This is actually something I’ve really struggled with lately. Four years ago after naff days at work and when I wanted to chill and have fun I’d pick up a pen and write, then I quit my job so I could write full time. Now when work gets stressful I turn around and wonder what to do.
Well to start off with, the best thing to do is try to remember why it was fun and a lot of the reason it was fun the first time around was because there was no pressure. It didn’t really matter what people thought because it was just a hobby.
There are a couple of ways around this now – take the pressure off again, although this only works if the pressure can be taken off. By the time the hobby is earning money there can be pressure to keep it financially viable. Another way to keep the pressure off is to write two types of things. Some for money and then something else , just for fun, in a new genre or a completely different style or anything else that no one really needs to know about or see unless it’s finished and it’s good enough.
Of course, there is always finding a new hobby. This can sometime work if it’s in a similar field. For example if you were an actor, being behind the camera might be fun or a painter might like to try sculpting or something that draws on a few of the skills already learned and allows for experimentation and fun. Whatever is a bit different but similar enough that it’s a little easier than starting something brand new.
Making sure to take time out also helps, When a hobby becomes a job then there is only one boss and that boss is you. It can be very easy to put in more hours than a full time job normally requires. At the end of the day take a little time to look after yourself, relax and have fun with other people. The best cure I’ve found for stress is a good giggle with some friends.