Monday, September 03, 2007

Feeding the hobby

Again, apologies to flightsimmers who come to this blog hoping for lots of flightsim info, because I have another installment in the Generic Hobby Blog. All I can say is that one of the motivations for starting this blog was to write about the experience of having an engrossing hobby, as much as to write about the hobby itself.

I notice, as I get deeper into my return to serious classical guitar playing how many of the same psychological dynamics come into play. And today, I want to discuss what I think of as "feeding the hobby". By this, I mean the sense of obligation to contribute something to the hobby on a regular basis. In flightsimming, this manifests itself as the need to throw more addons, and sometimes hardware, at the sim. For music, this can mean finding more sheet music, buying accessories, CDs, or the ultimate: upgrading the instrument itself.

Yesterday, I went to Staples and bought a new binder to hold my sheet music. I have a number of binders already, but this is to be my main binder that will hold my daily practice music. I didn't skimp and get the cheapest model, but got a deluxe version with D rings, a rubberized spine, a new and improved ring opening and closing mechanism. Then I got tab dividers and some of those post-it flag thingies for marking groups of music. The reason I mention all of this is that I noticed how it felt good, and I realized once again that I was feeding the hobby.

If this description might strike some as sinister, as if the hobby has become some kind of idol, demanding regular sacrifices. However, I think the explanation is more benign. This is a form of compensation: I'm not able to spend as much time on music as I would like, so I buy stuff for it, or find more public domain music online to print out. It is a kind of vicarious enjoyment of the hobby.

Do you feel the need to feed the hobby?

Oh, I haven't posted a screen shot here in a while, so here's a quick one to show you that I still get a little flying in, now and then. This is on final approach into KPVD, with the marvelous Flight Scenery addon scenery. I personally know all of these stores and restaurants, as I've driven my car this way often.

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