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Why You Should Start a New Writing Hobby

caucasian woman with hat laying on grass writing with a pen

Why You Should Start a New Writing Hobby

Many of us think of writing as a chore, a requirement, or a necessary skill. We write for work, we write in university, or we write to complete a pressing task. We often dread these types of tasks and try to offload them or avoid them.

What if I said writing could be a hobby- could you imagine writing for enjoyment? Imagine a new writing hobby to set your creativity free…

Is Writing a Hobby?

A hobby can be defined as an activity done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure. Common hobbies include running, cooking, swimming, and reading; the list is endless. But hobby writing? Not exactly the activity we envisage, whilst trying to unwind after a hard week at the (home) office!

However, yes, writing is a hobby! You can be creative, serious, emotional, angry, or just bored. Writing allows your creative spirit to flow and allows you to put your thoughts in print. Hobby writing can be done for fun or purpose, but you don’t always have to write for a reason.

You can write as a hobby at any time, and nobody has to see what you wrote except for you, although you can share anything you like whenever you like.

Surprisingly, writing is more popular as a hobby than we give it credit for. Let’s analyze these theories as to why writing is a worthwhile and rewarding hobby.

You Can Write Anywhere, Anytime

To write, all you need is a pen and paper, if you were born in the ’90s, or a laptop if you’re feeling fancy! Technically, no expensive equipment is needed. You do not need to attend a class or a particular venue at a certain time.

No interaction is required, and you can write until your heart is content in your sweats, if you so wish! What’s not to love?

You Can Write Alone 

Writing as a hobby is a great option for those who feel like they crave a creative outlet but prefer being alone. Writing is a great opportunity to spend time on a hobby that doesn’t require any other participants. Many writers would coin themselves as an introvert.

There is no better hobby for the introvert inside you than sitting down with a cup of steaming hot coffee and your laptop, willing to write for the next few hours. Bliss! 

You Don’t Have to Write a Novel 

Journaling has become a buzzword and popular hobby over the past few years. We hear and see many celebrities who boast of the benefits of journaling. This is, of course, a form of writing as a hobby!

Perhaps sitting down trying to think of a short story or novel plot is daunting. Why not try journaling your thoughts? Whether it is as simple as taking note of something you are grateful for each day, or as elaborate as putting your goals for the year ahead.

Journaling is the new ‘it’ word and we are celebrating its benefits. 

Benefits of a Writing Hobby

Not only is writing an affordable and easily accessible hobby but there are also proven and anecdotal benefits to doing so. 

Believe it or not, writing as a hobby and for pleasure is good for our mental and physical health. Research has been undertaken into such benefits. Let’s delve into these advantages of writing. 

  1. Writing Can Boost Our Emotional State 

Writing about experiences in our lives can be cathartic. Such experiences may be the transition from high school to university, dealing with serious or chronic illness, and reflecting on a crime that may have been committed against you.

Whilst it may be difficult to write about such events, it may be easier for some individuals than talking it over. Sometimes writing is the first step we need to take to deal with emotional trauma or upset, of varying degrees. This type of writing can be freeform and can be highly therapeutic. 

As M Cecil Smith reports in her study, The Benefits of Writing, “these brief expressive writing episodes have led participants to report feeling happier and less negative than before their writing experience, and having fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety, according to Pennebaker.”

Next time you’re feeling a little low, instead of reaching for that tub of ice cream, reach for your pen and paper! Writing as a hobby has been proven to boost our mood and our emotional state. 

  1. Writing Can Aid Relaxation

Ask an author or journalist if writing to meet deadlines helps them to relax, and you can probably guess what the answer will be a firm ‘No!’. This is where the beauty of writing as a hobby comes in.

Writing without the stress of deadlines or certain criteria you must meet, can have the opposite effect and help you relax! At the end of a busy day or week, writing whatever comes into your mind can be therapeutic and aid relaxation as it serves to offload a busy mind. 

  1. Writing Makes You a Better Communicator

Writing is one of the world’s oldest forms of communication. We have the Egyptians to thank for that! Believe it or not, the more you write, the more your overall ability to be an effective communicator improves. 

Frequent writing helps us to explain concepts and ideas more clearly. Perhaps it could even help you become more eloquent for that next job interview!

Judy Willis reports in her piece, The Brain-Based Benefits of Writing for Math and Science Learning;

“The practice of writing can enhance the brain’s intake, processing, retaining, and retrieving of information.”

So, next time you find yourself fumbling over your words whilst trying to explain a concept or idea, take notes and start writing frequently to help improve those communication skills!

How to Start Writing as a Hobby

The burning question is, how do I start writing as a hobby? It might feel foreign to you, to write in your spare time, so here are three ideas or prompts to help you on your way.

  1. Write a Letter to Yourself 

Regardless of what age we are and what we have done with our lives thus far, we all have learned lessons along the way. Why not write a letter to your 20, 30 or 40-year-old self, detailing some of these lessons? Perhaps you have regrets or amazing experiences you would like to tell your younger self about. Go for it! This can be a great activity to repeat periodically. 

  1. Attitude of Gratitude 

We briefly mentioned journaling above. If you do not want to go the whole hog into journaling every day, even a very simple exercise of jotting down one thing you are grateful for that day can be enriching. Fostering a habit of feeling grateful, even of the most mundane activities, helps to boost your mental health.

Research suggests that gratitude may be associated with many benefits for individuals, including better physical and psychological health, increased happiness and life satisfaction, decreased materialism, and more. Read more about that study here.

  1. One Sentence Wonder 

Perhaps you are intimidated by the thought of a blank screen or piece of paper in front of you and the thought of filling it up with words gives you the chills! Fear not. Try a sentence a day. A sentence a day about anything your heart desires.

Creating a habit of writing one sentence per day is a great building block for more elaborate musings. Try it, it’s easier than you think!

Give Hobby Writing a Try

Writing as a hobby runs much deeper than we think. The next time you contemplate ordering a state-of-the-art bike for that new cycling hobby, or expensive fishing equipment for a newly discovered pastime, think twice.

In the words of Isabel Allende

‘…It’s the only material we have: words.

But they are free.

You can use as many as you want. Forever.

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