Hobby. It's a word that makes light of what we love. When you are 'into' something, it's not often the case that you're 'lightly' into it. The word 'hobby' could and should be replaced by the word 'obsession' for most of of. Don't you agree?
That's certainly the case for me. If and when I get into something, I tend to get into it in a big way. This is in fact how my photography started out - pretty much as a mild interest which in the space of around a year took over most of my free time.
But the thing is, we can't do our hobby all of the time. I know many of you constantly think about photography, are always on the web checking out gear, websites, reviews, portfolios and (hopefully) my blog. But there is a danger in doing this too much: as my dad has said to me on many occasion 'everything in moderation'. It's a good piece of advice, because if you keep spending all your free time on one hobby or passion, you're in danger of killing it for yourself.
Spend too much time doing one thing, and no matter how much you love it - you're sure to kill it. So it's a very healthy thing to take the foot of the gas every now and then and go do something else instead.
For me, that 'go do something else instead' is cycling (and also cooking). I love cycling and tend to spend every alternate free day I have at home on my bike doing somewhere around 40 miles.
I've just bought a new road bike. It's a Specialised Tarmac comp bike. Most definitely the most exotic bike I've ever owned - it's super light, goes like the wind and helps haul my not so light body up the hills :-)
Still, the reason I mention this is really because I find I need time away from my craft. Everything needs balance.
If you work too much you'll get miserable. If you do too much of one thing, you'll get sick of it. Everyone needs to recharge. Everyone needs a change. But some of us never know when to quit doing something, and will keep going and drive the entire passion/hobby into the ground.
We need to nurture and look after our passions. We need to care for them. One way to do that is to let go every once in a while and go do something else instead. So next time you find yourself feeling frustrated or bored with photography, or if you are questioning whether you're still interested in it any more, this is a sign that you've been doing too much of it and need to give it a break.
We can't spend all of our time doing one thing. So be kind to your creativity and your passion. Know when enough is enough and go do something else instead for a while. It will make the times when you do return to photography much more satisfying.