This Hobby Life…

It has been over a decade blogging on WordPress (11 years now) and a bit of time before that on Apple’s long dead iWeb… probably another 8 years or so maybe.

I am feeling like I am standing at a crossroads. As an aging miniature hobby gamer I find from time to time I need to trim tangents from my hobby. I sometimes sort through my collection and sell stuff on eBay or local forums. I evaluate and re-evaluate decisions on games and what I am currently playing and spending hobby time with. Life is about change – and adjustment and iteration… Constant refining.

This hobby life has been a great outlet for relaxation, enjoyment and struggle. Finding ways to refine my craft with new tools, ideas and inspirations. Rabbit holes that lead to other passions – and new and evolving ways to connect with family and friends. A good hobby should do all of those things.

I finished a book recently which spoke about finding joy in our lives and living beyond simply “browsing” with this tech saturated world. I grew up when we didn’t have pocket supercomputers and the internet. My hobby sparked and grew before those things started to dominate all things hobby.

This book “In Emergency, Break Glass…

Leans into Nietzsche’s writings and uses it to look at our digital lives today. It was a short listen – just a few evenings when I was in my hobby room doing my hobby stuff. It made me stop and think about what I was doing – and how it was being modified by the digital world around me. I wasn’t thinking about drastic world changing inspirational diatribes. I was thinking about my direct connection to my hobby being modified by the way social media and the digital filter has distorted my hobby life.

Close to this time of listening to this book – I had read some research about social media tracking… and how this stuff is used to control or socially engineer your habits. Sure, this is all known by most of us whom have been paying attention. But, connecting that to the larger social issues and political messes in my home country (USA) – and I really started to get more irritated than I should be.

The next day I terminated my Facebook account. I had been on and off facebook over the years – with a love / hate relationship. I was only “ON” facebook in recent times to connect with fellow gamers in the hobby I enjoy. It did make it easier to stay connected over the few years of COVID that’s for sure.

But, the recent social / cultural upheaval with the US Supreme Court decisions … trickled into several of my hobby oasis’s on Facebook forums – with one post defended by the admin of the gaming forum. I dropped from the group as soon as I was told by the admin the posts were fine. A gaming forum for a game out of print… why does that need a political / social post about abortion? Even veiled slightly… WTF people. I find that social media simply isn’t worth my attention.

I go to these forums to ignore real life for a reason – to talk about games, painting and the larger geek hobby in general. Can’t you leave your opinions out in the rest of the free for all facebook areas? Whatever, I followed up leaving those two groups by ending my Facebook account (official after 30 days I guess??).

This was a pretty easy decision after reading the book about how the digital space can cloud real life. I curtailed a few other things I frequent online, and made a more concerted effort to make sure I used the digital tools (pocket supercomputer) for real needs – and not to simply doom scroll through the internet.

I have also tried to make a point of simply leaving the phone in my pocket or on its bedside charger when watching shows with family each evening. A commercial break doesn’t always need you to check your email. Playing a game, waiting for your turn, is NOT a great time to check your device. It is ok to be “BORED” from time to time. LOL it seems obvious, but until you think about it – I didn’t realize how ridiculous I have been.

This all gets me to this blog … after well over a decade this blog seemingly has run its course for me. I stop to take pictures and / or get irritated with myself over not taking pictures or showing steps of progress. I stop in the middle of games to snap photos. I try to remember how things progressed. Is this all getting in the way of my hobby? Should this blog die? Should this blog evolve?

I am currently struggling with what is next for this blog… 11+ years, 120 or so subscribers … 20 or 30 visitors a week maybe 5-6 comments a year. It isn’t like it is a well busy ground for engagement or conversation. At best the blog is a digital diary or what is going on with my hobby life. At best I can use it to go back and see what and when I did some project. But in the end of that, does it matter for me to have that log of random thoughts through the years?

I had tried writing a journal in the past… they never stuck. I have the miniatures I have painted – in the real. I pay for a blog space online and I really don’t know if this is something that is worthwhile for me… as hobbyist, war-gamer, painter, crafter or maker.

I am sure there is a better option, I know that this digital medium isn’t enriching my life – but I am not sure it needs to. I do want to focus more on what I do and how I am doing it, I want to be more engaged in the real world and still have my hobby to engage in and find enjoyment and growth as a human.

I by no means want to disparage other bloggers, I am blogging for myself above all else. I am subscribed to many blogs which I read or watch on a weekly basis.

I will explore options for myself, my current plan is to tidy this blog up… back it up as an archive and pull down the space it takes up online. I am thinking about the next iteration of a possible “blog” or log or something if anything at all.


8 thoughts on “This Hobby Life…”

  1. Those are all good questions.
    Good on you for leaving Facebook!
    Sadly even our favorite place is starting to allow political crap out side of RoC.
    I can tell you I’ve been enjoying your blogs since day 1. But never realized I could comment post Apple Blogs. So here’s my first realization I can reply to your blogs here instead of over GChat

    1. yeah – discourse seems to infiltrate everywhere these days… moderation would be nice. I just wanna hobby lol. Someday maybe they will do another OFCC – I would really like to just visit and see old friends & faces – not sure I would play anything – just kick back and soak it in.

  2. First, congrats on leaving Facebook, I’ve got two more months are I’ll earn my 5-year chip!
    Second, your blog should bring you a sense of accomplishment and/or joy. f it’s not doing that, then I concede your point to terminate. I like your ramblings, and find myself wishing I did more WIP type posts.
    Personal note. My blog helps keep me connected to other makers/painter/gamers/interesting people. My blog helps me to feel connected in an increasingly disconnected world (I too live in the US, and feel this isolationism getting stronger every day).
    Just know that if you decide to leave the blog, you will be missed. Best in all your endeavors!

    1. we get a chip?! I want a chip damnit… I will have to look for something like a chip to 3D print – It could be a marketing opportunity lol.
      Thanks for the kind words Eric, as I get older maybe I am just getting more jaded. But if this blog is a bastion for the “good side” maybe I will look at what I would do if I were to do some remodeling.

      1. LOL, I like the 3D printed chip idea, now I need to got see what I can find!
        I hear you on the getting older part. I came to the gaming part of this hobby in my middle 30’s, and have at times been very frustrated, that’s when I turn back to other aspects of modeling. Things like scale modeling or model railroading or just some other artistic outlet.

  3. I totally agree with Eric on this one. If your blog isn’t fun then you should stop spending your time on it. I find that I enjoy mine enough that it’s worth it for me to continue as (as you say yourself) a kind of diary. In full disclosure, i definitely like to read your blog so it’s in my interests for you to carry on 😉

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