Seriously, What’s My Hobby?

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 PlusPinterest, 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?

(Linking up with Love BugMom’s Monday Mingle and Live, Love Travel today!)

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12 thoughts on “Seriously, What’s My Hobby?

  1. Loved this post! It certainly says a lot about how we woman like to connect with others regardless of the forum. I’ve had a blog for 5 years and slowly I watched it transform into something that no longer made me happy. I found I was engaging what strangers wanted to read and my real life friends didn’t even bother to take a look. It made me sad (my friends anyway), but I realized that –like you- that was not the reason I started blogging either. I just recently started a new blog a few months ago, I disengaged the followers link, as it doesn’t matter if people read it or not, and I didn’t tell any of my friends about it, I figured if they were truly happy for me they would find me. And guess what– I love it this way! It’s just random thoughts about my life, my crafts and my love of photography!!!
    Thanks for sharing
    xo
    Luz

  2. I hear your frustration. I had signed up with loads of social media sites too, all in hopes that it would make a difference. I had lost my focus. So I stopped trying to get attention and started blogging just for my enjoyment. I have made bloggy connections that have deepened and I’m thankful for them. I’d suggest you just be you and enjoy your blogging and photography and people will discover you in time. No one builds a massive audience over night and it doesn’t happen by following a preprogrammed point by point social media schemed plan. I like your photos and your honesty about this frustration. I’ll be back for sure.

  3. First, I have only had a couple hits from mom blogs…so you are not missing a thing. Just saying. Hobbies: my kids, movies with the hubs, blogging, photog, running, and working out. Im not a fan of Internet time wasters. I pin, blog, 365 and have mostly given up fb but still find the need to get on to look up people now and again. I find I get so much more done when disconnected, you know? I’m finding my life is more enriching in the real…but happy to have met you thu the 365! Do u have a stat counter? Helps to see who really reads your blog and what they are reading.

    • Yes, I am so happy to have met you too! However, the Internet sucks time that could be spent living. Unplugging is a good thing. I wish I didn’t use my gps so much otherwise, I would ditch the smart phone. I try so hard to ignore it. Life is better without the distractions. 🙂

  4. I hear ya, sista! You stopped by my blog from the Monday Mingle, and now here I am at yours. I’m glad I found you (or rather, you found me)! I feel the same frustrations as you. I feel like a social media idiot. I google the same stuff you do. And I still end up getting frustrated when I see how little traction I get when so many out there are hugely successful. At on point, I was feeling discouraged by this very fact. So I sat down and wrote a post about why I blog. It served as a reminder to me about why I blog. It’s not to make money. It’s not to gain followers. It’s to share my thoughts and do what I enjoy!

    Anyway, nice blog. I’ll be following you from now on!

    PS, I always say, if mama aint happy aint nobody happy. Hobbies – yes, good mom move!

  5. Interesting post. You make some excellent points. We certainly need to have full, enriched lives to be the best we can be for those in our lives, whether our spouse, children, or friends. I also completely recognize the trap of letting the Internet consume all of our time. It’s really important to schedule time for our passions (art, photography, writing, etc.)

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