Turning your hobby into a career might sound like the ultimate dream (and I’ll admit, it is), but it’s not always as simple as it seems. I’ve known since high school that I wanted to be a writer and after having pursued that career dream for the past year and a half, I can confidently say that it’s not all peaches. Sure, you’re doing what you love, but sometimes the reason you love it is because it isn’t “work”. Seeing as I’ve recently had a work transition into magazine-style writing (very different from my the technical writing I was doing before) I thought it would be helpful to share my experience transforming my hobby into a career.
You Might Start To Hate Your Hobby
This is something that almost everyone who has made their hobby a profession says when you ask, and honestly, they are right. While I still love writing and will always turn to it for emotional support and a creative outlet, I have noticed the juvenile excitement I once had when sitting down to do some writing has dwindled throughout the years, specifically after it started to earn me money. It became more of a chore than an escape because others are counting on you to produce content for their businesses to succeed.
While my blog isn’t part of my career, I can see this being the case for professional bloggers as well. Something that was once a creative outlet might start feeling more like another tick on your to-do list. That can be quite hard after a while because your hobby should be an escape from the rest of reality, not part of the stress that inhabits it.
You Might Not Always Have Support
Sometimes, others might not feel confident in your ability to turn what you love—your dream—into a profitable career. Other times, those people might even be unhappy when you manage to do so and push their negativity onto your endeavours. This is undoubtedly hard and can really affect your confidence in pursuing this new career path. While I’ve always had support from friends and family, there have been times when I experienced a lack of confidence in being able to make money simply from writing. Luckily, everyone and their mother seems to need a copywriter these days, so there will always be some sort of freelancing gig available.
It Probably Won’t Look Like How You Expect It To
I often fell into a fantasy about what I imagined working from home and writing would look like when I was working a corporate office job. Most of it involved wearing cute loungewear while sitting at a West Elm desk with a cup of coffee and a decorative notebook by my side with all my to-dos written out neatly. Once I started working from home I realized that a lot of my time was spent in slouchy clothing, not really feeling the need to get dressed properly, waking up later than I hoped, but enjoying the ability to sleep in, and often times forgoing a to-do list to just wing it. I also moved to a different country half way through my career transition, so I had to accept that the cute little apartment I thought I’d have to work out of wouldn’t exactly be attainable in one of the most expensive cities in the world.
There is also the issue of money. While there isn’t anything I’d rather do all day long than write, it is often hard to ensure you are making enough money to be financially independent. Many clients often think your work is worth less than it should be and don’t even get me started on late invoice payments. It’s enough to make you want to drive your head through a wall! At the end of the day, it’s important to not bank too much on the fantasy you may have created and to take every day as it comes, adapting with the ebbs and flows of freelance life, if that’s the route you choose to take.
There’s A Chance It Won’t Work Out
While it’s sad to think about, there is always a chance that your career just can’t be turned into a profession. Whether it’s because there isn’t enough of an income or you’ve lost your passion for it, you will need to face the reality at some point and come up with a backup plan. On the bright side, you still have something you really enjoy to do on your off-hours, and there’s nothing more satisfying than that.