1. an activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation and not as a full-time occupation
That’s the dictionary.com definition of “hobby.” Ok, fine, maybe by this definition, blogging technically is a hobby. But, does anybody else get that little obnoxious tick when somebody refers to your blog as a hobby? I talk about my blog a lot. It comes up in almost every conversation, and everything I read or see on the internet instantly inspires some kind of blog-related thought. On more than one occasion, some well meaning friend or family member has said something along the lines of “it’s so nice that you have a hobby” or “your new hobby sounds like so much fun!” To be honest, although I know they’re trying to be nice, it kinda makes me want to punch them (lightly, and rarely in the face).
I’ve had hobbies, lots of them. Rarely have any of them stuck. I’ve collected, cross-stitched, drawn, and for a minute, decoupaged. These were things that I played around with. They were things I did for me and nobody else. I did them to relax; sometimes often, and sometimes I wouldn’t touch them for months at a time. My blog feels like so much more than that. True, it’s not a full-time job and I’m not getting paid for it (at least not in the traditional green-money sense). But, it’s not a solitary or wholly relaxing endeavor. I DO have to worry about other people. I have to make sure I’m writing something that will be enjoyable to my readers (not just myself). I have to worry about deadlines! Publishers get a little miffed if you don’t write a review of the ARC they’ve given you before the pub date (I found THAT out the hard way). I have to make sure I’m posting often and keeping my posts up to date with what I’m reading/what I’ve read. I have to worry about grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, word usage, and all the other myriad of things one worries about when they’re doing something they take seriously; writing a college paper, for instance- not when they’re participating in a hobby.
I don’t think I quite realized what I was getting into when I started this almost 2 months ago. My thought process was “Oh! This will be fun!”. I didn’t anticipate how all-encompassing starting a blog would be. I’m constantly on Twitter and Goodreads and Google +; the first I’d always hated, the second I never used to its full potential, and the third I’d barely heard of. I had to learn WordPress. I actually started my blog on Wix, but it truly was a solitary thing. There’s no community on Wix. You can’t follow, like, comment, etc. Community is such an important part of the blogoshpere, it didn’t take long for me to realize this wasn’t going to work. Thus, WordPress. WordPress is definitely a learning process and it took me weeks to figure out where or how to even start.
I honestly can’t think of any other “hobby” that requires as much prep work as blogging. In addition to having to learn WordPress, I do research for my posts. If I’m going to write about something other than a book review, I spend hours reading about it. Sure, you read things here and there with other “hobbies”. You look up new techniques, how-to, etc, but, I think the volume of research I do takes blogging out of the realm of “hobby”ism. At least, book blogging. I don’t know about other kinds of blogs, but I have a feeling that many other kinds of bloggers would say the same thing.
I feel almost belittled when someone refers to my blog as merely a hobby. In my mind, their voice inflection and face when they talk about my “hobby” is the same one a person would possess when looking at a puppy. “Aw, isn’t that cute! Coochy coochy coo!” This is something I take seriously and intend on participating in and growing for a very long time. Sure, it will probably change and morph over the years, but I’ve finally found something that suits me to a tee, something I love and something I’m passionate about. To have it reduced to merely a “hobby”, regardless of the intent, is borderline offensive. Does anyone else feel this way, or am I own little ranty island with this?