If You Turn Your Passion Into Work, Is It Worth It?

I’m one of those people who decided to pursue my passion rather than something “practical.” I’m insufferable, I know. Someone once told me about the perfect intersection to get hit by a car so I could get insurance money, so my financial prospects have been up and down. And of course, like all suffering artists, I did this to myself. I graduated high school in 2017 and I applied to eleven colleges. Most of them were for criminal justice, which was my practical choice, but truthfully, I was all over the place. I couldn’t nail down a single thing I liked since I liked everything, and none of my interests were anywhere related. I applied to a couple of schools that had writing programs, keeping that in the back of mind, but I told myself that writing was a hobby, not a job. It was never going to happen… except it did. I am a senior creative writing major because, at the last minute in 2017, I decided to follow my passion. I thought back to the little girl who would write stories about hybrid bat girls and detective versions of herself, the girl who wanted to be an author more than anything but was told she couldn’t because writing wasn’t a career. I suppose I did it all out of spite, and in the end, that’s as good a reason as any.

 

I thought I’d done it, I made the leap, and now all I do is write. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Now, I face burnout, and not just any burnout—a burnout where you lose your entire passion, your outlet for creating. I think a lot about that quote: “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life,” and all the various renditions of it, because that is what I wanted. I told myself the money didn’t matter because I was doing what I loved. That much is still true, I regret nothing; writing is me, and it is everything. I have improved as a writer and person in my past four years at Emerson, and I would not change anything. Still, I have a new worry.

 

At a certain point, will I run out of passion? At a certain point, will all the writing just become work and I will no longer love it? Writing is a love and a coping mechanism.  The fact that I was able to study it and make it into my career is amazing, but it is so much more than that to me. In the midst of making it a career, I fear I am losing the other parts, and in that, I lose myself.

 

Let me paint a picture: I write all day. For school, I read a novel a week and other readings as well, then I write about them. I don’t have tests, I write papers and short answer sections. For my internship, I read scripts of over one hundred pages and then I write multiple pages about them. I also blog, which is what this is. All I do is write, and when I have a bit of free time, perhaps to work on my novel or poems, I ask myself: “why would I write?” I have nothing left.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful to have an internship in writing and to be studying it. I get to learn from the writing of others and strengthen my narrative voice 24/7. I get to be a writer, and so many other people do not, but if passion is limited, did I make the wrong choice? Only time will tell, that and writing, a lifetime of it.