Get A Hobby… Now!

Freelancing can be a challenging and exhausting profession, demanding more than just your time and skills in varying degrees of intensity and difficulty. Regardless, the rush that you will get from pushing yourself to the limit for a special or favorite client is as great (or almost as great) as a sugar high. And just like sugar high, a pet project leaves you drained and exhausted once it’s over. Thst is, if you were able to get the project done before burnout takes the wind out of your sail.

Burnout happens when:

You take in too much projects
When you take your projects too seriously
You don’t give yourself time to breathe in between projects
You have a project that is robotically repetitive
You do not allow yourself to take on variety in projects

There are so many ways for you to avoid and/or cure burnout, but nothing does it better than a hobby. Yes, a hobby. For me, it gives me a chance to reset my brain whenever I hit a snag in my projects. As I am writing this, I am already indulging on one hobby – which is writing.

But this is not my only hobby. I have so many hobbies, but there will always be one who will be on top, and that is gardening for me.

Gardening

It is a great hobby because there is an almost Zen-like experience whenever you go down on the dirt to till the soil with fertilizer and plant seeds. Depending on what kind of garden you have, your garden will give you fragrance, beauty, color, and even food on your table. The physical labor helps your brain relax, reboot, and refresh itself, and you can almost feel it breathing while you’re doing your gardening.

Band Looming

I can still remember the time I bought my daughter her very own Rainbow Loom. She got so excited, she made bracelets right away. It may have started in the US for a couple of years already, but looming started to launch here in the Philippines and I got the bug like crazy. You will be using rubber bands and use a loom to create bracelets, headbands, bags, and even clothing (if you’re brave enough). Rainbow Loom has a long detachable loom, a monster tail, and a new finger loom (coming out September).

Musical Instruments

Piano, guitar, violin, flute, drums, take your pick. There are so many scientific studies regarding the effects of playing your own musical instrument ranging from relaxation to improving your concentration, critical thinking, and creativity. It also requires total dedication, so you must think of it only as a hobby, and not a training for the biggest philharmonic concert. I tried the violin once, but failed miserably because I was so much into my dream of playing with an orchestra. I did it like I was off to a battlefield instead of something that should help me relax.

Cooking

Now, nothing is as delicious as preparing a meal that you have been craving for what seemed like ages, or cooking up a simple dish that your friends and family would enjoy. I forget almost everything when I am cooking, especially during prep work because my knife is ridiculously sharp (total concentration unless I plan to miss a finger or two). Every sizzle, every bubble, and every steam that comes out of the pot helps me relax in many ways. Start by trying out a simple recipe until you get the hang of your favorite chef’s techniques. Who knows, it might become a passion that can spruce up your blog or freelancing career. Or maybe even launch you into Masterchef!

Get Out Of That Chair

And start on that hobby. The world will not end if you take some time off from work. And besides, if your client values you, he or she will support your need for an occasional break every now and then when things get edgy. As with other responsibilities, your hobbies must be done in balance with your working hours so that you will be able to get the best of both worlds.

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The Sad Truth

Hi, and thanks again for coming back.

For two days now I have been tending to my garden and updating my gardening blog’s content. I got spurred on because my mom gave me jalapeño and habanero seeds, and my husband loves chili. Yes, we do not have those seeds here in the Philippines, so I went totally ballistic. So, during the course of my blogging about jalapeños, I have discovered a sad truth. There are more people interested in cooking rather than gardening, and they prefer to engage in replying to blogs and sharing social media content on that niche as opposed to gardening.

That made me wish – for a short time – that I have a cooking blog instead of a gardening blog. However, I am just going stick to my garden because this average home cook is not Masterchef material.

So, why am I bothered by this?

For one thing, I would like to connect with people who share the same interests as I do. I would like to educate as well learn from my audience about the challenges of growing your own garden. As a freelance writer, gardening is one of my niche, and if I can entice readers to engage in a healthy discussion outside of a forum, then that would be a great accomplishment that I can proudly add to my resume. I had experienced teaching in the past, and I have learned that different students have different perspectives on how to solve an issue. And your readers can give you that same experience once you get them to come out of their shells.

That being said, I did not have enough material to use for my blog. Most of my audience come from overseas for purposes of affiliatons and marketing – opportunities that are close to nil here in my country. Not so much people talk about their gardening techniques on how to take care of crops while coping with four amazing seasons – something that I wish to know more about because my experience is limited to dry and wet climates only.

Sure there are sites that will expertly tell you how to take care of crops, and I am glad that they take the time to do so. But what I am after as a blogger is the experience of average gardeners like me. How do they take care of their plants? What problems do they face and at what stage do they notice them? And are their problems common or just isolated incidents? So they recover from the experience, or do they quit? Those are just a few of what I wish to know, and things will definitely snowball from there.

So, if there are average gardeners out there with a blog, give me a holler and let’s exchange some ideas on how to grow food right at our backyard, balcony, lawn, or veranda, or whatever.

Yes, I am that desperate for gardening blog buddies!

Until then, and cheers to you, my future garden blog buddy.

Follow Your Heart

sketch

I hate to admit it, but seeing my daughter make her sketches using her new charcoal pencil made me want to go back to casual sketching again. I practiced with pencil strokes, tried making a face, and then just let my hand do what it wants to do.

As much as I want to take interest in pencil sketching, it does not spark an intense longing and satisfaction as writing, or any other venture I have taken. More

Never Forget Your Contact Details

I was surfing the net to look for a place to buy compost or worm castings for my container garden. My oregano is in dire need of nitrogen. I stumbled upon a website of a family-owned business that offers online payment for worm castings, and I got exited.

My bubble burst and frustration sets in when I navigated the website and cannot find a single contact detail. I would have offered this person good business because my mom-in-law is an absolute gardening addict.

As a freelancer with a website, having contact details in your website is a must for landing a great job. You never know who is viewing your profile, and who wish to hire you based on the skills that you’ve shown on your website content.

Good thing I’ve updated my “About” section, otherwise I’d be kicking myself on the head now…

Have you added a contact form on your website?