Finding a New Hobby When I Wasn’t Looking

Trying something new — and loving it.

Anna Burgess Yang
4 min readFeb 8, 2020


My own painting, completed last week.

I have been writing since I could form letters. My first “book” was entitled The Adventures of Cuddles the Cat and was a slight variation of a book borrowed from the library, complete with pictures and a copyright date. I was five.

As I grew older, I delved into journaling and churning out papers for school that would always impress my teachers. I wrote bad poetry and would type out the beginnings of stories on an old typewriter that my parents had, which later was replaced with a box-shaped word processor on which I could store my writings on a disk (and now forever lost).

After graduating from college with an English degree, my writing was stunted for a long time when I entered the working world. I spent several years traveling for work, finding myself so exhausted at the end of the day that I could only collapse onto the bed in my hotel room in the evenings. I did some technical writing and product fliers for my employer and it was enough to satisfy my need to create something.

It wasn’t until my son was born in 2009 that I really fell back into writing, starting a blog in which I wrote every few days about the adventures and misadventures of parenting. My second son was born in 2012, and I kept writing. I still maintain a blog to this day, albeit of a different theme than I had originally embarked upon.

However, in all of the years of writing, my goal was to always write for an audience. Perhaps not so much my journals, but in writing essays for a class, technical documentation, or a blog — there was always the intent that someone would read this work. I would often spend time crafting the narrative around an incident with my toddler, hoping that the reader would smile or laugh. My current blog has a purpose to raise awareness and evoke emotion.

In January of this year, I started painting. Watercolors. Originally, I was only looking to improve some basic skills so that I could help my son, who had taken an interest in watercolor tutorials on YouTube. A friend helped me with some techniques via Skype.

The next day, I painted again. And the next day. Every day or two, I was producing a little 5x7 painting, trying something different, and…



Anna Burgess Yang

Productivity geek + solopreneur with niche expertise. #5amwritersclub frequent flyer. •