During our trip to Japan until yesterday, I really wasn’t able to write and be at my best. As an effect, my blog traffic suffered, tremendously. I wasn’t able to build on the momentum started by Sir JJ’s inspiring sharing on the blog.
I also shared with you some time back that I’m the type of person who values my worth based on my output. It’s not really a good thing as our worth should be intrinsic because we are children of the Divine. His love for us will never change regardless of our output. Still, old habits die hard. That’s why I was really, really down after getting back from Japan.
While cleaning our condo last night and listening to a podcast, I realized that I haven’t been giving my all to achieve my work-related dreams—to become a full-time blogger and become a freelancer. I treated them simply as hobbies.
I realized that one of the main reasons why I usually write short posts is because I only write when I feel like it, not so much because of reader fatigue (even though reader fatigue is really true). I treat writing as a hobby and not as a profession or a profession-to-be. Also, I work on my online resume and portfolio when I have time after working on my day job and after blogging, which is not really much time.
Last night, I realized that if you want to make your passion your profession, you have to treat it as one. You can’t simply treat it as a hobby. It deserves the time and respect a profession requires. You cannot do it only when you have spare time. You have to make time for it.
Still, you cannot make the mistake of taking it too seriously that you no longer enjoy it. The reason why you make your passion your profession is precisely because you enjoy it, you love it, and it matters to you. If you push yourself to the point that you no longer enjoy it, what’s the point of pursuing it in the first place? Wouldn’t it become just another job?
Yes, there are tasks that you will not necessarily like and enjoy. They are inevitable. Although they are necessary tasks to make your passion your profession, they are few and far between. Also, looking at the big picture, they are related to what you love to do.
For example, I love blogging. But, there are some things I need to do and learn like promoting my blog on social media. When I started blogging, I had to learn how to use social sharing tools, configuring my domain name servers, design my blog, create posters, and other technical and design stuff. They’re not in any way related to writing, but looking at the big picture, they are very important to make my writing dreams a reality. And I still haven’t mentioned marketing yet.
There’s a fine line between taking it seriously as a profession and taking it too seriously that it simply becomes another soulless job. You have to tread carefully. Still, you cannot do it only when you feel like it. Otherwise, you’ll simply end up like me, chasing my dreams for years and years now. (Still, I’m thankful for all these years of struggle because I’m learning and growing—slowly but surely. I also had a lot to unlearn because I acquired a lot of bad habits growing up.)
Last thing I want to share (for today, that is) is that you have to make your progress measurable. For example, starting today, I’m starting with a daily goal of writing 1,000 words. It doesn’t matter whether all those 1,000 words end up being published or not. What matters is that I’m able to practice writing, putting my thoughts into words, and expressing myself and my ideas every single day. You have to keep improving the skills you want to learn and you have to make the improvement measurable as well.
The process is more important than the results. But, measuring the progress is important too. You cannot be making progress blindly. Otherwise, it’s no progress at all.
You cannot simply say, “I’m going to be professional about this.” You have to take action and know exactly how you are going to be professional about it.
Do you want to do work that matters—to you and to others? Pursue your passion. Make your passion your profession. But, don’t treat it as just a hobby. You have to be professional about it, while enjoying it. Lastly, you have to make your progress measurable each day.
P.S. You also have to make your long-term progress measurable. But, that’s for another blog post. (Word count: 805 words. Not too bad, huh?)