Finding a Hobby

13 Jun

In light of my purposeless life , I decided to start a hobby. Something that I can work on, measure progress toward, some kind of goal, even if it isn’t meaningful. A short-term dubiously meaningful purpose is better than no purpose at all, I reasoned.

With some pre-existing commitments taken care of, I decided June is the magical month to begin “the hobby”. I’ve been thinking about it for several weeks and keep a running list of things that interest me:

• Re-learn Mandarin, Spanish, or French
• Start a garden on our balcony
• Prepare to apply to grad school
• Join a book club or start my own
• Document my family history
• Learn how to read music
• Explore neighborhoods in OC or LA
• Learn more about social movements

I excitedly rattled off my list to my partner to get his thoughts on what to choose. He promptly ignored my list and said, “I think you should write a book.” “Umm, that’s nice but that’s not on my list.” “I think you should write a book,” he repeated.

Not getting the response I was expecting, I decided to ask my sisters during our meet up over Memorial Day Weekend. I started rattling off my list again, but they didn’t seem too interested. Instead, my sisters said, “I think you should write a book.”

Now, the original plan was I would make a list of fun and manageable activities and then I would pick something to work on during the summer. Writing a book never made it onto the list because I don’t know what I would write about and it’s so much work and it would necessitate having my mediocre writing critiqued mercilessly and it would be a long and frustrating journey, and a hundred other reasons.

But given that I’ve been complaining about not having any direction and wishing I had a purpose, maybe this is the sign I’ve been waiting for. Maybe, just maybe, the universe is trying to tell me something when the 4 people who know and love me best say the same thing. My arguments against it further weakened when last week one of my mentors said, unprompted, “I think you should write a book.”

So, I have a new summer hobby. It will involve researching and reading authors that have written books similar to one that I would like to write. I will have to look at my existing writing to see if I can pull it together into something coherent enough to form a basis for a book. It will involve looking for writing groups and writing workshops. I will have to be brave enough to allow my writing to be torn apart by others.

81 percent of Americans feel they have a book in them and that they should write it – and the author of this piece quickly disabuses any would-be writers of that idea. I have no illusions of exceptionality, posterity, or even of getting it (self-) published. I’d be lucky to finish writing it, much less have anyone else read it. This hobby scares me. But I’m told that being scared means that I’m on the right track to doing something meaningful for myself. That’s the key: If I write not to garner accolades but simply for myself, then I may be on to something.


One Response to “Finding a Hobby”

  1. vietnamita1 June 20, 2012 at 12:37 pm #

    you should totally write a book! i would read it!

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