Work Vs. Passion
It is no surprise that I love to write. Writing goes beyond “love” for me, though. I can’t live without it. That may sound silly to some, but it’s the truth. My emotions, my gifts, my job all requires for me to write. If I couldn't write, I would no longer be able to provide for my family. If I couldn't write, I would also be far less in tune with my own emotions. It is the only way that I am good at expressing myself. Verbally, I stink at it.
I was looking through my folder of old writings. This folder is sacred to me. It holds the key to every aspect of my life; from poems and prayers, to songs, essays and articles that I have written. Some, I will never share with anyone. Others, I am currently in the process of trying to have published by magazines!
As I was looking through my folder I came across one of the first essays I had to write for my English Composition course in college. It was titled Rhetorical Analysis on The Onion Newsletter’s video “Home Depot Honors Fallen Soldiers With Great Prices On Tools,” which is pretty self explanatory by the title, itself, what the essay is about (and yet, at the same time it is a pretty confusing title). I won’t bore you with the whole essay just to get to the point of what my professor wrote to me, along with giving me an A+ for my grade:
“April, my goodness. This is the smartest, most well-researched piece of writing I've encountered in an introductory composition course for quite a while. Your critical faculties are exemplary. I look forward to enjoying more of your work!”
That professor, Liz, (she did not like being called “Ma’am,” “Miss,” or “Professor,” and she made that very clear!) made a huge impact on my life. However, I didn't realize it, nor did I appreciate it, at the time. I had just gone through my divorce and at the moment, I thought I was going to college to be a Respiratory Therapist. English Comp was just a pre-requisite. Little did I know that she would open my eyes to pursuing what my real dream was; writing. She took time outside of school to meet with me at places like Chick-Fil-A so that I could let my (at the time) 2-year-old son run around on the playground, while she spent hours advising me in the best ways to have my writing published. She truly believed in me and my talent; more so than I believed in myself.
At that point in my life I didn’t hold much merit to what she was telling me. It isn't that I wasn't intrigued by her encouragement, but at that point in my life my focus was on one thing and one thing only: desperately trying to support myself and my child off of one income. I had no faith that writing would provide enough of a stable income for me and Ninja, and even if it did it would take years of struggling before it got us to that point. I was too scared to let go and have faith. My faith could have and should have been stronger. I was just a very young single-mom, who taught herself quickly not to have faith in anyone but herself. Ironically, I didn't really have any faith in myself, either. I had to discover myself, first, before I could figure out where my faith truly stood. That didn't happen until a few years later.
It’s funny, what a few years of “wisdom” can do for your life. If I knew then what I know now, I would have changed my major instantly and I would not have wasted one more day on a field of study that was (though VERY admirable) not my cup of tea and never really was. However, God knew my heart and His timing is perfect.
Here I sit today, a personal contractor and more specifically, an Editor, doing something I love; something a lot of other people would love to do, and making money doing it! It's not a ton of money, but more than I ever made managing an office. I love my job, and I also love the time it allows me to have with my children. Yet, it is still a job.
This type of writing; this blog entry, and the ability to write about whatever pops into my head, will always be my passion. I don’t do it for money or for fame. I do it simply because I love it. However, as I said, I have decided to pursue having some of my articles published. Whether I succeed at it or not, I have no idea, but I won’t know until I try! Likewise, I am currently putting any extra time I have (which roughly adds up to 4 minutes and 35 seconds per week) into writing my first book. It’s a work in progress but maybe someday it will become something!
The point is to love what you’re doing, and enjoy every second of it. The moment you force it to become a “job” is the moment it becomes work and no longer passion. Don’t stop pursuing what you love most, even if you aren't seeing a lot of money growing from it. The longer you stick with it the more it WILL pay off.