The other day, a friend of mine gave a run-down of her recent trip to some thrift shops around her town. It sounded like so much fun. I used to love to "junket for junk". Thrift stores, flea markets, garage and yard sales ... antique shops. Wow. I didn't realize how much I missed it. I'll have to do some antique shopping again soon.
It got me thinking about how many of my pastimes fell by the wayside once I started writing.
1. Baking/decorating cakes and cookies for profit. What started off as fancy birthday cakes for my kids' parties ended up becoming a side business: "Anita's Creative Confections". My customers were mostly PTA moms and referrals by teachers, but it made a nice little allowance now and again. Here's a picture of a cake I made for a class of 2nd graders going onto 3rd grade:
Hmm. Not sure what I was thinking by putting the storm clouds there. Maybe it symbolized what the 3rd grade teachers were feeling. Heh. I did improve with practice. I even entered a "bird house" cake in the tri-state fair and won first place and best of show ribbons. The prize? A twenty dollar bill and a king-sized bottle of vanilla. Oh, and a certificate and write up in the newspaper, both of which I still have somewhere in the attic, along with the ribbons. But the vanilla and the twenty ... well, they've seemingly disappeared along with my desire to ever bake for profit again. :)
2. Sewing. I used to make dresses and outfits for my daughter. This victorian dress won a second place ribbon in the tri-state fair:
And yep, that sweet little model is my daughter. She's eighteen now, and not the least interested in letting me play fashion designer. I still have the dress and the sewing machine. But one is gathering dust in my daughter's closet, and the other taking up space in my office that could/should be used for the colossal new bookshelf I need to store my massive collection of "how to write" books.
3. Watching TV. I vaguely remember that big, black box in the living room. It's more of a trophy now. A tribute to a time long gone when I actually cared about Rachel and Ross' love life. Or figuring out Kramer's first name. (Of course, bring back X-files with the original Fox and Mulder, and I'll reconsider). Unless hubby is home or the kid's are inside, the black box stays off. And the only background noises I hear are my WIP's playlist and the lovely hum of my faithful computer's heart. Hummmmm. Love that sound. It's so inspiring.
4. SLEEPING. I used to get in bed at a proper 10:30 or 11. Now, when I'm on a writing stint, I'm lucky to be in bed before 12:30.
The hobbies which haven't fallen away are the ones I can still do while my characters traipse about in my mind, playing out scenerios or arguments that will later make their way on the page.
1. Rollerblading. I don't go as often as I once did, but when I'm stuck in my story, all I have to do is skate for about thirty minutes and the blood starts pumping ... magically my mind is cleared. Nine times out of ten, the problem is solved and I pick up my story threads right were I left off.
2. Gardening is my latest indulgence. Probably because when I'm sifting my fingers through the rich soil, or saturating my senses with vivid petals, moist earth, and fresh breezes, my muse is rejuvenated.
Do you have hobbies you gave up once the writing bug bit? Personally, I don't miss the ones I left behind. I still dabble in them from time to time if the mood strikes, but it's a rare thing.
For me, as a hobby, writing transcends all others. Instant gratification on a level no other pastime supplies. And as a lifestyle, it fulfills every part of my psyche. The intellectual side, the emotional, the creative, the curious, the human as a whole.
Hmm. Maybe I'll wait on getting out those gardening tools today. An idea for a new scene just popped into my head. :)