The Constant Pursuit of a Hobby

I don’t understand people who actively and constantly pursue the same interest over extended periods of time: scrapbookers, sports fans, model builders, movie enthusiasts, it doesn’t matter. If you can stay interested in a topic, continuously, for years on end, you puzzle me.

As a for instance, I occasionally build and paint models for a tabletop game. I’ll get interested in it for a month or two and then I’ll wander away and do something else. Lately, I’ve been listening to a podcast by people who paint, build, play and talk about this game constantly. They play the game multiple times per week, then spend another few hours talking about the games they played and strategies and tips. Every week. For months and years on end.

Or baseball! I enjoy watching the games and talking about them and reading about the history, but only for a few months. There are people who dedicate significant portions of their memory space to memorizing stats for their teams and they’ll also keep abreast of what other teams are doing as well! Gotta know the competition after all. And they’ll follow through the whole season!

The way my brain works, I throw myself bodily into a hobby and soak up every aspect of it until I’m completely and utterly sick of the subject and then I put it on the shelf for a year. This, of course, makes me a joy to talk to when I’m in the middle of a hobby, since I will be unable to talk about anything else, even when I know better.

It’s theĀ perseveranceĀ of the thing that I find unnatural. You can’t surround yourself with one thing all year! Drop it and move on. There’s new things to do and find and play with and create. Go crazy! Make glass cats or paint Tyranids or write a book or learn karate! And then do something completely different the next day.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to learn the history behind cream stouts.



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4 responses to “The Constant Pursuit of a Hobby

  1. liang3

    i think that for hobbies to need “perseverance”, you have to see them as something with some goal or minimum level of engagement. but you can also see hobbies as stuff you do cause you just like to do it, or just makes you feel good. there doesn’t necessarily have to be some aspiration for it. like, you can paint models cause you like seeing the paint go on, or you like looking at stuff through a magnifying glass…i don’t know. like, i like doodling and drawing, and sometimes i want to accomplish something with it, but most of the time i just like making a THING, and the scratching of the paper, or the development of the picture. and afterward i can look at my thing and i’m like “look, i made this thing!” sports…i don’t know because i can’t personally relate. but i’m sure there’s some level of interaction with the subject that doesn’t require you to feel spent while or after you interact with it?

    • Dylan Charles

      I think I can identify with making more than anything. The idea of spending a lot of time on something and then having a physical object or visible product at the end of the process is very appealing. Model building hits all the right triggers for me in that regard. You have a compact and very defined package that shows the effort that you put into it and it’s very satisfying.

  2. liang3

    and this is assuming you’d like to have a hobby you can do over years and years, which might not be your jib. you might like the consume-really-heavily-and-then-take-a-break approach.

  3. liang3

    *thing, not jib. that’s a weird typo.

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