If you have a lot of free time on your hands, try writing as a hobby. Almost 80% of our communication is done through writing. Sure, you don’t send letters to each other anymore. But most of the mediums that you use today such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, email or text messages, use writing as their main mode of communication.
Even at work, you have to write notes, memos, prepare reports and other projects that rely on writing. So, turning it into a hobby can help you out in many different ways.
Writing as a hobby is so popular that it also has its own mediums. You’ll find that journaling and bullet journaling are two very popular niches in this category. However, when you are just starting out, journaling can feel a bit silly.
In this case, we will take a closer look at some of the benefits you get to experience with this wonderful hobby.
Boosts Your Memory
Writing helps to boost your memory. This is why you’re always told to write down all your notes, especially when you want to learn for a test. The act of writing ingrains the material more deeply in our mind.
It also makes your brain work since you have to think, compile and prepare the information properly. Keep in mind that this benefit is felt only when you’re writing with a pen and paper. Writing on a laptop does not boost your memory in a similar manner.
Typing has been compared to the mindless processing of information. Your brain doesn’t store the information— it just memorizes the keys used on the keyboard. With ink and paper, your brain is prompted to focus, process, and record the information being given.
Allows You to Express Yourself
It’s actually common to be lost for words at times. You can feel so angry, upset or even happy that you don’t know what to say. However, when you write down what you’re feeling, it is easier for you to express your emotions.
You’re also forced to pause, process and then put your emotions into words in this manner. It builds a better understanding of yourself and allows you to learn how to think before you start to speak. This is an important skill set which you can apply to other areas of your life.
Whether you’re practicing creative writing as a hobby or you’re opting for journaling, it’s going to help you become more attuned to your own feelings. The next time something bothers you, you can address the issue in the right manner.
Makes You a Better Communicator
Good communicators flourish, not only in their personal lives but also in their professional lives. They’re also more social and can have healthier relationships with others. Interestingly, writing improves not only your written communication skills but also your verbal ones.
This is a necessary skill set to have because in today’s world, most communication is done through writing and every little thing counts. Bad spelling, grammar and sentence structure will all lose you points before the person has even had a chance to meet you.
A Non-Toxic Way to Vent
Have you ever had such a bad day that you need to talk to someone about it? Everyone needs to vent at times, but you also have to be careful. It can become pretty toxic and you don’t want to be the friend that everyone avoids just because you complain all the time.
Do you know who won’t judge you for venting? Your journal or diary. Many people take up writing as a hobby because they need to write about their bad day. The no-judgment that you experience in this process is also very healthy.
Plus, you can always go back and see exactly what annoyed you. It also gives you more insight into your own feelings and emotions. Sometimes, doing this also allows you to see the silver lining. If you’re usually a pessimist, this can give you a more optimistic approach.
Expansion of Your Vocabulary
Ever wondered how some people have such a rich vocabulary? It’s probably because they read and write a lot. Writing makes you think about all the words you can use in a sentence. You’re also able to find better alternatives and express yourself better.
Let’s take a look at this to show you better words to express what you mean:
- Being very sad can mean that you are upset or distressed.
- If you’re feeling annoyed, you can also be surly or grumpy.
- Are you feeling like you’re so happy that you will burst? That means that you are ecstatic.
It’s easy to see that you can improve your vocabulary and also learn how to express yourself properly. You’re figuratively killing two-birds with one stone here.
Helps You Relax
For some people, writing is stressful. There’s nothing relaxing about seeing a blank page that you have to fill in. On the other hand, for others, it’s something to look forward to at the end of the day and almost therapeutic.
Most people enjoy writing as a hobby because they get to write about their whole day. They’re able to describe everything that happened throughout the day, process everything and let go of the negativity. That’s why they write at least 15 to 20 minutes before bedtime.
Writing at the end of the day can allow you to sleep better. It can give you a fresh, new perspective on the things that happened to you. You’ll also learn to be kinder to yourself, write from your heart and become more authentic. There’s no right or wrong way to write, and as you’re doing it as a hobby, you get to decide how tough or easy it will be.
Let’s You Explore Your Creativity
You’ll be surprised to know that everyone has a creative seed in them. They just need to nurture it a bit and it will flower in the best way. While it can be difficult to learn how to paint, sing or even do graphic art, writing is much easier.
Writing as a hobby allows you to explore your creative side with a lot of freedom. In fact, most people find writing extremely freeing because they already know the basics of this medium. After all, we have been writing since we were children.
That’s why, even as a hobby, you can write almost anything you like. The best part is that you don’t need to be an expert here. Writing is definitely a journey and it will take you some time to find your niche.
Remember that even the most famous authors were once beginners and faced a lot of problems on the way.
9 Fun Activities to Try When Writing as a Hobby
If you’re just starting out with writing and want to pursue it as a hobby, it’s natural to feel confused. You want to go about it in the right manner and have fun along the way too. The good news is that there’s no wrong or right way.
Write-a-Line Every Day
When writing, people usually assume that they must at least fill in a page or two every day. Unless you’re a professional writer, you shouldn’t stick to this rule. Writing can be flexible and you can stick to writing a line every day.
This might seem easy, but it’s also very challenging. It can be difficult to summarize how you’re feeling in one line. However, true expression can still be achieved in this manner. A good example of this can be seen in the one line journal entry by Teddy Roosevelt.
