Blog 24 Why Writers Need Hobbies


Writers need hobbies for the same reason accountants need hobbies- -writers have got to get away from the desk before they calcify. This implies that writers should have hobbies that involve physical activity but, ironically, reading is, for many writers, the #1 pastime.

I’m taking a quick self-survey to assess whether I have an actual hobby at this time. Music? No, that still falls under the psychological category of work. Gardening? No, that’s a type of job, too, especially at this time of year when everything ripens at once and it either has to be preserved or anonymously dropped off on the neighbor’s porch when they are not at home. It’s a desperate situation, so I’ve called in my friend and fellow author, Janice Gilbertson, to help me out of this pinch. Here’s what Janice has to say:

“The hobby question is a hard one. I would have to say my horse life is my hobby. It is hard to call it that, but it is what it is. I have ridden horseback my entire life, for pleasure for helping with cattle, for training for reining work, for SAR…on and on… It has been said so many times before, but spending time around horses is relaxing and makes me feel connected to the natural world around me. I adore all animals, but love the human and horse connection. I write better (easier) when I feel relaxed and connected. A long horseback ride takes me away mentally as well as physically.”

Janice’s debut novel, Summer of ’58, deals largely with the world of rodeo. Her love of horses and her ability to tell a moving and suspenseful story shines through. You can read more about Janice, her novels and her poetry at

This fall I’ll be reviving one of my former hobbies, acting, for public and private readings of Small-g City. You can see when and where at the Events page. This round I’ll be on both sides of Washington State, with more to come in the spring.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I see the neighbors have gone to town. Time to distribute today’s bushel of lemon cucumbers.

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