Saturday 25 January 2014

Time Management: Sprue Cutters Union #25

Greetings fellow Wargamers and Hobbyists, and welcome to the couch...

This week, following a topic suggestion from Fill 'n Sand, the Sprue Cutters Union has been asked to tell the world how we find time for the hobby in a busy world where many of us have other important commitments, like work and family. This will be something of a refreshed view of of a post I wrote in the very early days of this blog called Gaming Around Life, right back at the furry end of 2011. Let's see if anything has changed, as we consider...

- How do you find time for the hobby? -

These days I think most of us can agree that life is often a question of priorities, and how we shoehorn turn things we really want to do around all the things we are compelled to do by our wider commitments. It's nice (and rather important) to find a little time to ourselves her and there, which can sometimes be difficult, and if you at anything like me as a hobbyist, then most free time you get is likely to be spent doing something related to miniature modelling and/or gaming.

I think it's a good thing that my enjoyment of the hobby takes a variety of forms, whether it's modelling, painting, gaming, army list creation, reading or catching up with the community by listening to podcasts or dropping in to a forum, so however little time I have, as long as I can muster the enthusiasm at the right time, then I can do something.

For example, I tend to do most of my listening to podcasts while driving and while painting. I can't do anything else while driving apart from listen, and I find that listening to podcasts while painting helps to reduce the level of focus I need to keep painting by blotting out any outside distractions. I tend to find that listening to podcasts also helps the time sale by when doing household chores or DIY jobs. I even sit with my headphones on while waiting for our little boy to nod off when putting him to bed, because I can be quiet without going stir crazy for the fifteen or twenty minutes it takes him to doze off after we're done reading bedtime stories.

Actual painting and assembly of models tends to take place during my lunch breaks at work. Quite simply, this gives me an hour every day with a table and well lit canteen to sit and paint or put models together while I listen to podcasts, between bites of sandwiches or re-heated curry from the night before. Because demands on my time at home make modelling and painting impractical (without even considering the destructive capabilities of twomcats and an enthusiastic toddler - all in good time boy, all in good time), I have found this to the best and most productive use of my lunch hour, and it also means I can sit at home and spend time with my family without getting withdrawal symptoms.

Fortunately for me, my wife is a big reader these days, which works great for me because after our son is in bed, my wife can read her book of the week while I read the latest army rule book, White Dwarf Magazine (yes I still have a subscription), or consider my army list for an upcoming game...which at moment means considering how to tweak my Dark Eldar list to allow me a better chance against a fairly static Tau gunline.

Gaming. Now this is a very important part of my hobby, because quite simply, as a wargamer first and a modeller and painter second, if I'm not painting models so that I can use them to fight cool looking and exciting battles against a challenging opponent, what's it all for? I currently attend MAD Wargamers, a club about twenty minutes drive from home, where I have been playing fortnightly for nearly a year and a half. The club meets weekly, but my other commitments don't really allow me to attend as frequently as that unless we have a special event on or something like that. At the moment, with work being busy as well, that works fine for me. The club has come to a critical juncture at the present moment, where we would like to expand into larger premises, but have to time it right so that we have a strong enough member base to support the move...exciting times.

Who knows, with my wife having agreed to give Blood Bowl a try, perhaps gaming and family life might begin to overlap...

Finally, we come to another important part of my hobbying - writing. Whether it's background material for an army or the club campaign, a new scenario I'm working on, or as Jon over at the Combat Workshop alluded to, writing blog posts, I like to spend time writing, but this is probably the thing I find most difficult to fit in around everything else. So here I am, sitting on the couch on a Saturday morning while my wife has a lie in, and my son and I are up and about. He plays with toys, terrorises the cats, and rots his brain for an hour with back to back episodes of Peppa Pig, while I get a little typing done. In our house a lie in early extends much beyond 8am, but because my son and I are  by about 06:30, this gives me what is probably the only time I can find to write.

Pretty much the only other time I could dedicate to writing is the time I currently spend painting, and that time is precious. Plus, I don't want to change the routine I have established for my modelling and painting. The balance is good at the moment. So here I am, sitting on the couch, typing away on my tablet.

If you would like to read posts on this topic by other members of the Sprue Cutters Union (#spruecutters), then I invite you to check out the links below to their excellent blogs, and to the main Topic Hub over at The Combat Workshop where other members will post the links to their posts as they add them for our perusal.

And of course, if you might fancy yourself as a member of the Sprue Cutters Union, look here for more details. All you need is a blog of your own, and passion for miniature modelling.

As always, thanks for reading...

P.S. As promised last post, here are work in progress pics of the Chaos Warriors I am working on. Nearly done now, and once these are done, something a little different...

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