Friday, August 22, 2014

Social Hobbies


Growing up I went through a lot of hobbies and, in hind sight, wasted a lot of money. They were the usual stable of collections from baseball cards to comic to coins. As I got older those hobbies shifted slightly with the collection of signed books, movies, music, and various autographs. For the most part, they were all singular in nature allowing me to escape with my collections. While there were the occasional social aspects to each of those hobbies, they were more of a solitary process of sorting, cataloging, and researching.

Books may have been the start to the socialization of my hobbies as many of them I got signed while doing readings and interacting with other authors through phone, email, and in person conversations. Surprisingly, I was seen as an equal with many publications beginning to publish my own work. In fact, I was also becoming an enabler of their book obsessions as well as I would happily sell (or trade) and sign my books. The writing process still held that solitary safety for me but everything beyond that initial creation was completely social.


Event now, the writing process is one that I do at my computer without the distractions of the day (or, more commonly, night). It is a process that I continue to struggle with but one that immediately becomes social as the blogs are posted and the interactions (mostly on LinkedIn) begin. While these pieces differ greatly from my initial introduction into writing and publishing, the process remains the same. Writing has also brought my other hobbies into the public realm of discussion.


I find my family history fascinating and the research process is engrossing to say the least. Recording and sharing some of my findings and recreating many of the stories has become an important part of genealogy for me as it has become a means to share (and sometime correct) the various aspects of our eclectic family. Not only has the dialogue within my family been an amazing way to find additional details, sharing on this blog and through social media has opened up avenues of discussion that I wouldn’t have otherwise enjoyed. Even the messages on Ancestry.com have been great ways to socialize and learn more.

Writing has also made my firearms hobby one that is increasingly social as I am frequently asked by friends and brothers for reviews, recommendations, and general feedback on certain companies, makes, models, calibers, etc. For those of you unfamiliar with shooting sports, this is an endless list of possibilities. While I can’t say that I know a lot, I know a little bit and offer my opinions accordingly. Heck, I may even spend a few more minutes on those reviews/recommendations and post them to the blog. However, beyond the writing, range time, and frequent discussions, this is still a solitary sport that required focus and attention to detail at the firing line.


So, I guess to you could say that my hobbies have evolved from being primarily of a solitary nature to ones that are mostly social. And the same thing can be said about my personality. I was not an outgoing or social child growing up but, over time, I have come to enjoy a good crowd, great conversations with people I just met, and generally being out and about. Plus, the more social I got the more opinionated I have become and that has made this whole writing thing much more satisfying and fun.