Saturday, September 5, 2009

Passion vs Chore

When does a passion become a chore?

Many of us crafters have day-jobs. Crafters come from all walks of life: they may be scientists, doctors, teachers and so on. We sneak in time during lunch breaks, after work hours and during weekends to be able to keep our hobby and small businesses floating. Then there's the other group of crafters who have bid adieu to their day jobs to concentrate wholly on their crafts, making crafting their full time career and livelihood.

So will it always remain a passion, or will it gradually become like the previous day-job: doing it because you have to, and not because you want to?

Let me share a little bit of my story with you.

image by effierizou

I am a Instrumental Music Teacher. My major instruments are Piano and Violin. I have been playing these instruments since I was 4 years old. I grew up in an education system that had no room for music, so all my music lessons were done privately during weekends. Music was my passion and I could see myself in no other career except that as a musician. Upon finishing high school, I threw myself into a Bachelor of Music at Melbourne Uni, dreaming dreams of becoming an outstanding musician.

However some years down the road, I find that somewhere along the way things had changed. I still love music, I still love playing and teaching it, but I find myself associating it with work, stress, and other things that takes the fun out of it. It had became a chore, something I do to enable me to eat and sleep under a roof. Outside of work, I prefer not to talk about it and prefer to listen to anything but classical music. I stopped actively participating in orchestras and ensembles and even cut down the number of concerts I listened to. It makes me wonder just when did the magic of it all disappear?

Many tell me that I am lucky to be able to have my passion as my career and I used to agree. I used to think, how exactly do you go on doing something you didn't love? Now I'm not so sure anymore. If I had been doing something else as my career, would the disenchantment from music have happened?

Don't get me wrong, I take my career very seriously and am passionately in love with teaching. While I'm on the job, I'm always on the ball. I love to teach and I take each and every one of my students very seriously. They are young musicians in the making and I definitely do not want to ruin the magic for them. It is outside of my working hours that I find myself switching off to music, shunning it for other passions.

Like how I used to turn to music, I now turn to crafting. I hesitate to even consider the thought of ever making crafting my day-job as I don't want the magic to end like it did with my passion for classical music. Crafting is what I escape into to get away from Music. I think I'd like to keep it that way.

Of course, this by no means is something that happens to everybody who turns a passion into a day-job. There are many success stories out there like Bec from The Littleshopof. For her and many others, doing this makes them happy and they are quite happy to keep on doing it because of that. I have great respect and admiration for those who are able to do that. Had I been able to do the same, it might have meant that I'd still be able to view music the same way I did as when I was a kid: with big starry eyes and the incredibly strong yearning to learn.

At the end of the day, the most important thing is that you are doing something you love. It doesn't matter what it is, as long as it is something you love and it is something that keeps you happy. Because no matter how much my passions have changed and rearranged themselves, they are still part of me. They are still things I am passionate about. And for that I am thankful.

Are you one of those who have taken the step into making crafting your full time job? I'd love to hear your thoughts and opinions on this subject. What measures do you take to ensure that it doesn't become just another chore? It is your strength and bravery that I take courage from, and I'd love to learn more from you. Thank you.



  1. Very interesting insight and something I hadn't thought of before but I can certainly see how a passion can become a chore. My day job is a CPA and I make jewelry to relax and try to find my creative side but I know I'll never make jewelry full time unless I win the lottery.

  2. It's an interesting thought - I don't work because of health problems so crafting is what I do with my time. I'd like to make it more of a job though...

  3. I have this fear also. I don't ever want scrapbooking to not be fun!

  4. Often something that is a passion and has been fun can become a chore (at least at times) when one needs to do it to earn a living. It's OK to have changing interests. This can make for a rich and rewarding life.


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