Chronicles of an Obsessive Bookseller: Too Many Hobbies!

Too Many Hobbies!

I have come to a terrible realization: I have too many hobbies.

Or maybe the issue is, I don’t have enough time. Someone asked me the other day, “How do you have time to read? Do you give up all of their hobbies or something?” My response was an emphatic: “No, I still do all the things I love.” But after assessing for a few days, I realized just how delusional I am.

I’ve only been on one hike in the last year, I haven’t walked my dog in months, my Prismacolor pencil set is packed in the back of my closet with all of my paints, I’ve only done a few stitches on my cross-stitch project in the last few weeks, and I haven’t touched my WIP novels in two years. O_o This is a problem.

Lately, I’ve been itching to do all of my favorite things, but just can’t seem to find the time. I work forty hours a week, have a baby at home, and what little time I do have I spend either reading or blogging. It’s not a bad life, and by all accounts I’m quite happy, but now that I’ve decided to get back to some of these other joys, I can’t seem to fit them into my schedule.

So what do I do? Since The Obsessive Bookseller’s theme of 2017 is Simplifying Life, the only thing I can do is simplify blogging by taking time away from it to work on other projects. Henceforth: I think I’m going to pull back from gung-ho blogging for a couple of months to see what other creative mischief I can get up to. It’s not a burnout or hiatus, it’s just a strategic step back. I’ll only be reducing my weekly posts by one, but I think it’ll go a long ways towards helping me allocate my time. I know I could have just made the change and probably no one would have noticed, but I thought I’d say something anyway and maybe generate a discussion.

Who else has this problem?? Not only would I love to hear what kind of hobbies you awesome people have outside of blogging and reading, but I’d also love to hear how you balance them all with life.

by Niki Hawkes

29 comments on “Chronicles of an Obsessive Bookseller: Too Many Hobbies!

  1. Yes, to everything you said! Last month I took a “strategic step back” too but I suppose I was more burned out than I thought because I have literally been wasting time on Youtube the whole time since. So I’m back at trying to find the balance…….the eternal struggle.

    Hobbies outside of reading and the blog? I’m pretty much the poster child for too many hobbies. I keep tropical fish (much reduced from what I had previously) and used to have poison dart frogs. I want to write sff novels but unless I write regularly that is never going to happen (meaning I don’t write at all). I make metal clay jewellery or try to (even have/had an Etsy store). Video games. Trying to grow a patio garden. Plus, I’m a stay-at-home dad with a 4 year old.


    • I am afraid that YouTube is exactly where I’ll spend my extra time haha. I have a lot of motivation going for me right now though, so if I can get in at least a couple week of productivity I’ll be happy. Eternal struggle indeed. :-)

      Your hobbies are so cool! I pay a lot of money to the local aquarium to go see the fish and the poison dart frogs (my favorite). You should totally charge an entrance fee lol. And the jewelry thing sounds awesome! I’d love to see some of your pieces if your Etsy is still current. And I have wanted a patio garden for so long! I’m currently in the process of building a house, so I think that ambition might come true before the end of the year. :-)

      The one thing I’m hoping to get out of this “strategic step back” is a completed novel by August. My “work on it when you have time” method means, like you, I just don’t write at all. So I’ve got to make a concerted effort going forward… wish me luck haha. And, speaking as a new mom, it’s amazing we get anything done with a kid running around. ;P

      Liked by 1 person

      • The Etsy store is in “vacation mode” without any active listings, but I do have some pictures on the facebook page if you want a look, I want to take it more seriously so I need to get the sales tax stuff sorted before reopening and all that jazz.

        You’re building a house?! That’s hard core. Are you building-building it yourself or through contractors? Each has their own headaches and attention needed. We’re in an apartment for at least another year, and who knows after that.

        Also, if you need some fresh eyes for your novel, I’d be happy to take a look. I can’t say it won’t be critical but it will be honest if nothing else……..(feel free to ignore this offer, no hard feelings and no questions asked. ;) )


      • Wow – those are gorgeous pieces of jewelry! It pains me how much work goes into selling stuff beyond the actual creation. I’m trying to help my mom get together sales accounts to sell her paintings and it feels like a never ending process.

        Yes! And I think were actually approaching completion date – it has been about 9 months in the process so far. We are going through contractors, and you are totally right – a headache no matter what you do LOL. I have to keep telling myself to “just keep swimming” otherwise the impatience digs at me. I’ve been aspiring for a house for a really long time, so it’s very exciting to see it come about! :-)

        That is such a kind offer, and one I really appreciate and might take you up on! I am committed to polishing it as best as I can before submitting it to publishers, and critical, honest feedback is the best way to get there. I’ve been in writing groups for years, so don’t worry – I have thick skin. :-) If I actually do what I’m supposed to and start working on it now, I should have it ready for beta reading by the beginning of August. I’m looking to submit in September (the buying season for publishers), so will see how well I can hit a deadline haha. Thank you again – I’ll let you know if I actually get it done on time. ;P

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Sorry, reading and blogging are my hobbies. So thankfully I don’t have competing hobbies :-) Best of luck with balancing it all.
    You could try cutting back on how many people you follow. Just cut one or two people who don’t “really” interest you. I do that when I start following someone new. Keeps it so I am only following people I really want to instead of just those who post a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey – no love lost here with that admission. Reading and blogging are definitely my favorites. :-) I went through a following purge near the beginning of the year and honestly don’t make time to hop on and check out other people’s stuff as often as I’d like. It sounds like a good method to keep things manageable though going forward. Thank you for the encouragement. :-)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thankfully, a lot of my other hobbies also allow me to “read” at the same time in the form of listening to audiobooks. From doing some level grinding in an RPG to taking walks around the neighborhood to crocheting a new stuffed animal, I can do all that with a book in my ear. In fact, the only thing I can’t do while reading or listening to an audiobook at the same time is watch TV, which probably explains why I am so behind on movies and TV series, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve had so many personal problems over the course of the last seven years that reading and writing are now the only hobbies I maintain. Even then, I struggle to make time for either of them because more and more difficulties seem to pop up to weigh me further down, with no end in sight. I wish I had the option to take a step back and enjoy the few things that help me to forget (at least for a little while) how much my life sucks.

