What’s Your Thing?

Right now I’m working on a new proposal for another young adult.  As I start this process, I begin by fleshing out my character.  And one of the first things I ask a character-in-the-making is:  What’s your thing?  In This Heart of Mine, Leah, who thinks she’s dying in the first part of the novel, is a book geek.  On her bucket list is to read a hundred books.  In Two Feet Under, Riley is into art.  This is very important to her, because she learns her mother was an artist, too.  In fact, the book video shows Riley painting.  And I love how the video shows it as if it’s important to her.  And it is.

And while creating my new character that I’m calling Andi, it got me thinking about having a thing.  About how important it is to identify our interests.

You see, when I was growing up, I was in awe of my peers who had a thing, or in some case, things.  Girls who loved volley ball.  Girls who joined debate clubs.  Girls in gymnastics and girls into cheerleading.  There were the band lovers and the book clubbers.  I envied those girls who knew their “things.”These girls seemed happier.  They seemed to have more self-confidence.  It appeared as if most them had tribes.  Because the people who liked the same things as they did, bonded together.

Me?  I felt thingless.  And in a lot of ways, I suppose I lacked in the confidence arena.

I think if I hadn’t been dyslexic, I’d have been a book clubber and even a writer.  Yes, I loved a story.  But with my learning disability, I never felt I could even attempt writing and reading was more of a chore than enjoyment. So I just made up my own stories in my head.  Frankly, it didn’t feel like a thing.  In fact, I didn’t tell anyone that I spent so much time living in my head.  I didn’t have a clue that what I was doing all those years was building my storytelling and plotting skills.

When I finally admitted I wanted to be a writer and I jumped into the that I’m-an-author lifestyle, when I let myself feel the passion, I can’t even begin to tell you how rewarding it was.  I finally had a thing.  Shortly after joining a writing organization, I found a tribe.   I’m lucky my thing, my passion, ended up being my career.  But that’s not always the case.  In fact, I think we need more than one thing, especially if one of those is a career.

As I’ve matured, I’ve discovered other interests as well.  I love wine and enjoy doing tastings and joining wine clubs.  I love cooking and looking for new recipes and spending time in the kitchen creating dishes.  I love reading and discussing books. I love going to casinos every five or six months and gambling with small set sum that I can afford.

Have you ever been talking to someone you didn’t know that well and the conversation hits on their passion, and they just light up and that person just takes on a whole new dimension? I love hearing people talk about their “things.”  I believe we all need to have these interests no matter what our age.

It doesn’t matter what it is.  People are passionate about Elvis, Star Wars, ballet or Broadway plays.  It can be crocheting or square dancing.  Football or going to yard sales.  It can be finding potatoes that look like celebrities.  It can be anything, as long as it gets you excited and offers you a sense of self and of accomplishment.

When I meet people who aren’t what I’d call depressed, but they aren’t completely content or maybe they are just bored, I often realize that these people are like I was as a teen.  They are thingless.  They don’t have passions or hobbies.  They don’t have a tribe.

So as I ask and try to help my soon-to-be-character discover what her thing is, I’m going to ask you as well:  What’s your thing?  I thought it would be fun to tell each other about our hobbies and passions.

Do you not have one?  If not, I encourage you to find one.


This week, I’m giving away a new C.C. Hunter T-shirt to one person who shares their “thing or things.”

8 thoughts on “What’s Your Thing?

  1. My passions have waxed and waned over the years but books and travel have always been in the top three. I grew up a reader and have managed to finagle myself a job where authors pay me to read their books and keep everything organized for them which I love doing. I’m also an Air Force brT and traveling is on my veins. I spent seven years in Europe as a kid and my parents believed in seeing everything there was to see wherever we happened to live. I love the excitement of going somewhere new and the comfort of going back to favorite places. Much like books—I love the brand new that take me to worlds and dreams I’ve never seen and my old favorites that allow me to soak in their familiarity and yet still discover something different in them.

    • I started reading the comment without reading who it was from and as I was reading, I thought hmmmm, this sounds like Diane. Hahaha

  2. I love books they are the ultimate stress relief or at least I’m able to have a moment away from the stress. In school my thing was science. Currently my thing is decor not necessarily purchasing everything but going to look at it and appreciate all the patterns or potential it could bring into a home.

    A thing that me and kid try to do every so often is movie night and face masks or hair masks. Making sure to take the time to be present in the moment

  3. Books give me great enjoyment and allow me to dream travel, escape and experience new worlds, realms, eras and lives. Ever since I was very young and discovered the wonderful worlds of books I have been transported to so many places. This was my sole form of entertainment and is my favorite.

  4. I have several things. First an foremost my nursing career. I love interacting and caring for people. I LOVE MY JOB. The second is reading and reviewing books. I enjoy all the adventures I go on without leaving my home. Third I love to do crafts. This pass year I made ornaments for my Christmas . I gave some of the ornaments to a charity auction. I was told they brought in a good amount. I love knowing I’m helping others in some small way.

  5. I love to read and create art. I’ve been lucky enough to combine both and publish my children’s books. I also sell some of my paintings. I’m hoping one day to be successful enough, I can quit my job and do this full time.

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