Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Get a Hobby

By Enoch Lau (Own work (photo)) [GFDL (, CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Game of cards, anyone?
Enoch Lau might play with me.
Writers need hobbies. They really do. While it can be tempting to spend all your free time on the novel, a writer really needs to nurture other interests. It’s good for the soul to have a few interests. Gets the brain working in different ways. It’s like stretching the ol’ mental muscles.

You are a better writer when you have other interests that engage your heart. Working at a day job you dislike, or housecleaning you detest, or watching TV as your only other interest, will not work. It’s important to find something you like, preferably nothing to do with writing. Stuff I do:
  • reading outside my interest (non-fiction, different fiction genres, etc).
  • Exercise. There is a strong correlation between exercise and mental function. Don’t believe me? Try it for a week.
  • Play piano.
  • Do volunteer work.
  • Play games.
  • Other stuff.
If you’re working the Day Job by day, and writing at night, and that’s your whole life, you really need to get out and get some hobbies. Don’t worry that an interest or two will cut into your writing time. Believe me, it’ll help make what writing time you’ve got higher-quality time.

 Far too busy to take on a hobby? Sit down and analyse your week. To a time audit to find out what you’re spending your time on. Consider whether all the little things you are doing are Important. Don’t confuse Urgent with Important. (You may wish to learn more about an Importance/Urgency matrix.)

 Ditch all the stuff that’s not Important. Really, you don’t need it. Your novel needs you more, and your Craft needs you to spend some time outside it on worthy projects.

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