I was talking to a friend last night: she has just taken on an exciting job at a company that is fairly new and increasingly growing. As such, her new job keeps her on her toes, requiring her to bid for new projects, develop ongoing ideas and manage a team. Although her new role is taking a lot of her time, she is keen to explore things outside work and, during our conversation, she mentioned having hobby would help her clear her mind and unwind at the end of a long day.
This made me think about my current hobby, this website, and where I am with it at the moment.
I guess the whole thing started when I decided to capsule my wardrobe. Through online research, I found websites I loved built by women I admire and, by applying their teachings and following my own ideas and experiments, I learned how to optimize my shopping habits, save money and build a wardrobe I love. Over the past year, researching, experimenting and clearing up became regular activities I took pleasure in practicing.
I had the idea for my own website when I deleted my Instagram account and found myself reaching out for books, magazines or online content more than ever before. Writing about my findings seemed like a good idea as it would allow me not only to organize what I had learned so far, but to possibly take it further by sharing my experiences with others. It would also mean creating some content myself, instead of always being the consumer on the other end.
This website quickly became my hobby and I fully embraced the experience. When I am writing I feel calm and happy, my thoughts fall into place and I often find myself with new ideas I didn't even know I had inside me. I continue to read a lot because it inspires me and my writing game is stronger than ever.
The trouble comes when I start comparing myself to others. People who have turned their hobbies into careers, obtaining fame and money via what started as a little project that would ultimately grow exponentially to bring an amount of success they could have never dreamed of. Sometimes I second guess my website and everything that I have written. I have allowed myself to feel unaccomplished with the thought of only one person reading this but I try my very best to stay motivated and never forget who I am really writing for.
I have felt guilty when I didn't post for a few days (or weeks). This might have been because I didn't feel inspired, I was working on something else or maybe I was on a holiday and didn't feel the drive to write. I thought I needed to post frequently in order to be consistent, otherwise I was failing. But the truth is that ultimately I would rather write when I want and about the things I want to write about. Having my website on my own terms is the only way I can really make the most out of it.
So far, Veronica's Mews has helped me learn new words, improve my writing and explore the subjects I am interested in. So, if you would like to have a hobby but don't know what it should be or where you can start, my advice is to just do what grabs your interest. One year ago I was just clearing out my wardrobe and I had no idea I would be writing about it one day. I have no idea where my hobby will take me in the future but I am really excited to find out.
Understand what you are interested in by paying attention to the things you enjoy during the day. What pages are open on your internet browser? What is it you look at? What do you do when you have some down time at work? Whatever it is you are interested in, just give it a go and take the pressure off. Not all hobbies need to save the world, turn into huge jobs or make lots of money. Sometimes it is just nice to enjoy it for what it is: a pleasurable pastime.
For me, the best thing about having a website not a lot of people read is the opportunity to experiment without feeling judged or like everyone is looking. I can write about clothes and fashion, or I can tackle any other subjects that also interest me. I go with the flow because this is my hobby and I want to enjoy it, hopefully this can one day mean that others enjoy it too - and this thought makes me very happy - but I never forget that I do this for myself and have already seen many benefits from it.
So whatever it is you enjoy doing, however silly or irrelevant it may seem, my biggest piece of advice is to give it a go because you never know. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain!