“Never make your hobby your job because then it becomes a chore.”
I’ve heard that phrase a number of times over the years and I’ve always wondered if it’s true. It’s one of those things that people tend to just take at face value because they sound right and seem to make sense.
If you take up a hobby, it’s probably doing something you like to do just for fun and it was never intended as a way to make money. Heck, it was probably a way for you to escape the daily grind of the thing you do to make money in the first place.
I don’t know if blogging is really a hobby or a way to keep something that I like to do fresh. You see, I have always enjoyed writing. I don’t know when it started, but from elementary school on I knew I’d be a writer — a journalist to be exact. I held on to that childhood dream right through to my bachelor’s degree in journalism from Michigan State University.
I wrote as a journalist for several years, then I was an editor but made a point of writing a weekly column to keep my creative juices flowing. I’ve spent a lot of years since then on the public relations side of the industry and coming up with clever ways to say things is fun. Sure, there are days when I’m doing the mundane and it’s a bit routine, but that’s OK. Hanging on and writing a clever headline or suggesting a witty quote for someone is worth the wait.
Then, a few months ago, after watching others blog for quite some time, I decided to start this regular testament to the fact that I have something to say and people might want to hear it. I’m not naive enough to think people are subscribing or regularly checking this blog to see what I’ve had to say lately. There are millions of choices out there of things to read on the Internet and I’m surely not very high on most reading lists.
But it doesn’t matter. Writing this blog has been an outlet for me. It’s helped me stay focused on the communications industry — journalism, media relations, new media, social media — and that’s made me a better employee and a better teacher. Still, it’s really been all about me and what I wanted to write about.
Now, I have a chance at blogging for a paycheck. Oh, certainly not enough of a paycheck to quit my day job; not that I would want to. But it’s a bit of extra money anyway. I can’t help but think that if I’m going to write these blogs, maybe I should get paid for them. But, alas, that means this blog isn’t a hobby anymore — it’s a job. And that means it doesn’t matter if I “just don’t feel like writing today,” I still will have to do it.
Will that impact the quality of my work? Will that bring an end to blogging as a hobby? Will it take the fun out of it?
What do you think? Can your hobby survive as a job? Or, over time, will I find that I need a new hobby to help me escape from the chore that used to be a fun escape?