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Five things that kept me going over the last five years. Part 3

Realising and coming to terms with the idea that “this is what I do now”

Edit: I’ve just reread this and it sounds a bit ranty but I’m leaving it alone as it is and you can have a read and let me know.

The thing about turning your hobby into your work is that it becomes work. It’s not something you do on the weekend for fun anymore and that comes with obligations.

There’s a transition between hobbyist and professional that is more than just getting paid. There is a point at which you realise that “this is what I do now”.

The transition happened for me a few years ago when I stopped making vanity projects and suddenly I was creating a new product and realised that if this doesn’t sell, I’m in trouble.

It was quite a moment. It stopped me in my tracks and made me reflect on what I was doing.

You may have heard the expression, “all care and no responsibility”. When you go from hobbies to full time work that expression changes to “all care and all the responsibility”.

Your own projects fall by the wayside and are replaced with the work you have to do for other people. It can take the shine off.

But…

And this is where I stop sounding like I’m having a big moan about how hard my life is,( it really isn’t ).

…that was when I found a deeper meaning to my work. Yes I was getting paid but the joy I was finding in my hobby, no in my work, was reflected in the faces of the people who commissioned things from me.

My name was out there , my creations were out there. I was out on a limb, but now when I made something, the joy of creation wasn’t just mine , it was shared , with one, ten, a hundred and more people.

Yes, my hobby has become my work, but it is work with meaning beyond the dollar and I can’t really ask for more than that. I share my passion now with hundreds and thousands of people globally, at conventions and on social media. Some of you even buy my stuff! It’s outrageous, but what constantly brings me joy is the happiness I see in people I share it all with.

If that isn’t worth the scary transition, I don’t know what is.

Next time: Still loving every piece I make, still getting that thrill.