The Value of Having a Dead-End Hobby


Within the past two years, I’ve become invested in crocheting. I find myself getting excited for yarn visits to Michael’s after finding new patterns online. Dedicating so much time to one thing and having a tangible, finished product afterward is incredibly rewarding. It also tends to help me manage my anxiety and forces me to relax a bit during my busy schedule. Throughout my short time with this hobby, I’ve felt the pull to sell my work or start taking requests to make things for other people. For a while, I genuinely considered it. There are crocheted products in magazines and stores which I could easily replicate if I had the right yarn, so why not? 

I quickly realized if I turned my hobby into a business, most of the stress-free joy I get from crocheting would be taken away. My hobby would become full of deadlines and pressure which simply aren’t necessary. The pressure to make things for others doesn’t feel worth the stress in the end. Making imperfect blankets and sweaters that just sit around my apartment is part of the experience and comfort I get from the activity. Despite this, I still have the feeling I am making the wrong decision. 

Obviously, people have been marketing things they’re good at and making money off of them for centuries. Being good at something and making money isn’t bad; in fact, it’s often recommended that you make money from something you enjoy or making as opposed to something you don’t. But, in the age of side hustles, it felt like a waste to not profit off of something I’m good at and enjoy doing. I felt this weird expectation that once I got good enough at crocheting, I could make a profit. However, I realized that I didn’t truly want that. I was focused on what I could monetarily gain from this hobby rather than what I had already gained: a creative outlet and enjoyment. I found that the things that bring me comfort don’t have to be shared or come with a price tag. 

The world today expects a lot from each of us, so having something that is entirely yours can be invaluable. It’s good to create for the sake of creation rather than consumption. Just because there is something created, doesn’t mean it has to be given or sold away. For some, realizing they’ve made something where there was nothing before can be therapeutic. Or, in other cases, participating in something just for the sake of enjoying it can be just as valuable. I may be biased, but having a hobby with little to no expectations is a great way to make life a little easier. 

Living in a society that values money above most things, it’s easy to feel like you’re wasting potential if you decide a talent is better off being kept to yourself. However, it’s important to have hobbies that don’t go anywhere: things you do for the sake of doing. Whether it’s drawing, photography, writing, baking, hiking, music, or knitting, find something that nourishes you, even if it is a dead-end hobby. 

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