

Sherrinda said...

Freya, I've never met anyone who has actually gone metal detecting--or even wanted to! I bet it could become an addicting hobby though...especially if you found something valuable!

Sherrinda said...

Enid, Pinterest is pretty cool, though I must warn you, it is addictive.

You should try and get your sister to go metal detecting WITH you. That way you could laugh together the whole time AND gather up some change! ;)

Jeanne T said...

What a fun post, Sherrinda! I confess, I don't like exercising, but I think I might just be able to get a good habit going if I could bring my Kindle!

One thing that came to mind as I read your post is to visit Parade of Homes or model homes and take pictures for home world/setting ideas. I enjoy doing that, but have to not come down with "home envy."

I like being outdoors, too, and find hiking refreshing and inspiring.

Oh, one more thought, going to festivals or Oktoberfests with my family provided much fodder for people watching! :)

Thanks for the fun post.

Sherrinda said...

Jeanne, I know what you mean about "home envy". I had to quit going to the mall just to look around, because I would get so frustrated that I couldn't buy all that I wanted.

And YES! Going to festivals is a great thing to do. I love medieval stuff, so going to Scarborough Fair would be such a great place to people watch AND take pictures! Great idea!

Mary Vee said...

Sherrinda,
What a wonder, relaxing post.
Ahhhhh. I feel better already:)

Beth K. Vogt said...

Sherrinda ... what about shopping? But only in a professional sense, of course, for clothes for conferences, of course. Really. Really. You believe me, right?
Now to check out Pinerest and to go buy a metal detector . . .

Sherrinda said...

Ah, Mary! I love it when my posts help an Alley Cat! (((hugs)))

Sherrinda said...

Beth! Yes, of course shopping would be a great one for all those conference needs! ;) You're funny!

Jeanette Levellie said...

Oh, pinterest--that sounds wonderful! And I DO believe massage therapy counts as a hobby. We can pay for it with all the metal we detect!

This post was entertaining--thanks!

Pepper said...

Metal detecting? Seriously!! LOL

I could DEFINITELY go for the massage therapy idea. Oh man...how nice!

Would Pinterest be kind of like picture surfing, because I'll go through sites like Istockphotos & flickr and save them to a OneNote file for future visual inspiration

I love listening to music while I walk. Very inspirational.

Sherrinda said...

Jeannette! I like your idea of paying for a massage with the money collected from Metal Detecting! lol...great minds think alike!

Sherrinda said...

Pinterest is more like a collection site of cool photos you find on the web. :) OneNote is an excellent way to collect and organize your photos too!

And I will let you add chocolate to the hobby list! I know you want to!!!

Edie Melson said...

Great post - I'm definitely going to try out Pinterest! My favorite hobby is knitting. It gives me something to do with my hands while my mind is free to wonder..uh...wander!

Sarah Forgrave said...

What a fun post, Sherrinda! I'm totally digging that massage one. ;)

And I have to say, I'm one of the weird ones who does find exercise fun. All you've gotta do is go to a Zumba class and you'll have instant endorphins and inspiration (not to mention a few laughs).

Sherrinda said...

Edie, I tried knitting and enjoyed it, but I never got good enough that I could watch TV or daydream. I had to think too hard about what I was doing! lol

Have fun on Pinterest. Look me up...www.pinterest.com/sherrinda

Sherrinda said...

Sarah, I wanna be like you! I just hate to exercise. I hate to sweat. I hate to be out of breath. I hate to hurt. It just doesn't sound fun. Now, I haven't tried Zumba, but id does look fun. Maybe I will have to give it a try.

Laura Marcella said...

These are all fantastic hobbies! I could so go for the massage therapy hobby once a week, haha. Pininterest sounds like a really cool site. I'll have to check it out!

Jennifer K. Hale said...

Fun post!

I think exercise is fun, too. :)

What about exercising some of the other talents that God has given, besides writing? I'm really involved in the music at my church. It's time consuming, but I love it!

Sherrinda said...

Laura, I'm with you. A once a week massage would do me wonders!

Sherrinda said...

Jennifer, so your another exercise lover. My goodness, I wish that would rub off on me!

I love your suggestion about using some of the other gifts God has given you. I can do calligraphy, so sometimes I break out the pen and ink and have fun creating beautiful lettering art. Kinda therapeutic. :)

MaDonna Maurer said...

Fun post! Loved #6, made me LOL.
Photography is one that I'm getting into these days.

Sherrinda said...

MaDonna, photography is one that I really haven't done much of. I think if I had a really good camera I might get into it more.

Carol J. Garvin said...

I have hobbies; I just don't seem to find the time to pursue them. Getting short shrift are photography, scrapbooking, gardening, and oilpainting... but I'll get around to them again one day. I like the look of Pinterest... could be a good supplement to Scrivener for hanging on to pics and research sites. Thanks for the tip. But I'll leave the metal detecting for someone else, thanks just the same. ;)

Sherrinda said...

Carol, you have wonderful hobbies! I love to make cards out of scrapbooking paper. And I just downloaded Scrivner, but haven't figured it out yet. It looks promising!

Rachel E. Nichols said...

You left out one of my favorites--volunteering. I am careful to pick volunteer jobs that allow me interaction with other people to counterbalance the solitarky work of writing.

Sherrinda said...

Rachel! Of course! Volunteering should definitely be on the list! Meeting new people would be a great benefit to your writing as well! Thank you!