Putting a hobby to work for you

Hobbies are a great way to spend your free time. They give you the opportunity to do something you enjoy, and should bring you pleasure. But what if there was a way to get more out of your hobbies, or to find a new hobby that could do more than just help you pass the time.

These are a few things that I’ve gotten involved in recently that are able to give something back to me in exchange for my time.

1. Writing: Whether you like to write fiction, non-fiction, short stories, or snippets of advice, there is always a market out there for good writing. This writing can be for yourself, for someone special to you, or for the world. In this day and age it is incredibly easy to get published, because anyone can do it themselves on the web. Personally, I started this blog as an opportunity to push myself to start my writing again. I had been a fairly prolific writer, mostly about my travels, several years ago, but had last the push to write for myself and I’m hopeful that this blog will help me to hone those skills again. The benefits of writing can run the gamut. Some are intangible, such as the ability to express yourself in a way you couldn’t before or to let someone else understand your point of view. Others are more concrete, and many people make money off their writing, either by selling it directly, or indirectly, through advertising or other means.

2. Knitting: While I haven’t taken this one up myself yet, I have attempted a few stitches. The results aren’t pretty so far, but I have gotten numerous hand made gifts from friends that range from scarves to coasters to an ipod cozy. All it takes is a little bit of time and some yarn and you can create a nearly endless supply of handmade goods for both yourself and friends and family. And while you may not have enjoyed that annual red sweater from your aunt when you were a child, you can be creative and give a friend something knitted that they will enjoy. To get started just find a store that sells yarn and needles, and talk to the people there. Chances are they know either a local knitting group that can give you pointers or they may even hold workshops in the store itself.

3. Hiking: I’ve been an avid hiker for years, and not only is it a way for me to escape the city for a while and be relaxed and in tune with nature, it is also very healthy. I get my Lose Weight Exercise and get to see a bit of green (or an endless yellow-brown if it’s a desert hike). No matter where in the world you are, there is someplace to hike close by. You don’t have to have a famous trail in your backyard to get out there. If you need a little help finding someplace to go, try and find a local hiking club that can point you in the right direction. The Sierra Club is a good place to start as well.

While the examples I give may not be for you, there is something out there that you can do to both pass the time and give something back to yourself. It never hurts to try a few things, take what you like best out of each of them, and see what you can come up with. Feel free to pass along any hobbies you’d recommend in the comments, as I’m always willing to try something new.

One Response to “Putting a hobby to work for you”

  1. Sherc says:

    Hiking! that is definitely something I like.. I can think of another as well: Photography… you’re pretty good at that :)

    Hiking + photography is a good combi… it’s no wonder I like hiking too. Really miss those hiking trips in Oz :)

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