I am a firm believer in hobbies. My kids benefit from my hobbies, because without them, I am a mess. Hobbies give my mind something to think about, obsess, and learn. When I succeed in them or learn something new, I am happy, peaceful, and a good mom. My hobbies make me excited and they can make me glow. I think about them when I clean the house, fold clothes, or cook. I am a good person when I take time to engage with my hobbies. If you are a mom and don’t have a hobby, I suggest you find one. Take the time, it is worth it, trust me I know.
Lately I have been wondering, “What are my hobbies exactly?” I know what I want to do, and I also know how I spend my time. Years ago, reading and crafting were my hobbies. However, I have dropped crafting, and instead I play with photography and digital processing for my artistic expression. I love to write and do so almost daily, either on this blog or in my old-fashioned writer’s notebook. I also LOVE to read. It’s something else that makes me feel good, and I just plain enjoy it.
At this point, you are wondering, “Well, Courtney, it seems like you have enough ‘you time’ each day, so what’s the problem? You are very clear about your hobbies.”
“Reader, you make a wonderful point, thank you for the great transition.”
Yes, I have been wondering about my hobbies, because I don’t have a chance to do them any more. Here’s the deal, I love photography, and whenever I want to learn something new, we all I know I turn to the University of Google. That takes time, and eventually, my photography time runs out for the day. So, a month after our Maine vacation, I still have unprocessed photos. [Note to self: Make time to finish your vacation photos this week.]
I also have fallen in love with writing and blogging. I am getting so much satisfaction from telling our stories, my thoughts, and sharing randomness. I love my readers and those who take the time to check out my small piece of the Internet. Lately, I thought it’d be neat to get paid to blog. I started checking out job boards, and I have applied for a blogging job. However, Scott pointed out that bloggers need a strong online presence. Of course, you know me, I Googled what that meant. In one afternoon, I joined Twitter, Stumble Upon, and Tumblr. I joined which means I now have an account with these forms of social media. They added to my other social media collection: Facebook, Linkedin, Google Plus, Pinterest, Flickr, 365 Project, and Instagram. I seriously don’t even know what these social media communities do? I tweet, but why? Does anyone follow me, I don’t think so. Stumble Upon and Tumblr, I don’t get it, but hey, I am on it, and my blog gets posted to there too. I have been told that Pinterest is “must have” for the blogger, but I haven’t seen the benefits yet. I guess I am not ‘pin-able’ and that is OK with me. I don’t think my extremely shallow social media presence is going to get me any jobs.
Like social media, the best way to get followers on your blog is to follow and comment on other blogs. I have seen that tip on so many “How to make your blog successful blah blah blah” blogs. I have spent time looking for, reading, and following blogs. I comment, link up, and try to engage. However, it’s not coming back to me. Which is fine, but I don’t have the time for this constant stream of email either. I could delete it, but I don’t want anyone to delete my blog emails, so I engage. I also signed up for Blogher, but once again, I don’t get it. I try to engage or comment, but it won’t let me, and I am a single person out thousands of writers who are certain they are better than me. I am signed in, but how am I supposed to connect with others? The SITS Girls community is the same. I would love to be featured, but it’s so much work to be involved, and out of 40,000 blogs, will I really get noticed? The Mom Blogs tricked me into having their badge on my site, and they NEVER registered me. I tried over and over, but nothing. Well they are not getting any more free advertising from me!
I am assuming that bloggers are like photographers, we are artists, and possibly self-proclaimed genius’. We want people to read our stuff, and we want it to come without much effort. We want to be the “Gold Needle in the Haystack” that our reader’s can’t live without. I hear that happens for people and before they know it, their blog is making them money, getting offers for guest blogging, and I am sure their social media presence is valued. However, I don’t think it’s going to be me. As rewarding as I find writing, I actually want time to write.
If I am not careful, my hobby is going to turn into clicking a mouse on the Internet. That is why I stopped posting on the 365 Project, is because my hobby shifted from working on photography, to reading about it. It went from time to process to time to comment on other’s photos. While I loved that community, I just don’t have time to do it all. Blogging is turning into that too. Sometimes I want readers, I mean, that’s why I put it out there, but I can’t forget why I started. I started because it felt good to get my feelings out there. I love telling stories and have for years, and I want to make sure I have the time to do it.
Social media is not my hobby. I don’t find it rewarding, relaxing or engaging. In fact, quite the opposite. While there is a time and place for it, I don’t want to turn into a junkie, especially if I don’t get it. So you see, I find myself wondering, “What is my hobby?”
I am reclaiming my hobbies now, this instant. I am a photographer, writer, and reader. Everything else just keeps me away from my passions, and what fun is that?
What are your hobbies? What do you love to do?