Helpful Creative Side Hobbies

Photo by Bre Pettis on Flickr

As writers, we are deeply creative. In our work, we expend so much creative energy that it’s easy to get in a tangle, where we have too many ideas bunched up, and can’t seem to write fast enough. If you’re the kind of writer who can devote many hours a day to your writing/revising/submitting without experiencing the tangle, you’re fortunate indeed. For the rest of us, sometimes a good trick to working through the tangle is to have other creative endeavors to work on.

My theory is that the creative mind can be both burned out OR reenergized by creative effort. If you’re feeling a burnout coming on, put away your book for a day and do something else creative. You may find when you come back to your book, your creative juices are fresh and ready for another go.

Here are a few creative outlets I’ve found quite satisfying:

  • Music (especially try creating your own)
  • Fine Art (drawing, painting, sculpting)
  • Crafts (just glance at your Pinterest account and you’ll have more ideas than I can suggest)
  • DIY projects (Those shelves you’ve been meaning to build, or the greenhouse, etc)
  • Storytelling (just improvise a story for your kids, nieces and nephews, or grandkids)
  • Dance (especially freestyle–don’t worry about feeling stupid, you can close your doors and windows, it’s really quite fun)
  • Landscaping (If you don’t have a yard, sculpt your indoor plants into fairy gardens. If you don’t know what that is, search the term on Pinterest)
  • Calligraphy (and no, you really don’t need specialized pens for it if you’re not doing it professionally)
  • Cooking (invent your own recipe)
  • Scrap booking (Okay, so I haven’t done much of this, but some people really dig it)

What other creative fields have you dabbled in that help renew your creative juices?


About Chas Hathaway

Chas is an author, musician, husband, dad, and X-grave digger. He's always enjoyed writing. He started keeping a daily journal when he was 13, and that started a pattern of regular writing that has continued to this day.

His first book, Giraffe Tracks, a memoir of his missionary experiences in South Africa, was published in 2010, and in July 2011, Cedar Fort published his book, Marriage is Ordained of God, but WHO Came Up with DATING?!

Chas has been playing piano since 1994, and actively writing New Age piano compositions since 1996. He has long felt that the greatest factor in the influence of a piece of music is the intent of its author. He has also written numerous LDS Hymn arrangements, many of which are available in sheet music, including the favorite hymns, If You Could Hie to Kolob and Come Thou Fount.

So far, Chas has 4 albums out:

Tune My Heart, Released 2012
Anthem of Hope, 2010
The Ancestor, 2009
Dayspring, 2007

While music and writing are his most time-consuming work, he also enjoys gardening, inventing games, and most of all, spending time with his beautiful wife and adorable little kids.

Shelly Davis
Shelly Davis

I love to organize things. I actually get a kick out of reorganizing files to be more accessible, going through the boxes of books in the basement and categorizing them. My next project is to weed out my recipe boxes and organize the keepers.

Brenda Bensch
Brenda Bensch

I used to do a lot of crafts like knitting, embroidery, etc. Thanks for the idea---maybe I'll pick up some of those unfinished whatevers and try again. I have ALWAYS been active in adapting materials for stage, acting, directing, as well as teaching. And, yes, that last requires a LOT of creativity---especially in elementary, junior high &/or middle, and high schools. Just like raising kids. Only you have to do it for 8 hours and more, straight, 5 days a week (or 6, if you are a drama director, debate coach, etc. All those things I have been!).

Cathy Witbeck
Cathy Witbeck

I'm an illustrator as well as a writer and I've been a Ukrainian Easter egg instructor for years. I've tried batik, sculpting, with clay and fabric, quilting, embroidery, and beading. I like to try new things. If I won the lottery I'd be a full time student and or teacher. Learning is great stuff.