This is one of those days.
One of those days when I'm not quite in the mood of getting things done. Especially my hobby-related tasks. It's taking A LOT for me to sit my behind down and write this. And for that, I'd like to commend my very capable ass kicker for getting me back on my writing track.
Such a superstar.
With that preamble, I'm hoping you'll be able to forgive any noticeable strangeness in the sentences following this one.
You've been warned.
Hmm. I just had a thought.
Aren't "hobbies" meant to be things that you can and want to do at any time? Or are some hobbies special and some shitty in the any time department?
Or maybe this is just one of those superpower-gloom days when I'd much rather be doing "nothing". "Nothing" here means hobbies or activities I can never ever get enough of. Case in point, doing some online artistry on some website or social media. Or my favorite, trying-not-to-binge-watch-and-then-ending-up-doing-exactly-that on Netflix. I see you, Greenleaf! I see you!
The other hobby I can't seem to be able to do randomly is drawing. Yeah, shame on me, right?
I mean, I love drawing. It's top on my list. But there are days when I just don't feel like it!
Does that make it less of a hobby? Does that make me less of an artist? Shit. I hope not.
I should probably document all these random thoughts soon enough. Random thoughts about my strange tier of hobbies. Those I can do at any time and those I can only do at certain times and during certain moods.
Anyway, pardon that detour. Back to why we are here.
In the competition of personal hobbies, reading is always a contender for me. Perhaps it is for you too. The choice of what book usually depends on how I'm feeling. I'm one of those weird people who's always in the middle of some ten different books at any one time. And if it's not a book, it's a blog article. If it's not that, it's a podcast. If not that, it's an online course (if I find a good free-to-cheap one). If not that, it's some geeky YouTube video.
And guess what, these are the exact things I'm sharing here. My recent discoveries and favourite time guzzlers.
A book, a video, a podcast, a course and a blog article!
1. Conversations with God: Numero uno of the books in the series.
This one is an interesting addition to my library, thanks to a good friend who shared it with me. Neal Donald Walsch takes a bold step. He is not conversing about God. He is conversing with God. He asks questions and God answers them (through him).
It's both an unusual and refreshing read. And the insights in it are pretty good even for people who might not currently be normal church-goers (i.e. myself) or people who've not had a conversation with God for a while (don't look at me; I spoke to Him today).
This book's goes parallel with various belief systems meaning it's palatable for people of other faiths as well. Check it out, if you can.
2. The mother of all epic videos on YouTube
This video is part of the channel I love "wasting" minutes and hours on. Tom Bilyeu's YouTube channel where he hosts a show called Impact Theory. A lot of the interviews in it are epic and superbly inspirational but this particular one is smack at the top of my list - for now, at least.
In it, Tom interviews Jay Shetty, a former monk and now digital philosopher for millennials.
Maybe it's just me, I don't know. But my mind was blown. This guy dropped so many nuggets of wisdom, I had to keep replaying some bits over and over again.
See for yourself.
3. A writing podcast to give me a kick when I need it
I keep singing this song. The song that I love writing. The song that I want to finish writing a book someday. Yeah, yeah, I know. Someday, as Tim Ferriss says, is not a day of the week. I know that. I know that my writing dream is a little pipe-y right now. But that's why I needed a podcast to give me the necessary motivation. And I found one!
The Writing Coach, by Kevin T. Johns. He brings in writers, editors, anyone in the industry. The conversations are great and they always give me fresh ideas on how to un-pipe those scary dreams.
4. A course that pays homage to my oldest childhood memory
Everyone has a memory they believe is their earliest.
Yes, you also have one.
Mine is of me sitting in some kiddie class being taught calligraphy. I'm not sure why this was an important class for kids that age, but who cares - I loved it. As I sat there, I remember trying really hard not to go past the top and bottom lines. I had to lift the "f" just right and drop the "g" within line. No crossing borders.
Sure, the vowels were easy. But I was trying really hard to stay steady with the pencil. The trembling hand of a little child is not the easiest challenge to work with. Not for the teacher and certainly not for the kids. Not for Art class. And certainly not for Calligraphy class.
That image of me in that class is one of those memories that just won't die. And because of it, I've always been interested in Calligraphy.
So when I found the Seb Lester class on Skillshare, I signed up immediately!
Despite the fact that I was on a free trial on the platform, making it a FREE course, it was and still is the best course I've ever taken. Now if I could only get those tools he's using. Hmm.
5. A blog by one of the favourite authors of one of my favourite authors
One of my favourite authors is Robert Greene. The fact that Ryan Holiday worked with him and learnt from him means he must be one of his favourite authors and so, by default, that makes him one of my favourites as well.
I profiled one of his books (which I have gladly gone through twice) in my favourite books list but he has a recent one called Perennial Seller: The Art of Making and Marketing Work that Lasts. It's currently a priority on my book list and one that any creative should plan to read.
So for (and from) that book, Ryan wrote a little summary of an article about the rules of creating work that stands the test of time. It's such an awesome piece, it'll be impossible to not learn anything from it.
Find it here.
And so to summarise: