{91} Friend’s Prompt #14

“Pursuing your passion in the face of exhaustion?”

JessicaM posted this prompt, and I think it’s interesting that she phrased it as a question. I’m sure the intention was to ask me if I would write that prompt, but it can also be read is as a question of purpose or even commitment.

Because, let me be clear: following your bliss is always worthwhile, but that does not make it easy or convenient.

There is no showering of manna into your kitchen cabinets because you quit your job to pursue your passion without a way to pay the bills. Thems the facts for folks like us without trust funds.

We gotta side hustle. We gotta work the angles. We gotta do the day job, the night job, and the freelance jobs. Some of us do that on top of raising kids or taking care of elderly relatives or dealing with a severe illness/injury to ourselves or those we love.

Of course the question becomes, “is it worth it?”

The answer is yes.

Not because we will succeed, make lots of money, become popular, or any other measure of success. That would be great, but there are no guarantees. What I know, though, is that it is always better to say “I tried” than to stew with regret.

However, I know for brutal truth that believing it’s worth the effort is cold, hard comfort on the days when we can barely crawl out of bed to coffee machine without crying. The question circles back around to Jessica’s query: How do we continue to strive when we are simply exhausted?

There is no secret formula to follow, and I think most of us know this. I’m not going to give some five point plan on how to stay motivated, there are many sites out there which give great advice.

What I can offer is a this reminder: beware of your standards. How are you measuring your progress? By your own yard stick, or someone else’s? I’m 48 years old, if I compare my writing career to some young hotshot who got a six figure advance on a best seller, I might just give up. I love to dance but at this point, Urban Dance Camp is not something that is happening in my life. Either is a good excuse not to try at all, right?

It’s easy when we’re damn tired and frustrated to sit down and read or watch vids about people who are more successful than we are and call it “research.”

All I can say to that is that everything short of giving up is progress.

If you are doing the thing, you are pursuing your passion. I have not written a lick of fiction since April, but I know I will soon. I know it is something that will happen again because writing is my passion and my obsession. I’m writing every day in any case, even if it is not the (many, many) novel ideas on my to-do list. I’m doing the thing. And some days, that’s enough. Because:

EVERYTHING SHORT OF GIVING UP IS PROGRESS.


Originally published at ::::KimBoo York.