Perspectives On…the Serious Leisure Pursuit of Blogging

Serious leisure

Serious leisure

Last month, I asked the question “What is leisure?” in my October 10 post. We know that the concept of leisure can have a multitude of meanings, from free time from obligations, spare time, non-work, etc. Leisure has three important functions: relaxation, entertainment and personal development.

A form of leisure that many people find themselves enjoying is “serious leisure.” This is the systematic pursuit of deep satisfaction through an amateur, hobbyist, or volunteer activity that participants find so substantial and interesting that, in the typical case, they launch themselves on a (non-work) career centered on acquiring and expressing its special skills, knowledge, and experience. Serious leisure is further defined by its six distinguishing qualities: perseverance, sense of (non-work) career, substantial personal effort, durable benefits, ethos and social world, and personal and social identity (Stebbins, 1992).

Gosh, this sounds a lot like blogging!

What exactly is blogging? The word “blog” originated as web log or weblog, a journal of personal reflections, opinions, experiences and comments written online. According to sources, the first blog was published in 1999. Blogging allows people to express themselves in writing while allowing people to interact with each other. It is used in a variety of ways, whether to create content for business, practice and publish a variety of works, or just keep a journal of thoughts via a structured Internet site.

Bloggers now know that creating and maintaining a successful blog is very similar to this notion of serious leisure. What may start out as a simple wish to write and post stories and thoughts, can end up involving a lot of time, whether to change the look of the blog website, or research and create thoughtful content for readers. Many bloggers spend 2-4 hours (or more!) per day just for the care and feeding of their “fun” blog.

For me, the desire to start my blog came from my idea to write about my professional experiences on some particular subjects. It was hard work and so inconsistent that I almost gave up. Luckily I stumbled upon the WordPress Blogging 101 challenge in September and I retooled and refocused my blog to what it is now. Writing this blog now takes a surprising amount of time, but it is fun and fits almost into the serious leisure category. My next goal is to blog about subjects relating to my consulting business, to draw people in as clients.

You decide if your blog is a leisure pastime or work. Even if it combines both elements, if it is enjoyable and satisfies you in some way, then blogging is a form of leisure for you. If it takes a lot of you time and you still love it, then welcome to blogging as serious leisure!

Image from cecileswriters

Image from cecileswriters

References: Stebbins, R. A. (1992). Amateurs, professionals and serious leisure. Montreal, QC: McGill-Queen’s University Press.

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26 thoughts on “Perspectives On…the Serious Leisure Pursuit of Blogging

  1. Love this post! You describe the blogging experience so well… It is a leisure activity for me but it’s true that one must dedicate time and energy to building and maintaining a blog…
    And I agree that Blogging 101 was an amazing way to learn more and meet fellow bloggers!
    Thank you for sharing this…
    Happy Thanksgiving by the way!

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  2. I have been thinking lately about how much work blogging is — but in a goos way. “Serious leisure” is a great description! I think I started blogging a little too soon: I had no idea how involved it was until I started Blogging 101. But I met so many nice people there (like you, Terri) that now I’m hooked. Interesting yet fun post 🙂

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  3. After I finish Photography 101 I guess I need to look into Blogging 101! I feel like I have so much to learn.

    I know for me, blogging is both leisure and hard work… sometimes one, sometimes the other – often both. I started a little over a year ago thinking that I’d post a couple times a week; now it’s more like a couple of times a month (except for the daily photo challenges). I’m just so busy now that I’m retired (you too will be saying that soon)!

    Have a fabulous Thanksgiving!

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  4. Totally enjoyed this! It’s crazy to me how much time I spend on my tiny little blog — but I love doing it. Definitely serious leisure time… which I also think is a completely accurate description. It’s funny because, when I first started blogging, I never thought I’d become so involved in other people’s blogs. But now I spend a lot of time reading! Happy Thanksgiving 🙂

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    • My passion is leisure education and this fits right in–informing people about what is leisure. I spend a LOT of serious leisure time on this blog (and I just signed up in a bloggers group in my City, oy!). It’s all fun, though, hence “leisure.” Glad you liked the post and I wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving!

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    • Thank you!! Since I retired in December, I post a blog a day, even if it’s just a photo. It’s very hard work and I just signed up for Writing 101. I must be a glutton for punishment 🙂 Thank you for taking the time to read my post!

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  8. WE live in Pembrokeshire, Terri – my husband takes wonderful photos of the coast etc. but is soooo precious about them, I have to wait until he goes out to upload them. You’ve given me an idea – thank you..

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    • Oh good (and thanks for the follow)! I used to use a nice digital camera but got lazy about downloading. My samsung phone take amazing photos, which I can send straight to facebook; then it drops all photos into dropbox, which I can edit with picmonkey. I started using all my own images for posts because I’m afraid of copyright infringement from using images from the internet. I’ll be anxious to see your photos 🙂

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  10. Hi Terri I want mine to be leisure but it is so time consuming and I know that is my fault. I believe in doing everything at 110% so even though it is for me I still want it to look and sound professional. Thank you for some sound advice and linking up with us at #WednesdaysWisdom.

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    • I think that’s what happens to all of us. There can be so much to do that the writing suffers. That’s also why I stopped the Leisure link. If I restart it I would need a cohost. I appreciate everything you do with your link ups, Sue!

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