“How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live” – Henry David Thoreau.
The act of writing is only one part of the process. If we don’t have anything interesting to say, then it doesn’t matter how good we write, it won’t provide value. You get few readers. You lose your following.
So how do you write interesting things? Take up a hobby.
Hobbies relieve stress. They inspire creativity. They teach you things you would never learn at a desk.
For example, one of my hobbies is gardening. By failing at it, improving, and enjoying the results, I’ve developed a whole new set of perspectives and skills. Hobbies force you to think differently. You see life through enhanced lenses. Whenever I think of trying to start a new project in my writing career, I think of my hobby: gardening. If you plant a seed, you have to take care of it like a baby. You need to protect it from harsh conditions. It needs to be watered but can’t be overwatered. As it sprouts and grows, it needs to be moved in the right pots and location.
Imagine if I wanted it to grow fast. Too much water or sun would kill it. When I start a project and want to solve every problem, I think of the seed. First, it needs to grow. When it is matured, only then can I grow the branches. It requires a strong stem and root system to expand.
Hobbies also teach you discipline and patience. You have to wait. You cannot speed things up. A home winemaker cannot bottle their wine too early or it will taste horrible with off-putting flavors.
All good things take time. Hobbies teach you that daily.
Lastly, hobbies teach you the value of small improvements. When I was learning how to make pizza from scratch, the dough was the hardest thing to get right. The first time it was bad. The second time it got better. Then it got really good and friends started to notice it.
When you’re making these small improvements, you’ll notice you get little praise. Your success relies solely on you. That’s the most important lesson of them all. As a writer, find hobbies to do. They will teach you new skills, inspire new metaphors, and give you a new perspective that you could use for your writing.