How to Pursue Your Passion, Even While Working Fulltime
April 1st, 2013 by Katie Morton
Photo by C. Jill Reed / Creative Commons
My good friend LC Kanon is contributing to The Monarch Company this week. Read on for her fresh perspective, and for details on how to download her novel for free! Enter LC.
LC Kanon: Katie’s last post about corporate jobs being prison-like resonated with me, but not for the reasons you might think. You see, when I was little I wanted to become a writer. And wouldn’t you know it? I am one, but I’m not writing full-time. Here’s a secret for you, I never want to write full time. I keep my passion at home, and I’m 100% okay with that.
Thinking back to when I was little, I always knew I liked writing very much. But I had other interests, other ambitions, and after years of writing my way through school and pinging from job to job, I wound up with a very satisfying career. But I knew I had to find something that allowed me to fulfill the storyteller side of me. So I made a decision. I would do both. I would write books and work. Full-time.
Sound crazy? Maybe initially. But I had to write, it was within me. Second, my work was providing me with the inspiration to write really good stories. That shifty character on my morning commute, the snide comment a coworker made when he thought no one was listening — all of these moments became my writing bounty. And boy, have the stories been fruitful.
My book, Spring Break, is about a group of coeds vacationing in Cancun who have a run-in with a Mexican drug cartel. Working on this book in concert with my somewhat dry day job, I quickly realized how satisfying my outlet could be. I would think of a dramatic scene during my morning coffee run, picturing the girls using all their cunning to get out of Mexico alive. Could I have written it as a starving artist? We’ll never know, but I know the story is the way it is because of my engagement with the world around me.
I wonder at times if I’m just scared of taking the plunge to leave a job that isn’t “my passion.” But I don’t think that is the real fear. I think the real fear is that if I quit, the stories will stop. I gain so much inspiration from going to my job every day. Without it, I would feel shut off — dead in the water. So when people ask me whether I dream about quitting to write full time, I just smile and shake my head. And write about it in the next book.
— LC Kanon, author of Spring Break
Hello, Katie here. I love how LC uses her vivid imagination to create a satisfying outlet for her writing talent, regardless of fulltime employment. LC and I have a lot in common in that I also wrote a novel while I worked fulltime. When the novel was complete, I started a motivational blog as a hobby, which, unbeknownst to me, was a warm-up to my new career with The Monarch Company.
If you are in a job that’s not entirely fulfilling on its own, but either you don’t want to leave or quitting would leave you up poop’s creek right now, then it’s essential to begin somewhere and to start doing activities that make your heart sing. The question isn’t always, “Should I quit my job or not?” Sometimes the answer is to hang onto your job while you start dabbling. Try out a new career on the side by sampling activities first. If you don’t know what to do, do something. Get your hands dirty. You can’t think your way through every puzzle; sometimes you need to take action in order to learn what works.
If you’re thinking, “When the heck am I going to do something like that? I don’t have time to breathe, let alone dabble in a freaking hobby,” then the next time your hand moves the mouse to look at Facebook or a news web site, or the next time you pick up the remote control to your TV, the next time you check out by eating, drinking, surfing, or vegetating on your couch – pause and reflect – that’s your time. This is your life.
If you want to argue, “I vegetate because I’m tired,” I feel ya, man, I’ve tried that excuse. It’s time to get more sleep and start looking for solutions. You only get one chance to live a life you love.
So get going on following those passions, job or no job. Trust that the experience you gain will make your life richer, add interest and excitement to your daily routine, and eventually lead you to greener pastures.
PS: To celebrate the release of the film Spring Breakers, Story Girl Press is offering a free download of LC Kanon’s novel Spring Break from Tuesday, April 2nd through Friday the 5th. This is one beach read you won’t be able to put down. Happy tanning!