All of my friends are musicians (well, the only one who isn’t wrote about music for almost 20 years), mostly hobbyists like me. Sometimes we talk about music but usually we don’t. I do realise it’s awesome that in addition to Elektronauts I can talk to someone about “wasting” several hours to get some minute detail down in a track that maybe ten people will ever hear.
The people I get blank stares from are people at work and some relatives. I really don’t actively advertise my hobby or try to explain it to anyone. If someone asks about it, I usually try to downplay it: “Yeah, I sometimes write songs for my own amusement”. Maybe next time someone at work or at a family party asks about it, I’ll approach it differently: “I’M COMPLETELY FUCKING OBSESSED WITH WRITING MUSIC, WHAT DO YOU WANNA KNOW?!”
I don’t expect people to understand why I do what I do. I can’t really explain that to myself, nor have I ever really thought about it consciously. I just do it. I’ve written songs since I was about 14, and I’m 37 now. I don’t know any other way.
I’ve only started sharing jams and half-finished tracks in the past couple of years. (I did release some demos and two albums in the early 00’s.) I never really enjoyed that part until recently. I’ve learned to distance myself from my music, in a way. I’ve learned to listen to feedback, both positive and negative (if it’s somehow constructive). I think it’s made me a better musician. So I definitely encourage everyone to share their music.