For most of us, our daily happiness is to a large extent determined by how much we enjoy what we do for a living. Making a living doing what we love, is a dream or a goal for many of us.
What I want to write about today, though, has everything to do with keeping your passion alive whilst taking it to the next level, for example, making a living of it. Even though this might sound obvious, it isn’t always that simple.
Regular visitors of my blog might have noticed that my last post was published several weeks ago. The gap in posting has several reasons of which I want to discuss two. The first reason is simple, I wanted to evaluate my blog.
Is blogging something I want to keep doing? Is it what I expected it to be? I might answer these questions in a future post. Today, however, I want to talk about the second reason, that is, the launch of a new project and what it has taught me.
Allow me to tell you what happened the last couple of weeks. One of the reasons I haven’t been writing for Wake Up and Start Living is the launch of Scores In Motion, a platform dedicated to film music.
For many years, I have been an avid fan of film music. For me, people like Hans Zimmer (The Rock, Gladiator), James Horner (Avatar, Braveheart), and Lisbeth Scott (Avatar, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen) are artists in the purest sense of the word. The idea of sharing my passion for film music with others has been on my mind for quite a while and mid-January I started bringing this project closer to reality.
While working on this project, I had tons of energy simply because it involved two things I love, film music and programming (yes, I’m a nerd). During the process of making my goal more tangible, I started wondering how feasible the project was. With Scores In Motion, I had the ambition to create a community around film music, but that would mean I had to compete with existing websites which already had thousands of visitors, score reviews, and articles.
Doubt and fear for failure slowly began to arise. What am I doing? Will I be able to compete with existing platforms? In other words, fear of failure wanted to be part of the game. Believe me when I say that fear has the power to extinguish your passion in a flash, no matter how burning your passion is.
I have written about fear several times. You can read more about it here and here, but let me summarize it for you by saying this: Use your fear as a pointer to where you need or want to go, but don’t let it be your adviser. Fear will often show you where you want to go, but the fear itself prevents you from going there. A situation might be overwhelming, but that doesn’t mean you can’t handle it! See fear as what it is, an emotion. Nothing more, nothing less.
Passion Is Fuel, Don’t Forget To Re-Fuel
My thoughts about the feasibility of my project and the pressure to make Scores In Motion a success slowly diminished my passion for the project. Luckily, this didn’t affect my love for film music, the foundation of the entire project. However, I soon realized that the project had become a source of stress instead of a source of joy and accomplishment. Focus on your passion in the first place and then worry about being successful or monetizing it your passion.
Blogging is an excellent example to illustrate this. Don’t focus on monetizing your blog from the start. Make your blog valuable to others and the rest will follow automatically (and quicker than you might expect). I’m sure you heard this advice before. Why do you think that is? It’s true. This is essential to know and understand if you want your projects to have a lifespan of more than one month. If you don’t like blogging (or whatever it is you want to do) without making money from it, then don’t start blogging.
Focus On Your Passion
By launching Scores In Motion, I learned several important lessons. At the same time, it made me rethink where I want to go with this blog. The first month, I posted three times a week, but I slowly began to realize this is not feasible for me. While I don’t want to spend hours and hours writing for this blog, I definitely want to keep it alive as this is my way of helping people. Apart from a few Amazon affiliate links, I am not monetizing this blog, which keeps the purpose of this blog very clear!
Before leaving you, I want to emphasize that your passion is the fuel that keeps your projects alive! Don’t forget why you started whatever it is you are doing. People often say that turning a hobby or passion into a profession can (or will) kill the passion or the joy you get from it. I think this is an exaggeration (actually I know it is), but I also know that we all have to be very careful not to lose our focus. Passion is what we should focus on. The rest will follow.
What are your experiences with losing passion for a project? Are you living your dream by doing what you love doing? I’m curious to hear your story!