So, other efforts have been progressing at a rate of three-steps-forward-one-back, while Jerry’s novel has been a baby gripping the coffee table.
I’m not too concerned with how slowly it’s going. (You too can play the guitar in only 13 years!) Still, I wonder why the shiny new hobby isn’t taking the place of the painting and guitar hobbies.
I think the painting hobby appeals because it fills my head entirely. If I’m deciding what color to put where over and over for hours then there’s no room for anything else, and I find it very meditative. After a stressful day I run to the basement to dwell on nothing but runs of color decisions. Essentially, it’s an adult coloring book.
The guitar has the opposite appeal: it doesn’t require decisions at all. It requires muscle memory and just enough attention to follow notes in a page. It’s best for me not when I’m stressed, but when I’m stupid or sad. I just go from one note to the other without thinking about it. And then the notes float away, unlike the paintings, which mock me from their stack in the basement.
The novel, though, doesn’t help with stress or stupidity. It’s ... it’s like work, like programming, not a hobby. A thousand pieces that need to fit together, and you better start with an schema and specs or else you are doomed.
In addition, I feel obliged to work on the novel, not free. It’s not a hobby if you have to work on it. Then again, I wonder, if Jerry had left a guitar, would I have felt obliged to play the guitar? (Of course I would.) Still, having the art supplies from my Aunt Dolores was a similar inherited obligation, and I got over it.
Then again, the only thing that remains of his original novel are the names, the settings, and the descriptions, so all obligations are gone. It isn’t as if I’m finishing his unfinished novel. It’s all mine now.
Hobbies are supposed to be fun. Are they really, though?