Model Railroad Hobbyist is a bit of a mixture – I suppose like any periodical – but at least it’s free! However, issue 80, October 2016 has some good things in it.
The editorial has some good words on model railways….
Many of us are hesitant to mention our passion for model railroading because, for a lot of non-hobbyists, it conjures up the
idea of someone who never grew up….
The hard fact is that the perception of many is what it is – trains are for adolescents, not for grownups. We are unlikely to change that perception, so we need to work around it instead.
This brings me to my conversation with my brother-in-law. We
discussed the sense of satisfaction when building or accomplishing something. It’s something important in everyone’s life, yet my brother-in-law believes it is missing for most….. I immediately thought of my many years of model railroading experience. Yes, there have been frustrations, but I also derive a deep sense of satisfaction from the hobby…..
When asked if I have any hobbies, I am now trying to pique the
interest of non-hobbyists by saying something like “I create scenes, my hobby is creative, or it’s artistic,” or something along those lines…..
I draw them into the conversation. I let them know that I look for ways to create in scale what I see in the real world or have seen in historical photographs. I explain the sense of accomplishment I have when I achieve my goal….
Much has been written and said about attracting new blood to the hobby. I believe we can best attract new blood by avoiding the old stereotypes and instead intriguing those not in the hobby. We’re all a lot more likely to explore the possibilities of doing something if we perceive it as interesting and neat rather than being boring and weird.
What would happen, when asked about are our hobbies, if we said something different than “I model railroads and have a layout in my basement.” How would you say it?
I think this is helpful. I must confess that I defend my modelling exploits by saying that all past-times and hobbies are, by nature, pretty silly. After all, didn’t Mark Twain write, “Golf is a good walk spoiled”? Who wants to walk miles trying to hit a small ball into a slightly larger hole? But perhaps I should be more positive about our hobby?