Sometimes there’s a very blurry line between my hobbies, my interests, and what I get paid to do. I have a handful of hobbies and interests that don’t contribute directly to my bottom line, but I consider them to be just as important as what I do for a living. Even the various things I make money doing are only loosely related to each other, yet I believe that each job I do influences and effects the other jobs I do.
When I first started editing video several years ago, a few people made comments that confirmed what I already supposed: people who understand music naturally edit in a more fluid way. As a drummer and guitarist, I think a lot about rests and beats and how things flow together. As a songwriter, I think a lot about how a song progresses in an interesting way. Both of these translate to editing videos with smooth timing and an easy to follow story.
Likewise, shooting video makes me look at the world in a different way, noticing a unique perspective the most interesting part of a room. This changes how I write lyrics and what I listen for when producing a song.
This is why I think some of the best advice I can give to a creative individual, is to take up another hobby outside your area of expertise and unrelated to your ambitions. Maybe brewing beer will make you a better graphic designer. Maybe learning to watercolor will make you a better chef. Maybe learning to play banjo will help you be a better writer.
Personally I collect hobbies. I play a handful of instruments, shoot and edit video, write and record songs, roast coffee, try to tend an herb garden (I don’t have a green thumb), I’m learning about bourbon, and I enjoy reading fiction and theology as much as possible. Some past hobbies have included baking bread and building/repairing amps. I’ve recently decided I want to learn to draw, and become a better photographer and I imagine one of these days I’ll wind up trying to brew beer or distill whiskey. I think all these things tie together and influence each other, and I look forward to a lifetime of new hobbies.