Technical writing is an interesting job — I read tech writing blogs, telegram channels, books everyday. I’m really interested in it and don’t force myself to stay relevant. It’s not so good as it may seem because I spend a great amount of my free time on job-related things. Of course, it’s useful for my career but I don’t refocus and, in the future, it may cause burn out. So, that’s why I started to consider a hobby that might be interesting for me. Here, I gathered some ideas that may also inspire you to try a new hobby.
Playing an Instrument
“Life without playing music is inconceivable to me. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music… I get most joy in life out of music”. ~ Einstein
Many studies show a correlation between musical training and academic success. Learning to play an instrument stimulates the brain, improving memory and abstract reasoning skills, which are essential for math and science. So, it’s a great hobby for technical writers.
Playing an instrument relieves stress and keeps you calm as it has a unique effect on our emotions. Researchers have proved that music helps to lower heart rate and blood pressure.
“Listening to music can have a tremendously relaxing effect on our minds and bodies, especially slow, quiet classical music. This type of music can have a beneficial effect on our physiological functions, slowing the pulse and heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and decreasing the levels of stress hormones.” ~ Psychologist Jane Collingwood
You can also make your office hours productive just listen to music from my list — ‘Music for Technical Writing’, where I gathered my favorite YouTube videos.
Nowadays, collecting is not only about stamps but you can start collecting everything you want. For example gemstones. Just look at them, they are so adorable!
I just imagine if I have a collection like this, it will be a great source of inspiration. Their colors and shapes definitely help to relax and forget about everything.
Bullet Journal is not just a journal, but it’s a mix of a planner and diary. You can write down different things — thoughts, goals, and plans. You can also use it as a source of inspiration. Just buy some stationery like stickers, cute masking tape and the like to decorate pages.
Have a look at how it can be designed.
It will not only help you refocus but boost your design skills that are helpful in technical writing.
Baseball, volleyball, walking, hiking, running marathons, mountain climbing, camping and the like are great not only for your mind but also for your body as technical writing is sedentary work. Fresh air and activities give you more energy and a sharper mind. You may have noticed after spending time outside, you come back indoors feeling brighter and, after walking, you work more productive. More oxygen results in greater brain functioning, improving your concentration skills and providing you with more energy.
Photography can really keep you calm and focused, that is what every technical writer needs. Also, photography skills will be helpful. Photos are not popular in documentation because the majority of tech writers think that text will be enough. Moreover, taking photos requires efforts, good technical equipment and knowledge of using some design tools.
But I described how to take photos right from the technical writing perspective of view, in my article called ‘Photos in Technical Documentation’.
If you’re a technical writer, you may put yourself in the left-brain boxes because, you know, tech writers create tech documentation. That’s why doing some right-brain activities will be great for you. Painting is that a technical writer should definitely try because it isn’t just for the creative types, tech writers will benefit a lot:
- Painting boosts your creativity. The more analytical left-brainers can stimulate and nurture their creative growth by painting. Practice and focus, two skills inherent in left-brain individuals, allow these people to learn creative skills at their own pace.
- Painting strengthens memory. Painting boosts memory recollection skills and works to sharpen the mind through conceptual visualization and implementation.
- It builds problem-solving. Painting promotes critical thinking as an artist should think conceptually to bring multiple solutions to life while painting.
If you hesitate to start painting because you never do it before, just watch some tutorials like the following ones:
The main idea is to try a hobby that will be not technical writing-related. However, whatever you decide to try, you will benefit from any hobby.