Notes from the Editor: Do What You Love?

I have a friend who we’ll call Shelly. She and I met while we were fledgling writers in Los Angeles. I moved on several years ago and now she’s getting ready to leave Los Angeles as well. Although Shelly’s excited about her transition, she’s also a little bit down. You see, she wasn’t able to ‘make it’ as a writer in L.A. and she feels as though she let herself down.

Do what you love.

Shelly loved to write but she wasn’t able to translate that into a career. So now what? Well, what I’m about to say might rub some people the wrong way, but I’ll say it anyway. Maybe you shouldn’t quit your day job.

Doing what you love doesn’t have to mean doing it professionally. Doing what you love doesn’t mean it has to be your career. There are a variety of ways to fuel your passions.

In talking to Shelly, she took the do what you love mantra literally. She loved to write. She felt should be writing all day and making a living from it. If she wasn’t, she wasn’t a success. Meanwhile, she’s an award-winning property manager who enjoys her work. She is a success. Yet, that didn’t even register for her because she was so consumed with her rigid definition of writing success.

Doing what you love can manifest itself in a number of ways. As a writer, Shelly can fuel her passions by writing a blog, keeping a journal, writing freelance articles, writing for her church magazine or bulletin, writing poetry or trying her hand at writing a novel. There are a number of viable outlets for her. Likewise, a singer doesn’t have to be the next American Idol or a Platinum-selling artist. He can join the church choir or other choral group, become a regular at the local karoake club. If the passion is singing, then the goal should be to sing.

Now, your day job should be something you enjoy; it should be something you have an affinity for. You spend too many hours at work to hate it. Your ‘day job’ shouldn’t be something you endure until you get your big break.

All of us have been blessed with gifts. Some of us can find ways to join our passions and purpose with our professions. For the rest of us, the challenge is to look more broadly and find other ways to satisfy our talents and creativity.

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