    Anyway, enjoy reclaiming some of your personal time back. And get working on your WIP; two years is a long time leave it languishing. ;-)


    • I am really sorry to hear that – it seems like when life has you down it just keeps throwing punches. I’m glad at least you seem to take some joy from reading and writing, and it’s always a pleasure to talk books with you. :-) I definitely appreciate the encouragement with the writing – I’ve let it take the lowest priority for too long now. That will change, I tell you!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m lucky… eh, probably unlucky actually, that I don’t have a lot of hobbies. I used to when I was a kid, but I don’t feel the urge to do things like beading anymore. I do blog a lot (it feels like) but since it’s pretty much my only hobby I suppose it works out well for me. :)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I totally understand the need to step back. I’m busy too. I work 40 hours a week, and am finishing up a final college course this semester then I’ll have graduated. That being said, I’ve really come to the realization that I’ve totally sacrificed writing creatively in recent months due to blogging taking up so much of my time, so I’ve made a similar decision. I’ll be spending less time blogging and at least a couple of hours a day on writing instead once I graduate from school. It will be painful to do it, but I definitely get needing to step back and take a breath once in awhile.


    • I don’t know if you’ll find this relatable when you’re finished with school, but it always amazes me how many things I was able to get done when I was at my busiest. It’s like when life forces you to be in “get it done” 24/7, you never really stop going full force, but when you have some free time for a change, nothing gets done lol. That doesn’t include reading though – reading always gets done! :-) I’m definitely glad to see you can relate sacrificing a little blogging time to do other creative things. Have I asked you what you’re majoring in? Or what degree you’re getting? I think the fact that you find time to blog at all is impressive. ;P

      Liked by 1 person

      • I totally understand what you mean! I work best under pressure, whether it comes to school, or real work. I’m majoring in Business Management – basically to open doors for myself in my current career path. I’m all about upward mobility. xD Reading and blogging is the one thing that keeps me sane through it all!

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s awesome! I also majored in Business because I wanted to graduate from bookseller to bookstore owner. I’m now using the degree a lot differently than I’d intended haha. It’s definitely nice to have something like reading and blogging to give you a break through all the busyness. I’m excited to see what you get up to creatively once school’s finished. :)

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  7. I took a year and a half away from blogging, so yes I understand. When I came back I seriously cut the amount of blogging I do. I am down to one or two posts a week vs 3 and sometimes 4. I am reading half of what I used to and don’t push myself to hit a certain number of books. And while I still comment a lot in the mornings I no longer come home and ‘try to catch up.’

    But too many hobbies? YES. I play basketball still, coach my kids soccer, LOVE to hike, spend time every day learning Spanish, and always have some project I want to do. The only hobby I have dropped is video games which used to take a ton of my time and now is almost forgotten.


    • That makes sense – I think when you hit the point where you’re playing catch-up, blogging is more of an obligation than a joy. I think when I started I was aiming for one post every other day, most of which suffered in quality because it was all I could do to get them up. It’s really nice to see you come back to blogging, though. :-)

      Awesome hobbies! Do you play basketball for a league or just a pickup game here and there when you have time? My husband plays what he calls “old man ball” every couple of weeks with a few coworkers haha. Do you watch as well? I’m a huge Utah Jazz fan. :) I think it is so cool that you coach soccer for your kids! My mom was one for my very small-town softball league when I was a kid and it’s one of my fondest “bonding” memories lol. As for the hiking, do you have a lot of good hikes around where you live? I live in Southwest Utah very close to a bunch of national parks and it’s definitely one of my favorite pastimes. We just did a hike through Kolob Canyon, which is tucked just beyond the freeway through an exit that I’ve driven past thousands of times without knowing it was there. Amazing!


      • Front Range of Colorado here, we can get to a decent hike in twenty minutes! As the kid gets old we plan on longer hikes in Rocky Mountain National Forrest.

        And yes, I play old man ball in pick up games. AND GO NUGGETS!

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s great!! I was born in Denver but moved away before I was old enough to do any of the Rocky Mountain hikes (my mom didn’t get us out to the wilderness much lol). I bet they’re gorgeous, though. Very nice!
        Because of my ties there, I appreciate the Nuggets, but no one beats the Broncos!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I can totally relate to not having enough time to do all the things I love. I haven’t managed a big long camping trip in a couple years. Only get a few walks in every few months. I haven’t taken my kayak to all the other local lakes only the one out the front door. So much I want more time for. It is so nice to hear I’m not the only one with many loves and too little time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you can relate! It’s a comfort knowing I’m not alone haha. It sounds like you live somewhere conducive to a lot of outdoor fun! I really need to get out walking more now that it has cooled off a bit. Since composing this post I haven’t been able to reprioritize my time much.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I think realizing that you have other things to do and giving yourself time to do them is the perfect way to avoid burnout. I walked away from my blog for three years in order to get my novel in order. Now I’ve gotten back on the blogging and I’m releasing my book before the end of the month.

    Liked by 1 person

    • First of all, congrats on completing the novel. :) I think the “giving myself time” thing is what I need to work on atm. I’m having trouble prioritizing what to focus on first because honestly everything has about equal appeal. My current ambition is to find ways to squeeze in creative time when I would have otherwise been dinking around on my phone or watching tv. Multitasking is my friend lol.

      Liked by 1 person

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