posted on September 19, 2019 by Christina Mandelski

Girl, Get Yourself a Hobby!

Hello Writerspace!

It’s been a big week for me—my third young adult novel from Entangled, Stuck With You, released, and between keeping up with social media, my day job (I’m your kid’s favorite substitute teacher), and doing a little bit of celebrating, it’s been a whirlwind of activity.

Now that things are quieting down a bit (Although, are they ever quiet if you’re a writer? My work-in-progress does not buy the fact that having a new book out is a good excuse to ignore it!) But there is always a blessed calm after the release week storm, and I’m enjoying it right now. Chilling out. Doing some thinking.

What have I been thinking on? I’m glad you asked. It’s something that an author friend of mine shared with me recently. Something shocking! She is taking singing lessons! She’s doing Zumba!

These were two things that I know aren’t the norm for her, so I asked her “why?” She told me that she wanted to learn how to do some new things – she wanted to have something other than writing to keep her busy. She noted that these few things she’d added to her schedule were (I’m paraphrasing here) basically stoking the creative fires of her writing life.

This got me thinking harder about something that’s bothered me for a while now. The fact is, when I am not writing, I am very often thinking about how I should be writing. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, but honestly, it’s not always a good feeling. Often, it just feels like guilt.

Another thing that’s bothered me is that when I answer author interview questions that want to know about my hobbies—I have to wrack my brain. Writing for me is not a hobby, not even a little bit. It’s my job. But hobbies? I really don’t have any. I always answer I love to walk (I do) and I love to travel (I really do), I love cake (I really, really do) and spending time with my friends and family (I adore all of these things). But are they hobbies?

All right, you could probably talk me into considering cake eating a hobby, but all the others?

And so, I decided that I am going to find a hobby. I’m going to learn something new, and attempt to exercise a different, non-writing part of my creative mind. Here are a few things I’m considering:


I cross-stitched a bit as a child, but it never went further than that. When my daughter went to college I crossed her a quote from her favorite female (other than me, I’m assuming), Michelle Obama. It was fun. So maybe, maybe I want to try doing that more?


I have never considered myself to be good at art, but that’s not really the point, is it? This hobby I’m going to take on isn’t about being perfect, or being the best, it’s about working that creative brain! I’ve always wanted to paint, so why not try it, with zero expectations of skill level.


I took ballet classes until I was in high school, but never made it very far in the world of dance. The long and lean physique of a ballerina? My body is pretty much the exact opposite. But I used to love the movement, the grace, the music. All of those things together made me feel like I was doing something beautiful, even if in the eyes of others, it didn’t seem that way. So maybe I’ll do some research about where a woman approaching an age that rhymes with “shifty” can take herself a ballet class.


LOL, just kidding to all who know my skills in the kitchen. I’m happy to leave that to my husband.

I’m curious to see how doing one or maybe even all of these things might change my day to day life, how having a creative activity that isn’t writing informs my writing. And I’d encourage you, if you write, or create art in any way, to attempt to add some hobbies of your own and see what they do for you.

I’ll have to report back in at some point and let you know how it’s all going. Until then, let me ask, what hobby/sport/activity would you be willing to try to enhance your current creative life? I’d love to hear your responses!

Thank you so much for hosting me today, it was great to be here!

One person who comments will win a signed copy of Stuck With You.



When Caleb Gray heads to the Texas coast to mentally prepare for a future he isn’t sure he wants, the last person he expects to see is Catie Dixon. Yeah, their mothers have been planning their wedding since they were born, but he and Catie are most definitely not friends. He can’t see her as anything but the annoying kid who followed him everywhere. Except, it’s really bothering him that everyone is staring at her in that bikini…

Catie got over her crush on Caleb ages ago. So why can’t she see past his ripped body or how unsettled he seems? She’s got her own problems, though. Her future has been set for years and now she’s dreaming of pulling the plug. A week at their families’ beach house is just what she needs to pull herself together, and she has no intention of letting Caleb back into her heart…which would be a whole lot easier if he’d put on a shirt.

But a forced week of togetherness full of beach parties, waterslide mishaps, bonfires, and roller coasters sparks more than an understanding. What do you do when the person standing in the way of your future is the one person you grew up hating…but now don’t?

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains summer thunderstorms on the beach, an, er…awkward waterslide incident, and an infuriatingly hot boy who you’ll no longer be able to ignore.

Each title in the First Kiss Hypothesis series is STANDALONE:
* The First Kiss Hypothesis
* Love and Other Secrets
* Stuck with You

Christina Mandelski

Christina Mandelski

Christina Mandelski was born in South Florida, where her love of reading was cultivated in a house full of books. Stories like The Little House series, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, Island of the Blue Dolphins and The Secret Garden, filled her imagination and fueled her dreams to be a writer. That dream came true when her first young adult novel, THE SWEETEST THING, was published in 2011, and she's beyond thrilled about her upcoming series for Entangled Crush. Chris lives in Houston with one handsome husband, two beautiful daughters, and two freakshow cats. She has a fondness for the beach, her family and friends, and she still loves to read (especially curled up with a good cup of coffee!) She also enjoys shopping, traveling and eating, especially cake. Always cake. When she's not doing these things, you can find her holed in a cozy spot with her laptop, writing. Visit her at

5 thoughts on “Girl, Get Yourself a Hobby!”

  1. Avatar Mandy says:

    Thank you for sharing this today. It’s actually just what I needed to hear as I pursue a new position at my office. (Which I know isn’t along the hobby lines but …) I needed reminded that it’s not about being perfect or the best but keeping the juices flowing … learning new things. So, thank you!

  2. I really appreciate articles that are direct but have a positive humourous take. When I worked a 50-60 hour wk I was constantly focused on work even in the off hours. Till it was pointed out to me that I needed an outlet, a hobby. And even though I read slot and I mean a lot of books it evidently just wasn’t the same. So I took up golf or attempting to play golf. I was able to laugh a lot more during work hours which actually improved things all around. Great article

  3. Avatar Diana Hickman says:

    For me, I want to learn how to paint… unfortunately I have asthma and paints are smelly! So I thought that learning how to paint in Illustrator would be fun… no smelly paints… and just as pretty. I also love to write so for me it would be a hobby…at least for now. I’m a graphic designer by trade, but I would love to learn how to express myself with text and write a story.

  4. Avatar Kayleigh Woods says:

    This is so cool! <3 I have hobbies, and I'm trying to do them to help me relax while I'm looking for work.

    I enjoy painting, reading, drawing, listening to music, and watching movies. It's not about how well you do your hobbies- it's about you just enjoying what you do, getting to relax, and letting yourself let loose with your creativity and having fun! 🙂

  5. Avatar Christina Mandelski says:

    I’m so glad my ramblings helped — so far I have signed up for a daily Pilates program. Does that count? I’m going to say, heck, yeah it does. We’re all just trying to figure it out, right!? Good luck and yes, keep those juices flowing!

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