Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Do I need a new hobby?

I read a great post this week on agent Rachelle Gardner’s blog about 11 non-writing ways to be a better writer. While she seems to represent mostly books aimed at the CBA market and doesn’t like fantasy or paranormals, based on her blog, I think we’d get along even if we don’t have the same taste in books.

My favorites on her list were watch TV, use Twitter and to do a mundane task at least once a day. Basically she’s given me great ways to rationalize some of my favorite things. ☺

But seriously… we’ve talked here before about the value of watching really good TV. So much to be learned about characterization and dialogue and pacing and hooks and cliffhangers, etc. I also really liked the idea of doing a mundane repetitive task without having music on or any other distractions. I think this is something missing in my life right now that might help me. I know Molly works out a lot of her plot problems while walking or running, but I find I rarely let my mind go quiet these past few years and I think she's right that doing something mundane and physical can free your mind. Can I get creative while pulling weeds? Maybe after this heat wave is over.

She also thinks that it’s important to have at least two hobbies outside of writing. Sounds smart, but the only thing I want to know is: does drinking count as a hobby?


Stephanie Doyle said...

Absolutely drinking is hobby!

And good TV... because of the fine folks at DWT I finally started watching Friday Night Lights...

How have I missed this show? I really don't know. But even jumping in, in the 4th season I'm so invested in these characters in such a short period of time. It's amazing.

Maureen McGowan said...

Welcome to FNL fandom, Steph. You must watch from the beginning.

It's pretty easy to find the DVD's inexpensively. Or rent them. The first season is pure poetry. And you get to see Tim Riggins with his shirt off, a lot.

Karen Whiddon said...

Good post and one that got me thinking. I went to the agent's web site you mentioned and read her post as well.

Creativity is such an illusive thing. It also happens to be an issue with me right now.

Hobbies. Hmm does working out count as a hobby even if one doesn't enjoy it? I used to have a ton of hobbies. I showed horses, trained and showed dogs in obedience, made wooden yard art, painted, designed greeting cards. I even tried knitting one time (and wouldn't mind going back to that particular hobby!) For me, the issue is TIME. I work, work out, and write. Add in eating and sleeping and occasional reading/TV watching, and that's it.

Stephanie Doyle said...

You know - Tim Riggins in real life ... not my type at all. But on this show... man I love him.

And Karen - you're like a Renaissance woman. You definitely need to put some of that back in your life.

Me - I need to work out more - but you - take a night from your work out schedule and just make it all about you and what you love.

I know doesn't that sound great... but the practically of life probably gets in the way right?

I'm thinking about adding a Yoga class. I don't know how I feel about Yoga - but I definitely need something else beside, working, writing, reading and... drinking!

Molly O'Keefe said...

The problem with writing is it expands to fill all possible time. It's shoves out any other hobby potential. I tried scrap booking (stop laughing!) and I hated it. I'm pretty obsessed with food and have made summer farmer's markets and reading cooking magazines a hobby.

Was there a FNL this last friday??? I missed it!!!

Drinking is more of a sport, really.

Eileen said...

I used to end up working out a lot of plot points while running. It doesn't seem to work as well anymore. Maybe because running as gotten SO much harder these past few years.

It's hard to let your mind go quiet. There are so many easy and fun ways to distract it. TV. Books on CD. Podcasts. Music.

I have to admit, I'm over-hobbied and they've all been neglected lately. Well, except drinking. I seem to always be able to make time for that!

Sinead M said...

Molly, I'm sorry, but scrapbooking... I'm sort of impressed and a little ashamed all at the same

Hobbies, what hobbies. Does occasionally dragging my reluctant butt to the gym count?
Otherwise I'm at a 0 count, although if movies and TV count, then I can say I have one.

Maureen McGowan said...

I've decided to count movies as one and have actually resolved to start blogging about them again on my other blog... If I have time. ;)

But I do think I need another hobby besides drinking.. Does shopping count?

Karen Whiddon said...

Shopping used to be one of my favorite hobbies! Oh, and drinking really is a sport! And Molly - I agree. Writing does have a way of expanding into other areas of your life. Eileen, that's sort of what I need, the ability to make my mind go quiet.

Off topic - I read an entire, nearly 700 page book this past weekend while grabbing some me time - and was totally engrossed. Until I got to the end. Never been so pissed off at an author in my life. I won't tell you the books as I don't want to do a spoiler, but HE KILLED THEM OFF!!! What was the who freaking point of the book? Tell me, why bother? I got so involved with the characters, rooting for them, waiting for that happy ending, and BAM. Sucks.

Eileen said...

Ha, Karen! I had the same reaction to Cold Mountain. All that and he dies at the end? Seriously? I literally threw the book across the room when I finished it.

Eileen said...

Oops. I guess I should have said something about a spoiler on that last comment. Sorry.

Stephanie Doyle said...

Oh do NOT talk to me about killing people off...

I can go on a Nicolas Sparks rant that simply will not end.

I think killing off main characters is a cheap attempt to gain legitimacy for writers.

It makes the book "serious".

Eileen said...

Yes, yes, yes! I want the Sparks rant! Burn, baby, burn!

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