The Art of Successfully Learning a New Hobby

For the longest time I told all my friends that I planned to take up embroidery. It began about five years ago, when I moved away to university. Well, first, second, third, fourth year and graduation happened and I still hadn’t picked up a needle and thread.


I have a funny feeling that this procrastination attitude had something to do with Instagram’s rising popularity. Without knowing it, I barely read books outside of school (English degree), choosing instead to scroll through my phone for hours (shocking).

After graduation, I took some time off. With my restaurant job and a renewed passion for simple pleasures (reading, writing, films), I decided that it was finally time to learn to embroider.

I picked up a loom, pack of needles, and a set of pale-toned threads and looked up a tutorial on Martha Stewart. Bless her soul because I had a few stiches going within the hour. Once I got the trick of it, basic designs became fairly simple. And the more I practiced, the easier it became to do while watching re-runs of Gilmore Girls. (Nothing feels so great as sitting down with needle and loom, cup of tea, burning a candle or two, and watching Gilmore Girls.)


This shirt was inspired by The Academy New York and now has a whole new meaning.

Result: I feel fantastic having accomplished something so tangible upon completion, I have cheap and thoughtful presents for my friends for Christmas (the ultimate gift), and now I can answer the “hobbies” section in website bios.

So, the secret to successfully learning a new hobby? Set your mind to it, and give yourself just one whole day to give it a go. Trust me, you don’t need more than one fully-dedicated day to learn some chords on a ukulele or make a few pages in a scrapbook. And having a few hours away from social media is so worth it.

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