Friday, April 3, 2015

Dusting Off Old Hobbies

I've let go of some of the things I used to be, namely, a flutist and a gymnast. Those two are probably best left in the past. But I recently rediscovered my love for short stories and poetry. As a novelist, I've spent most of the last seven or eight years on longer fiction, and I had forgotten how rewarding the shorter pieces could be.

Poetry and short stories inform my novels, offer the opportunity to see publication sooner, and build my writing resume. Perfect! Why'd I ever stop?

Probably for the same reason most people stop hobbies they love: life gets busy and distracting.

Another reason to stop a beloved hobby is fear.  For example, I more or less quit going Rollerblading with my dog after I broke my wrist doing so. Though I know the break happened because I chose not to wear wrist guards or knee pads that day, I felt fearful even when I did wear my pads. (In addition to my broken wrist, I once had a friend who lost her senses of smell and taste in a Rollerblading accident, so please, please, please wear a helmet and pads when you go out!)

But I got a puppy last October, and this spring, he's so full of energy that I needed to find a way to wear him out. I strapped on my pads and helmet and skates and took him for a run. What a great experience for us both!

I'm sure there are lots of more common ways fear can make a person quit a hobby they love--fear of rejection, fear of failure.

Whatever the reasons, many of us drop hobbies that are good for us.

This is your invitation to take stock of where you are and what you've left behind. Is there a hobby that might bring a breath of fresh air back into your life? Art, writing, jogging, hosting dinner parties, photography... 

I hope you'll take the time to plunge back in like I'm doing. I hope it recharges you and gifts you with something new to look forward to each morning.

Your Sister

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