Hobby, what is it?

Hobby: (according to a quick google search for the definition of "Hobby")

  1. A activity done regularly in one's leisure time for pleasure.
  2. A small horse or pony.

Well I don't know anything about horses or ponies...... So I want to talk about doing a thing for pleasure.

Hobbies fall into five broad "types" as defined by Stebbins:

  1. Collecting: Includes seeking, locating, acquiring, organisation, cataloging, displaying, and storing. This is things like stamp collecting, coin collecting, or even recording of events like train or bird spotting.
  2. Making and Tinkering: This is fairly self descriptive, including things like 3D printing, making of clothes, restoring classic cars, and scale modeling.
  3. Activity Participation: These are generally more physical pursuits, such as gardening, outdoor sports, like hiking, fishing and hunting
  4. Liberal Arts Pursuits: More performance based hobbies, such as singing, magic, or dancing.
  5. Sports and Games: Such as amateur football or rugby.
So my main hobby, as you may have gathered by now, is collecting and painting and playing models for miniature wargames. Looking at the board types of hobbies, I'd say it fell into groups 1 & 2 so collecting and making. I buy and collect miniatures, I then paint said miniatures, and finally I have a database of all my miniatures and I try and display my armies in the games room I share with my housemate, who also shares in my hobby. My other housemate enjoys making clothes for 16" dolls that she collects.

I've spent time "hiding" my hobby, a thing I think that many people who are into the wargaming hobbies might have done. People ask why I spend so much money on "toys" and this line of questioning makes people (or at least me) feel very uncomfortable and somehow childish. Over the last few years I have started to fly my "hobby flag" more and more. I feel more confident in talking about my hobby, and my love for the things I find enjoyable (well duh Plastic Addict you are writing a blog!). I have realised that I am having fun, spending my money on the things I want to spend my money on. The bills are paid every month and there is always food in the house, after that my money is mine to do with as I please. I don't knock others for doing the things they want to do, whether that is drinking, restoring classic cars, or fishing. So why should I allow others to take the joy out of my hobby?

A lot of hobbies are seen as solitary, but often feed back into a community of some sort. For example, only I paint my miniatures, but my hobby allows me, as a person who is a bit of an introvert, a community to be involved in. As I've mentioned in past blogs, I enjoy once a week going into my local Warhammer store. I know the staff and the regulars, and feel confident in talking to these people. I know we have some common ground on which at the very least to have a conversation, if not to build a friendship. Also there is a large online community of people from across the world who have an interest in what I have an interest in, where pictures, ideas and general commentary on what is happening within the hobby can be discussed.

So how do your hobbies help you?

See you next time from the table of a Plastic Addict!