From My Brain: Hating on the Hobby Hustle

One of my many hobbies is making cards and other paper crafts. It’s a fun, meditative way for me to something creative and put my phone down.

I also enjoy writing murder mysteries and scavenger hunts.

I also love to play with makeup and do makeup challenges.

Inevitably, when I engage with someone, it is likely that they will ask if I plan to monetize my hobby.

I think is it a kind way of saying “I value the work you put into this”, and I am honoured that anyone thinks what I do is good enough to sell. But I really don’t like the idea of selling my hobbies.

My hobby isn’t my hustle. I don’t get joy out of packing slips and irate customers. I don’t feel happy when someone leaves a nasty comment on something I have worked on.

Hobbies, for me, are a way to enjoy something that is just for me – it is a form of self enjoyment and self care. When I get to extend it beyond myself and others also get some enjoyment, it is a wonderful fringe benefit.

But if I were to monetize my hobbies, it becomes a product for someone else. It becomes a transaction for someone else to partake in.

My hobbies are for me. It is not selfish to do things that make us happy. To maintain mental health and overall life balance, it is critical that we take time for activities we love that bring us joy for ourselves.

I think as everyday life costs become increasingly untenable, and everything from education to home ownership seem further and further out of reach, hobbies as side hustles become the norm just to subsidize the cost of doing what we love.

But at the core of it, I just don’t think that’s fair.

We should be able to pay our rent and our bills and have enough to carve out a bit of extra savings for yarn or washi tape or a makeup palette we love.

A hobby shouldn’t have the end goal of being a financial driver. It should be enough to foster joy in our lives.

If you like to hustle, amazing! You go, you. But if you don’t, your hobby is valid and worthwhile even if it doesn’t make money. Making you happy is enough.

A photograph of a brightly coloured card with stripes of washi tape.
The ugliest little card I ever did make.

References:

Pursuing a hobby can improve your mental health

8 Reasons Self-Care Isn’t Selfish

The science behind why hobbies can improve our mental health

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