Hobbies and pastimes of technical writers everywhere

Hallo fellow techcomm folks! Do you have a hobby?

Mine is fairly pedestrian. I like to go walking in the bush. It blows away the cobwebs. Well, actually, I often have to blow away the cobwebs myself. They festoon the pathways in the early morning. It’s best to keep your mouth closed when strolling in the Australian bush, or you’ll find yourself spitting spiders.

Hobbies of technical writers

Sometimes a bird pops out and does something interesting, and I blog about it.

Of a dark winter’s eve I can perchance be found tickling the ivories. Perhaps significantly, other members of the household are usually to be found in the furthest corners of the house.

So fess up

What do you get up to when the pleasures of the pen pall? (Aside from avoiding sentences like that.)

For years I had a Calvin and Hobbes cartoon pasted above my desk. It showed Calvin’s father with a mangled bicycle, obviously the result of a bad stack. The caption read: “The secret to enjoying your job is to have a hobby that’s even worse.”

About Sarah Maddox

Technical writer, author and blogger in Sydney

Posted on 27 July 2014, in humour, technical writing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.

  1. Thanks for mentioning me, Sarah. In addition to my Etsy store, I also quilt community quilts that have been made by members of the Western Australian Quilters Association. Once quilted and finished off, they are given to charities such as hospitals and cancer wards for kids, Royal Flying Doctor, homeless men’s shelters, disaster relief (such as bushfires). I’ve quilted more than 150 quilts in the past two years, and have taken pictures and blogged about each one: http://rhondabracey.com/tag/community-quilts/

  2. Oh, and quite a few people are knitters — Sharon Burton and Sarah O’Keeffe spring to mind.

  3. My main passion outside of technical writing (where I specialize in documenting APIs / SDKs) is music. I’m a free-lance bass player in the greater Boston area. I’m one of the few who play both classical and jazz. String (upright) bass is my main instrument but I also play electric bass guitar when the genre calls for it.

    Recent performances including subbing for a performance of “Me and My Girl”, a once popular musical but one I didn’t know. Good tunes and story. A star-crossed love story set in 1930s England. Later that week, I performed Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Requiem (a serious piece), also rarely performed.

    Other hobbies include long walks in the outdoors and reading (mostly sci-fi, fantasy, and westerns).

    • Hallo Ed
      Nice one. I’ve heard parts of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Requiem, and especially Pie Jesu. I also have memories of “Me and My Girl” flashing through my childhood, as both my mother and father sang in various choirs and musicals.

  4. I am a fibre artist (www.flicstarstudios.com) and my tech writer colleague is a mad keen photographer.

    • Hallo Felicity

      That’s very cool. I hadn’t heard the term “fibre artist” before. You may be interested in the artistic knitted tree covers that appeared seemingly overnight on the trees in Manly, which is not far from where I live.

      I love the style of your blog.


  5. My hobbies outside Technical Writing, are Reading (anything that catches my eye at the library) and Writing (blog at theplacidbull.wordpress.com). Kind of something like a busman’s holiday, really. :-s

    • Hallo Swapnil 🙂
      A busman’s holiday indeed! BTW, according to Merriam-Webster that term was first used in 1893. Interestingly, the person who coined the phrase must have been referring to electric, steam, or horse-drawn buses, since the first buses with internal combustion engines were used in 1895 (Wikipedia). 😀

  6. Thanks for mentioning me, Sarah. (I need to do some more baking. or is that “knead”?) You’ll be interested to know that one of the “fringe” (that is, “delegate-organised”) activities at TCUK in 2013 was a handicrafts and knitting group. If you look at the pictures labeled TCUK13 020 and TCUK 021 on this page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/44536724@N06/10038292145/ you may recognise Karen Mardahl and Sarah O’Keefe amongst others

  7. I play the ukelele. I work from a home office and sometimes during particularly long and boring conference calls, I put the phone on mute and strum away.

  8. My main hobby is drawing and digital art. I run an Etsy shop for comic book style custom portraits, and I’m always sketching or doodling (especially on those never-ending conference calls). I considered going to art school, but decided to do something more practical. Art on the side is a fun hobby and labor of love, which is a great break from my day to day dry tech writing.

  9. Hi Sarah,

    Thank you for your talk on APIs yesterday. My hobby is writing my novel, which is a mash up between Pride and Prejudice and Frankenstein. It’s killing me. (But they can always sew me back together again. 😉


    Charlotte Brogden

    • Hallo Charlotte!
      Thanks for coming yesterday and being part of a great audience! Wow, your novel sounds right up my street. A combination of Darcy and Victor is destined to send chills down the spine. 🙂

  1. Pingback: Book Review: The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt | I'd Rather Be Writing

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