Is having a "hobby" something that you should keep quiet about? Does it conjure up a room of basket weavers, or slavishly learning to play the piano. If it does, that's wrong - hobbies are brilliant! Finding something that you are passionate about should never be ignored - no matter if it is basket weaving which I have tried myself. Suffice to say it wasn't going to become a passion for me but I am pleased that I have tried it. I enjoy trying new things for the experience. Some have turned into hobbies and some I have never returned to. I knew when the paintbrush I was holding touched the canvas for the first time that painting was for me. So shrug off the stigma and go hunting for that element that brings you pure pleasure. Because that is what hobbies are all about. Pleasure. Here's why:
1) You meet new people! In a world that to me feels increasingly dedicated to whiling away hours on social media whilst binging on Netflix series, hobbies allow you to open up your social circle to people who like the same thing as you.
2) You become more interesting to other people - seriously. Even if its stamp collecting. Having an interest that lights you up when talking about it is infectious. People will want whatever you are doing.
3) They can turn into a "proper job." I'm an artist but started by learning how to paint, which turned into people wanting to buy my work. I know a lot of photographers who started just by taking photos of their family and popping them on social media.
4) Hobbies are good for the soul… they can relax you and take you away from whatever else is going on in your life.
5) They can be very personal - just something that is for you and you only. A little bit of "me time."
6) You learn something new, be it a dance routine, how to serve in tennis or what to plant where and when.
7) You have more to say to friends and family - I like keeping up with the latest films at my local cinema. It means that I am the "go to" person in my network for film recommendations.
8) You travel - I'm a keen traveller but my love of working with colour and learning combinations has made me travel further than I could of dreamed about. Bhutan, recently visited by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, is a must for all colour fans.
9) They provide a sense of satisfaction as they usually fall into creating or learning something. That "feel good factor" that I get after finishing a new tap dancing routine, cannot be bettered.
10) They are simply just fun. If it's a chore, then its not a hobby. Hobbies should make you laugh, sing and be happy. Trust me.
Lynda Spiro's debut novel, There is Always More to Say is available to buy from Amazon and all good bookshops. Visit www.thereisalwaysmoretosay.com for further information.