AJAX Calendar

January 2011
« Dec   Feb »

Newsletter Subscription

* = required field
Pick Your List

Interests Outside Writing

By On Jan 6 2011, 4:01 am

At the beginning of 2010 I started having problems with my writing. I didn’t feel like sitting down to write and I was low on inspiration. I still lived and breathed writing yet my overall progress was almost nil. Something I loved doing had suddenly become a chore. Yes, I was suffering from burnout.

Taking a break wasn’t really an option because I had commitments to meet, but I came to a decision. I needed more balance in my life. The hobbies that I’d let slip and the things I enjoyed such as walking and cycling should make a reappearance.

The change in routine actually made a huge difference. I started cooking again and experimenting with new recipes. (Check out my blog to see some of the things I’ve made). I started walking again and cycling most days. I dabble in photography and take my camera with me everywhere. I’m not an expert but I enjoy it and that’s the main thing.

This year I’m starting Tai Chi, something I’ve always wanted to try, and later in the year I’m going to take a class in decorating cupcakes. Oh, and best of all, next week we’re picking up a terrier puppy we’re adopting from the Humane Society. (Our last dog died over a year ago so it will be fun to have a dog around the place again).

Here’s one of the recipes I tested last year. (I made non-food recipes too, and this is one of them)

Bath Salts

Chocolate Bath Salts

1 cup Epsom salts
1 cup sea salt or kosher salt (coarse grain)
3 teaspoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 tsp oil (almond, olive or sunflower will work)

Combine all the dry ingredients in a clean bowl. Add the vanilla extract and oil. Mix well to ensure oil is completely blended. Transfer to small clean jars or cello bags and close tightly. Sprinkle 1 – 2 spoonfuls in your bathtub, lie back in the water and relax. :smile:

Notes: I added some baking soda to my mix to make my bath salts fizzy. I also omitted the vanilla extract and added 5 drops of peppermint essential oil. I gave jars to family members for Christmas. The Epsom salts and sea salt is good for soothing sore muscles and aches and pains.

My change in routine has certainly helped me rekindle my love of writing. I’ve also noticed the hobbies I take part in have the added benefit of providing inspiration for my stories too.

For all you writers out there – what hobbies do you have outside of writing? And readers – when you’re not reading what hobbies do you take part in?

Shelley Munro lives in New Zealand and writes contemporary and paranormal romances for Samhain Publishing. You can visit Shelley at or on Facebook or Twitter.


5 Responses to “Interests Outside Writing”

  1. Skylar Kade says:

    Hey Shelley, I completely agree with needing creative outlets aside from writing. For me, I get antsy when I go a week without crocheting, making jewelry, or something similarly artsy-craftsy. Great post, and a lovely reminder for the new year!

  2. Debra Saturday says:

    Great post.

    I also get antsy if I do not have crochet project going. :)

    In addition, I have to have my meditation time everyday, otherwise I get scattered…and everything suffers then.

    Thanks for the post :) :)

  3. Hi Skylar – it was certainly a good lesson to me that life is about balance. It was horrible when I couldn’t write!

    Debra – Another person who enjoys crochet. I used to do lots of knitting and crochet when I was younger. Maybe knitting is something I’ll start again this year.

  4. Sharon says:

    Balance is so important no matter what you do. When not reading (which I do a lot of), I enjoy rubber stamping (making cards and gifts) and digital scrapbooking. I’m enjoy photography and have been considering taking some more classes in that. I do great scenery photos but would love to learn more about portrait photography. I hope that you find the balance you need. I’ve enjoyed your work very much.

  5. Sharon – Thanks so much. You made my day. :) Hubby and I travel as much as we can and we’ve started turning our photos into movies using the free Windows Live program. That’s a lot of fun and the end result usually looks pretty good. I can’t wait to start taking puppy photos. Bella is a lively wee thing and didn’t sit still for long when we first saw her.

Leave a Reply

Connect With Samhain:

Top 5 Bestsellers

Siren's Song

Dana Marie Bell


His Strings to Pull

Cathryn Fox


Served Cold

Marie Harte


Black Gold

Vivian Arend


Body Language

Em Petrova