Trying to find a new hobby

I’ve decided I need a new hobby. I haven’t embarked on anything new for a while. Now feels like the right time to try and change that.

2008, 2009 and 2010 were fast-moving times for me. I graduated from university. After a shaky year or so, I got a proper job, which I feel lucky to have got. Then I bought my first car. Soon afterwards I moved to my own flat — the first time I hadn’t lived with my parents. Following a miserable and pessimistic youth, I had done a lot of growing up in a short space of time.

In 2011, the pace of change slowed. There was the odd flash of something exciting happening last year, but it never came together.

I am busy now that I work full time and live by myself. But it’s more boring now. My social life in Dundee isn’t as good as I had hoped it would be. Now I feel the need to be proactive and do something new; get new skills; meet new people.

The trouble is, what? I have a few ideas — none of which I’m sure about.

One idea is to take some sort of evening class. What in, I have no idea. Although I am told most people take evening classes for the social side of it, I would probably have to learn something I was actually interested in.

The typical thing to do, so I’m told, is to learn a language. But, rightly or wrongly, my motivation to learn a language is low.

One other idea is to learn photography. I’m not sure if you can get lessons or groups, or if it’s the sort of thing where you just have to buy some books and practice lots.

I like the idea of photography, but I am put off a bit because it feels lazy of me to think of it. Does the world really need another average photographer uploading his photos to Flickr, despite the fact that he is clearly not as good as he wishes he was?

You could say I already do that. But if I were to start taking it seriously, would it add much to the world? I doubt it.

The real clincher is that photography could be very expensive if I started getting too heavily into it. I don’t see much point in taking it seriously unless I take it seriously seriously. In that sense, I feel like I can’t commit myself to learning photography.

Another option is to rekindle an old hobby — playing music. This, too, could be expensive. Moreover, it would probably be a solitary pursuit — unless I joined a band, which I don’t see myself doing.

On the plus side, I know I can do it. I have a passion for music, and I had some talent for playing musical instruments when I was younger.

But my relationship with playing music has been tricky. At times it was even traumatic. That will be the subject of a post to be published later this week.

In the meantime, I am no further forward in deciding what to do with myself in Dundee. There must be ways to stop yourself from going round the bend if you feel like life is slowing down, mustn’t there?


  1. I partially disagree on the photography bit. Admittedly it to an extent depends on what kind of photography you’d like to do (e.g. wildlife photography is fairly tricky without a decent telephoto lens), but you don’t necessarily need expensive kit to do some excellent photography. What it really is about is to develop an eye for pictures and composition. Something that will take time to develop, and more importantly practice. Also a lot of experimentation. Not to forget just getting out there.

    A friend of mine has fairly recently picked up photography. He’s using a fairly basic SLR with a kit lens, yet I think some of his pictures put pictures by people who have cameras costing probably 3-4 or even 5 times as much in the shade. Easily.

  2. Thanks for the comment Armin. If I decide to go with photography, do you have any thoughts on how I should proceed? Are there books I should buy, or is it just a case of practicing?

  3. I think it depends on the individual. I’ve tried looking into books, but never really got far with them. Never tried a course, so don’t know if they help.

    Provided you understand the basics (aperture, shutter speed, exposure, that kind of stuff) I personally think the best way to learn is to go out and play, experiment and most importantly break the rules. Learning to see I think is the most important thing. Spotting the opportunities. Noticing things you wouldn’t previously have noticed.

    I think you can only do this by getting out there and exposing yourself to opportunities. And deleting a lot of pictures from your memory cards.