In 1884, he lost his mother and his wife on February 14, Valentine’s Day. On that day, all he wrote in his journal was, “The light has gone out of my life.” It’s poignant, brief and in one line, breaks the reader’s heart too. While your entries don’t need to be as sad, you can still try to express yourself in a similar manner.
Note Down the Happy
When you’re depressed or upset, you tend to focus more on the negative things that are happening around you. Even the most minor inconvenience can feel like everyone has abandoned you. In this case, you should try to journal all the positive things throughout the day.
- If your plants started flowering, document it.
- Have you have achieved your workout goal? Note it down.
- Did you do something nice for your family? Write a whole page about it.
A journal focusing on happy things will also force you to look on the brighter side of things. It’s a healthy way to change your perspective and on days when you are particularly gloomy, all you have to do is read the journal. You’ll feel happier, optimistic and your day won’t seem so terrible.
Create a Morning Page
What’s the first thing you do in the morning? Writing is probably not your answer here, but with a morning page, it can be. A morning page is when you start your day by writing as early as possible. Sometimes, even before you have breakfast.
Writing first thing in the morning also kick starts your brain and is a great way to make you feel truly awake. While most people who’re writing as a hobby don’t always opt for a morning page, this can still be pretty fun. It’s a no-pressure way to clear your mind and make sure you’re fully awake.
The best part is that you don’t have to pick a topic or any particular subject. Just write whatever is coming to your mind, even if it doesn’t make any sense. If all you can think about is unicorn ninjas, then that’s what you will write down in your journal.
Answer Some Questions
Can’t think of anything to write at all? Then you should try tricking your brain into answering three simple questions and elaborating more. Answer some questions is a simple writing exercise that poses three major questions to you.
These questions can be related to a book you are reading, a movie you are watching or what happened during your day. These can be like the following for the movie Eat, Pray and Love:
- Why is she traveling?
- Where does she eat, pray and love?
- Would you do the same?
Finding the answers to these can allow you to write more about the movie and also your own opinions about it. It can also help you understand how movie reviews work. You could even be the next Roger Ebert here!
Write a Letter to Yourself
As we grow, we’re constantly learning more about life and ourselves. There can be a number of life lessons that we wished we had known earlier. Hindsight is 20-20, after all. Now, what would you have done if the young and naïve version of you had found a letter from their future self?
With this particular exercise, you can try to write a letter or two to your past self. Talk about your life, lessons learned and experiences you never want to miss. This is also great for you to learn to finally love yourself and your life.
In many cases, people find that they wouldn’t have changed a thing about themselves! Writing a letter to yourself is a great way to experience the positives of writing as a hobby. And the best part is that you can also turn the journal into a collection of letters, which you can pass down to your kids, who will literally be a younger, naïve version of you.
Create a Manual about the Mundane
Another fun activity to try is making a manual about something mundane or simple. Think of it like how Douglas Adams created the Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy. However, your writing piece could be something like, “The Lazy Man’s Guide to Wearing Socks in the Morning.”
Then, write down the best and simplest manner to wear socks in as much detail as possible. It’s definitely challenging and you might feel stupid while writing it, but you should go through with it. Not only will the manual be funny to you, but it can also make others laugh.
There’s not much difficulty in wearing socks, so having a manual for it is sure to raise a few eyebrows and pique the interest of others. You never know, The Lazy Man’s Guide to Wearing Socks in the Morning could turn into a bestseller.
Create a Soup from Idioms
What’s a soup you can make but never eat? A soup made entirely from idioms. You will find that idioms are usually frowned upon in writing. You’ll be told to limit their usage, but in this exercise, you have to crank up the dial in the other direction.
Try to write a short story or an essay with as many idioms as possible. It’s definitely a writing challenge and you’ll find that there are many different kinds of idioms. To help you out, here’s a small excerpt:
“He knew that the task was a piece of cake and that he had been let go with just a slap on the wrist. To him, it was a walk in the park. However, he couldn’t help but think that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush…”
Now, all you have to do is continue the story. It’s a good idea to have a list of idioms handy because it can be confusing to find the right one for your writing.
Borrow a Line from a Book
Another fun way to turn writing into a hobby is by trying to borrow a line from a book and writing a story based on it. This can be any line that caught your attention. For a bigger challenge, pick a line from a book that you’re not a fan of.
This removes bias and also makes the challenge tougher for you. Some amazing opening lines you can use from different books are:
- It was a pleasure to burn – Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
- It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen – 1984 by George Orwell
- All children, except one, grow up – Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
Use these starting lines in your own stories or journal entries. The main challenge comes from trying to weave these iconic lines into your story like a casual sentence or any other addition.
An Autobiographical Approach
How would you write your autobiography? Don’t just speculate, pick up pen and paper and start to write. It can be fun to note down entries in your journal from a third perspective or in a manner that will allow you to believe that someone else is narrating your life story.
Writing in this manner is challenging and will definitely push you to reinvent your writing style. Additionally, you will realize your own actions and also see the silver lining. After all, sometimes you need an outsider’s perspective to truly appreciate what you have.
Just remember to have fun with these activities. Writing as a hobby needs to be fun and non-challenging and you won’t accomplish that if the task seems too daunting.