I love writing.
I did not know that 3 years ago.
I began writing 942 days ago. I began writing because I was bored and broke. Blogging would be an easy way to occupy my time and challenge my mind, while sparing my wallet.
The day I shared my first blog post, I had high hopes of connecting with people, of sharing my thoughts and experiences as a means of provoking thoughtful contemplation and conversation.
I did not actually believe that to be possible. Not for me, at least.
Writing was just my “stupid little hobby.”
Yet, here I am, 2.5 years later. I have stepped into the arena, ready to fight to the death to live my truth. And for those times when self-doubt seeps in through the cracks and overwhelms me, I can revisit my beloved collection of Kind Words. For when I do not believe in my capacity to facilitate true change, you do. And for that, I am deeply and eternally grateful.
I could have never guessed how far I would come–500+ blog posts, amazingly supportive friends and mentors, loyal readers, a first-draft novel and plans for a second, free books from publishers, a platform on which to share causes I support (e.g. Kiva and charity:water), a diverse variety of paid writing gigs and, most importantly, an opportunity to express and develop my creative voice, all whilst receiving helpful feedback and reassurance that what I do matters.
942 days ago, I had never written anything outside of school. Today, I average about 3 hours of writing each day…on top of my day job, volunteer work, obligations, social life, adventures, hobbies, and me-time. 98.3% of time spent writing is unpaid.
If you are anything like me, the first step is the hardest because everything is new and different. You will be a fumbling novice in whatever you choose to pursue, for at least a little while.
But I challenge you to take that initial risk–listen intently to your heart’s song, and then learn to play along. Fall in love with your potential and allow your inspiration to lead the way. Trust that your current path is the right path, because it is the path that you are on.
I encounter the same dilemmas as any other struggling twenty-something: a mediocre job outside my field of interest, a pitiful bank account, and a lackluster love life. But I am the happiest I have ever been. I believe this is because passion now permeates my every corner of my life. I write, I connect, I learn, I develop, and I come further into myself every single day. I do this voluntarily and, more often than not, without monetary compensation. I do so because it makes me feel good, it makes me feel alive. And I have come to realize: that is enough.
Isn’t it curious how side projects can take on a life of their own? One day you wake up and that “stupid little hobby” begins to resemble something more. You followed your inspiration and nourished your soul, despite the opposition, and now–now–that “ridiculous waste of time” has provided you an opportunity to create, to serve, and to build a living around doing what you love.
All great things start out as “just a little project.”
Take the first step, and then follow through. See where that takes you.
I dare you.