What do you want to be when you grow up? I’m sure you were asked this question at least once when you were a youngster. When asked the question, did you have an answer at the ready, or did you need a few minutes to think about it? We all had dreams of becoming something great, like a fireman, a teacher, or a rock star, just to name a few.
Let me tell you a thing: I wanted to become a palaeontologist and marry Sam Neill. Wrap your head around that one. I soon moved on to wanting to be a writer. I mean, I’d still do the palaeontology/Sam Neill things but … anyway, fan fiction.
How did you do? Maybe you never aspired to be what you set out to be or said that you would become. But then again, things change. The older we get, our tastes change, our view of the world changes, even our goals change.
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned during my career path is to do something you love to do. Why is this important? I feel that if you enjoy what you make a living at, you end up being happy in more ways than one. Life itself becomes much more interesting and fun. You find yourself speaking passionately to others about your work – and you’re authentic about it, not just parroting recent sales figures, but engaging in your community, helping other writers and enriching their time, too.
The experiences you have along the way become much more rewarding, and enrich your life in many ways. You meet fascinating people. I know people who have turned favorite hobbies into small businesses, and have succeeded. Sure, they may have had to sacrifice a steady paycheck for their happiness, but not one of them either turned back or gave up. Their passion carried them through to success.
While no job or business is perfect, and I’m probably a little too vocal about the pitfalls of writing, the important thing is to enjoy it, even learn from it. If you are unhappy in your current situation, why not take steps now to change it?
Somewhere out there is a job or business that is perfect for you. If you are already there, I applaud you. If not, realize that it may take some time to gure out what you really want to do, and even more time to actually get there. That’s all right! I can tell you from experience that nding and doing what you love is absolutely worth it, every step of the way. All of the research, training, and hands-on experience – from self-publishing through to traditional, beta reading and coaching – has made me a stronger, happier, more confident person. I feel in charge of my own destiny … and, well, there just is no greater feeling.