Don’t worry about hobby guilt

Since, I’ve started to get back into games and ‘hobby’ and since setting up this little blog, I get the odd twinge of guilt if I’ve not painted a model or not posted for a while. It comes and goes, but it is the reason that I am posting now, glass of wine in hand and rain pitter-pattering against the window (English summer!).

It doesn’t help that I regularly listen to about 10 gaming podcasts and on each they tell me what they’ve done in terms of gaming and modelling since the last episode. It doesn’t help that I look through the forums and Twitter, looking at the various tournaments that are happening. It doesn’t help that I’m reading the entries of bloggers like me.

I don’t know what generation of gamer I am, but I played in the late-80s to mid-90s as a teenager before setting off to university and the world of work. Most of the games I played were 2nd or 3rd editions if that helps you more (nerd 😉 ). I was always, and still am, more of a hobbyist than a gamer; buying games, collecting models, painting, reading rules, scenarios and battle reports. That’s where the fun is for me. What I’m saying is that I’m 35..I think..checks on fingers..oh nearly 36.

I didn’t play or even think about games during any of the time that I was away from them, it was a dirty little secret really. Well I may have thought about them a bit, but I never imagined that anybody would still be playing them now, what with the internet and everything. But 2 years ago that all changed…

Firstly I became a father for the first time and secondly my wife became seriously ill and long story short our lives changed..massively. When my wife left hospital, I ended up having to quit my job and becoming a full-time carer and house husband/father. Don’t worry though, all three of us are getting along well. I’m not moaning about things, we all have things to deal with. Anyway, since those terrible months, we try to look on that time as a positive thing. We moved to a beauiful house and both get to spend time seeing our little boy grow up. I’m not getting up at 5am to get the train into London every morning and then getting home around 8pm every evening. My wife isn’t driving around the motorway every day. I’m not forced to be a weekend dad.

That brings me around to my point. There is one! I see it every now and again on blogs, “I’ve not posted for a while” and I’ve done it myself a couple of times. “Life gets in the way”.

Life doesn’t get in the way. Hobby gets in the way!

For the vast majority of us, gaming and our hobby are a nice distraction. Blogs, models, tournaments and podcasts are all part of that. Sure we’d all like to be paint more, get more games played or attend more tournaments. But if like me you’re coming back to this hobby as a distraction from the day-to-day, a way to find some time and space of your own, then keep it that.

Don’t feel that you must or need to do anything.  Don’t worry if you’ve not posted for a while, or if that model hasn’t been based yet, or if you’ve not played recently.

Enjoy time with your family and friends. Go for a run or a bike ride in an evening. Enjoy it when you finish painting a model. Enjoy every game you play and each other aspect of the hobby that you love. Don’t worry about us. Worry about you and yours.

I’m looking forward to being able to play in my first Blood Bowl tournament, I’m looking forward to introducing my son to RPGs and tabletop gaming. But I also can’t wait to teach him to ride a bike and make camps and paper aeroplanes.

This is a permanent reminder for me, but also I hope for you.

Enjoy your life and enjoy your hobby.

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2 thoughts on “Don’t worry about hobby guilt

  1. Well said. And now back to showing us those lovely old school Blood Bowl miniatures 🙂

  2. I find this a very interesting post since I occasionally find myself feeling the same sort of pressure. Since, I have a blog (and some subscribers), I feel somewhat obligated to keep it updated on a somewhat frequent basis. Also, the podcasters tend to be “hobby heroes”, painting entire armies in a week, fitting in 5 practice games during the week, and a 6 game tournament each fortnight.

    It is definitely important to keep our perspective on this, as you mentioned. It is a hobby, and for many of us, our gaming hobby isn’t the only thing that we do in life. Thanks for the reminder!

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