I’m Following My Passion, But Not In the Way You Might Think

by Darcie
writing table

I’m following my passion. Right here, right now.

Writing this post… this is it.

My sole motivation for writing this post is because I love to write.

I love to share thoughts and ideas through written words, regardless of whether or not anyone will ever read them.

And really, I’m living proof of that reality. I’ve written four novels (each at least 80,000 words) and, to date, none of them has been published.

Believe me, I’ve tried. I’ve contacted hundreds of agents, gotten some encouraging feedback, yet no one has offered to represent me.

But, I keep writing.

I’ve loved to write ever since I was a child.

My first big writing accomplishment was “The Idaho Potato Emergency,” a short story about Fatso’s and Skindo’s their harrowing journey to recover the stolen potato crop. I still remember it well.

It’s in my blood to write, and I believe I will always write. It makes me feel fulfilled in a way nothing else does.

My passion is not my career.

Writing is my passion, and it is also my hobby. While I have made money from my writing, by and large, I write simply because it brings me joy.

My day job/primary source of income is my work as a psychotherapist.

Unlike Gen-Xers and Baby Boomers, who rank money and learning new skills as top priorities, more than half of millennials would take a 15 percent pay cut to work for a company whose values match their own.

This resonates with me.

When I left my legal career behind to become a therapist, I didn’t think I was following my passion. But I did believe that the profession was in line with my values and goals: it would allow me with flexibility, which would help me balance children and a career, and allow me to have my own business, which is a dream of mine.

Finding purpose in my career.

Recently, I wrote on Instagram about passion, and I shared there that my work as a therapist is part of my passion, but not all of it. That post has inspired this blog.

In researching and writing this post, I identified with a distinction between passion and purpose.

The millennial ethos isn’t so much about following your passion; it’s about finding your purpose.  

I left my job as an attorney and followed my writing passion for two years. It was a joy-filled two years, but it was also very stressful.

Instead of writing about what interested in I wanted to, I was spending most of my time coming up with pitches and trying to sell myself. I still needed to make money to live and couldn’t bank on book deal.

I realized that my passion might never be my career. I would always have writing, but I didn’t want to have to rely on it to live. If I made money from it, that was the icing on the cake. What was most important to me is that I had a sustainable career that I was interested in.

In becoming a therapist, I’ve found that.

So I need to add an addendum to that Instagram post. It should read: Writing is my passion, but being a therapist brings me purpose.

Can passion and purpose intersect?

Absolutely. It’s a luxury, but it can happen, especially in the Western world. But it also has its cons.

Following my passion (writing) has made me a beacon for rejection (as is VERY common in the writing world; you have to have thick skin), and I’ve shed many tears over it. Passion makes you want to follow inspiration and whims, and that can interfere with producing a stable income. It can also interfere with doing the work you love because your time is spent on marketing, branding, or selling yourself.

But with the advent of social media, I’m finding it easier for me to merge my passion and my purpose. I use Instagram as a marketing tool and an avenue to write about topics that interest me.

My goal in life is to have purposeful work and passionate play.

And to the extent that they intersect, I am grateful.

What are your thoughts on passion and purpose? Do they intersect for you? Is your passion your career? If so, what are the pros and cons? Tag me @darcieandlogan on Instagram telling me your thoughts on this subject!

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