September 3, 2012

Dear Writer: Get a Hobby

The title of this post is brought to you by my husband. 

See, when I was wallowing in the query trenches a couple years ago, Justin said to me: 
"Don't cry, honey. You know what might help? Maybe a few hobbies outside of writing."
Hahaha. At the time, I got a little furious. Hobbies? I DON'T WANT A HOBBY! I JUST WANT AN AGENT! 

But eventually I saw the wisdom of his words, especially because I freelanced for magazines and websites during the day and then I worked on my novels during each night. Thus, I really did need time away from the computer screen. 

Cue photography! 

I bought my first DSLR in March and it has happily resided in my purse ever since. Admittedly, I'm still very much an amateur; but whenever I get frustrated by a plot point or weepy about a revision, I grab my camera and head somewhere to snap a few pictures. And you know what? It makes me happy every single time! 

So here a few pictures from my Labor Day outing to Glen Echo Park, an old amusement park that has been converted into an arts and cultural center. The vintage carousel, however, is still operational!

{Love the pastel colors.}
{Playing with the shutter speed and aperture settings.}

{An amateur's self-portrait.}
{This carousel has diversity! Rabbits? Or jackalopes?}

Such a cute carousel, right? I think it'd be the perfect place for engagement photos or family portraits. Which brings me to my next point: who wants to model for me? Eh, eh? :)

But yeah. Photography. I love it because it's all mine. Since I don't do this professionally, I don't have to worry about critiques or clients or capturing the right shot. I can just have fun and recharge my creative juices and not think about character arcs or editorial submissions for awhile.

What about you though? What are some of your hobbies? Knitting? Painting? Archery? How do you recharge? 


  1. Lovely photos! I love photography and one of my goals is to get a DSLR in the next couple of years.

    In the meantime, I've been learning how to knit! It's actually quite relaxing and fun. Two of my coworkers and I knit together at lunch once a week. I'm still very much a beginner but can't wait to make some cute Anthro-inspired sweaters. :)

    1. Oh, knitting! That is so cool! And your knitting circle sounds awesome--I wish I could join in and you guys could teach me! Haha.

      And you must, MUST blog about any Anthro-inspired sweaters that you knit! I want to see!

  2. Sign us up for a family shoot!! I think the carousel would be a fantastic spot, so creative!

    I love to sew, but I've been struggling to find the time. For me it isn't something I can pick up and then put down 10 min later.

    Then there is working out... a HUGE stress reliever for me. If I can start the day with a workout I know it is going to be a good day no matter what life throws at me. Like Henry finding dog poo and putting it in his mouth. Bleah!!

    1. Oh, we should go to Glen Echo the next time you guys are in town! I think Henry and Sam would get a kick out of the carousel. Plus, it's only $1.25 per ride! Haha.

      Also, I need to start working out more. You're my inspiration, CJ!

  3. So pretty and I love the look of vintage carousels! I wish I was a better photographer, haha, but that's more of my sister's thing. I watch a lot of TV; I don't know if that counts as a hobby, lol. I used to draw, but I'm terrible at people, haha. Animals all the way!

    Speaking of, one of the great things about having a puppy (other than his cuteness) is he makes me spend a lot of time outdoors. So I actually am getting more exercise than I would normally because of him!

    1. TV IS TOTALLY A HOBBY! It's a hobby that I excel at very well. :)

      And how is Loki doing? He is just so, so cute! I want to play fetch with him and smoosh him!

    2. Let's be TV gold medalists then! :)

      Loki is doing great, even though he is losing all his teeth! His big boy teeth are growing in now, so he's constantly chewing on things (not that he wasn't before). He will allow you to smoosh him, but I don't know about fetch. We're still trying to teach that concept to him, haha. He's really good at shaking hands though! I'll try to remember to post more pictures, but he's lately found that cameras are things he likes to lunge at, haha.

  4. Great photos, I am so terrible I just use my phone to capture everything because I always have it and it's light!

    I used to take W to music classes at Glen Echo Park and that carousal always used to freak me out, maybe because it was always closed down and dark when we went. I always thought those animals looked like they'd be happy to take a bite out the riders though!

    Hoping you'll be sharing more photos of DC in the Fall - my absolute favourite time of year there.

  5. Photography is a pretty nice hobby! (I'm studying photography) :]
    I love go to cinema, reading ond off course blogging :)))

  6. I love that self-portrait! I am the worst at remembering to take pictures, so I hereby recommend that we take many DC trips together this fall :)

  7. we'll model for you! i'd love to get photos on a carousel. and your photos are awesome! i still haven't gotten to redeem my class coupon yet... plus i don't think i'd ever be able to lug around a big camera with leo on the loose!