What do you call an interest that goes beyond “hobby?” When it becomes something that seems essential to your expression? When it’s a part of who you are? I’m trying to find the right word to use for my love of photography. The word I want is definitely not “hobby.” To me, that implies a side interest, something you do to fill your time. OK, I do that, but it’s become more to me than that.
Yesterday I met up with friend who was interested in learning more about my prints and how I was doing them. As we sat and chatted about what we were both up to, she used the word “hobby” for what I was doing and then kind of looked at me askance, as if she knew that didn’t fit either. I chuckled and tried to come up with a word for it, and I couldn’t.
I don’t have a word for what it is I’m doing with photography, and why. It’s as if it’s become an essential form of expression. I could stop teaching, if I had to. I could stop blogging, if you made me. But I don’t think I can stop photographing. Even if I had no one to share them with, I would still create photographs. It’s how I see and experience the world. It’s how I learn about myself. It feeds me energy and brings me joy. No matter what I try to do differently, even this whole mobile photography/digital painting thing I’ve got going on, it comes back to the essential element of the photograph.
Maybe I’m really just learning what it means to be an artist. I remember last year, listening to an artist talk about his journey and how, in his younger days, he was desperate to paint. Even when he had no money for materials, he found ways to paint. He had to, he said. He couldn’t stop it. I remember thinking, “Wow, that’s intense. I don’t feel that way.” But now I wonder if I’m starting to. If I already do.
Maybe being an artist, deep down in our soul, means not just that we do create, but that we need to create. That we can’t help it, can’t stop ourselves. There is something about photography that’s put it’s hooks into my heart and soul, and I can’t get away from it. Regardless of what else I explore, it always comes back to this for me.
So can you help me out? What’s the word I’m looking for, for this thing I’m experiencing? Because it’s way beyond “hobby” and I would like to put a word to it, if one exists.
There are several things going on I don’t want you to miss:
- Today is the last day to enter for the Spark & Inspire eBook giveaway. You can enter by leaving a comment on this blog post.
- Today is also the last day to link in to Exploring with a Camera: Chiaroscuro. Have you seen the gorgeous work that has been shared this month? Wow! Be sure to visit the links to see what your fellow photographers are creating with dramatic light.
- The November Photo-Heart Connection link up opens tomorrow! What does your heart have to say this month? It’s time to find out. See you tomorrow!