Hobbies enrich our lives and can help us make friends.

If we really enjoy them, we can get pretty good at them.

But there's often a huge difference between the time and skill required to do something as an amateur and what's required to do it professionally.

Redditor _tana01 asked:

"What hobby is easy to do at an amateur level but incredibly hard at a professional level?"




"The Queen's Gambit made me consider chess for a hobby. After ten minutes of research, I realized that there was a lot to learn and memorize than I've reckoned. Guess I'm more of a Tic Tac Toe guy than chess."

-White Gables

"It’s also not like riding a bike. You can’t just learn how to play, stop for years and then be at anything close to the level you were. You’ve got to keep sharp and play often or you lose it."

"I took it pretty seriously for a few years. As in paying for lessons from an FM every week and playing every day seriously. I’ve recently returned after maybe 6 years off and I’m really disappointed with how sh*t I am again. I’m making simple mistakes I never would have made before"

"On the bright side, I still understand why they are mistakes and where I went wrong when I analyse the games so it’s not like starting from scratch again. I’m picking it up much quicker than before."

"Still, if you’re into it then try not to completely stop playing. Even if life gets busy, have a game or two running on a long time limit and do the odd tactics puzzle here or there. It’ll make a big difference when you return."


Building Models

​"Growing up I made model airplanes obsessively, then I got a job at Boeing making models meant for air shows and the Pentagon and the Smithsonian and whoa, there was more to it."


"Replace Boeing with government/LockMart models and same."



​"Origami. To invent new forms is the most mathematical art I’ve seen. Never thought it was that involved."


"Yea, I used to be really into origami back in highschool. I could fold those really complex ones that take several hours to fold and a paper the size of a table."

"I tried creating my own models and I even bought a book for that (Robert Lang's one) and it's a completly different ball park."


Marathon Running

"​If you have a treadmill, set it on its highest speed - usually 12-13 mph. If you can run at that pace for 2 hours straight - you can be an Olympic level marathoner."


"And that's not even enough to win it, you'll be just one of the 100+ competing."


"I've ran 6 marathons, fastest at 3:55. I once tried running 2 miles as fast as possible and did it just over 12 minutes. Even that pace would be a 2:40 marathon which is about 30 minutes slower than the average Boston marathon winner. I have no clue how they can keep that pace for 5 miles much less 26 miles."





"As a competitive swimmer, the amount of people that think swimming for sport is easy is astonishing."


"Swimming physically drained me when I used to do it, it’s a lot harder than people realise if you are doing competative stuff."



"Writing stories is so easy that kids do it, but trying to make a career out of it can be rough."

"It also has my vote for 'hobby-to-job that the fewest people seem to realise is difficult', based on the number of people who -- on finding out that you're a writer -- will chime in with, 'Oh, I've got a story for you! You should write about my life!'"


"First read this as 'writing stories for kids,' which I’ll offer up as a tangential difficult hobby. I work adjacent to the children’s book space and know some of our authors. Major respect. The ability to develop a story understood by children, in language that is age-appropriate, isn’t the child’a play it seems."



"​Music. Everybody can play guitar, but playing guitar perfectly, but with character and fluidity in a studio, or performing on stage while shredding that solo... Years and years and years of hard work."


"Amateurs practise till they get it right, pros practise till they can't get it wrong. Heard this quote somewhere and it is very true."


"As a professional violinist I love this quote and I will probably reuse it."

"But yea the whole point behind practice is to make everything rock solid and clear in your mind, because if you play for others and you can't express what you wanted, what was the purpose of practicing at all?"

"Btw I wouldn't have put musical instruments in the post cause they mostly aren't that easy to pick up in the first place."


Fiber Arts

"​Cross stitching. You can do fun little projects that can take a day or a week. Or you can spend all your free time for 2 years working on a single piece."


"Came here to say the same. As an amateur they look great but when you see skilled cross stitchers finish a large piece it's a work of art."

"Would also say crochet - once you've learned the basics you can make granny square blankets till your hearts content but some of the stuff on r/crochet is insane in how amazing it is."


"I've been working on my current project for two years, next week. Yeeeeeeeep."



"​Any competitive video game, like everyone and their Mom can play Call of Duty, but to actually make a living off of it you literally have the be the top 200 players in the world. Also this goes for any game not just COD."


"Truth. So you’re a good gamer and want to go pro? Ok start by throwing away every other game you have that isn’t the one you want to go pro in. Better hope you enjoy the game that you’re good in because congrats, it’s now work. That job you have? Better quit it because you’re not winning that once a year grand prize by wasting hours working."


"Agreed. Whenever I watch League of Legends worlds, I am always amazed by the players’ skill. It’s like they think and act within 0.1 ms. Sometimes literally one pixel on the screen is the difference between winning and losing entire tournament. Unreal."


Hobbies are wonderful things to have, and can greatly improve our lives.

It's probably worth doing some research before you decide to try turning your hobby into a job, though.

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