I didn’t know I was passionate about writing until after two years that I started writing.
The label “writer” hadn’t even crossed my mind until then.
When I started blogging at eighteen, I did it because I had nothing else to do with my life. I wrote articles because that’s what I thought I had to do — not because I liked it.
I disliked writing throughout all my school years. Come to think of it, I earned myself an F on my English final my senior year.
Being passionate and looking forward to writing every day was never something that crossed my mind.
And then I started writing.
You won’t wake up one morning suddenly knowing what you love
Most people have a job they despise because they don’t know what they’re passionate about, and instead of searching for that passion, they hope one day they’ll find it.
People expect to wake up one morning suddenly knowing what they love, what they would maybe quit their job to pursue.
That, as you’ve probably figured out already, is never going to happen. Hope is not going to give you what you want.
So, what should you do?
How I found my passion
I was pretty lucky to discover what I was passionate about (writing) early on — just a year and a half ago, around the time I turned twenty.
But it didn’t happen out of nowhere.
When I was in high school, I tried a couple of different things that, I realize now, was precisely like testing things out to figure out what your passion is.
- My junior year, I tried out for field hockey, and while I didn’t make the team, it made me realize sports was the last thing I wanted to do. The coaches were always telling us what to do (obviously), and I hated it.
- I also learned how to play the violin and saxophone, and as much as I loved them both, I didn’t want to pursue music.
- My friends, sister, and I formed a singing girl group and uploaded covers on Instagram, but now I can’t even imagine wanting to be a famous singer.
- I took web design and learned to code. I loved it so much that I started watching Wordpress tutorials and courses on coding at home.
I decided that year that I wanted to be a web designer. After I graduated from high school, that dream was gone.
So, I started a blog and began writing. I wrote an article, and it was fun, but it was nothing special.
I also (please don’t judge me) started writing fanfiction. I loved reading fanfics, and one day, I thought, “What would happen if I wrote my own?” So, I did.
I wrote articles for about two years and fanfics for one when I realized — holy shit, I love writing. And “suddenly” I’d found my passion.
How to find your passion
The process of figuring out what I was passionate about took a lot of stops.
Singing, playing instruments, web design. And those are just the things I tried in school.
Your journey to finding your passion will most likely look a lot like mine.
Your passion won’t pull a Chicken Little and suddenly fall out of the sky. You have to actively go out and try different things that will lead to your passion.
This is a chance for you to try everything that’s ever made you curious
Everyone has things they’re curious about trying.
“If you feel like there’s something out there that you’re supposed to be doing, if you have a passion for it, then stop wishing and just do it.”
— Wanda Sykes
I might be passionate about writing, but there are still stuff I want to try (Kung-Fu, for one).
Follow the things you’re curious about.
If you’ve always wanted to take a jewelry, painting, or dancing class, this is it. Read books on what peeks your interests, watch courses, and try everything out.
This is your chance, so don’t let it go.
Important: Stick with every new thing you try for a while
When I say you have to try something, I mean you really have to try. Stick with every new adventure for a couple of months, at least.
There will be a few things you hate right from the start — those are the ones you let go of right away. But if something isn’t that bad, keep doing it.
Go to your painting class every week for three months, six months, or a year, and if by the end, you realize you like it, but it doesn’t give you that spark, move on.
You might be lucky and stumble upon your passion with the first thing you try, but if that doesn’t happen, don’t get discouraged.
Try as many things as you can.
Find free stuff, or pay — that’s up to you and your financial situation. If there’s something you want to try but can’t afford yet, do something else for the time being while you save.
The point is that you should be taking action. This is how you’ll find your passion.
How I knew I’d found my passion
“How will I know I’ve found my passion?” you might be wondering. I have a couple of different answers.
1. Pay attention to how it makes you feel
For years, I wrote just to write, but one day, I started paying attention to how I felt.
I remember one day, while I was out with my dad at some thrift shop, my dad was looking for things to flip on eBay. I went because I didn’t feel like being home, but while I was there, I was so impatient.
I couldn’t wait to get back home to work on my fanfic. I regretted having gone because I was so excited.
“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.”
— Oprah Winfrey
I would wake up, and writing was the first thing I thought about. I would write for hours, and I enjoyed every minute. It felt amazing looking forward to something so much.
2. Can you imagine doing it for the rest of your life?
I guess the better question would be can you imagine not doing it for the rest of your life.
I can see myself writing articles, stories, and one day books. But I also can’t imagine a world where I don’t write.
Can you imagine a world where you’re not taking pictures for a living? Or writing? Dancing? Singing? Acting? Building businesses? Drawing?
If the answer is no, if you can’t live without this thing, then there’s a good chance you’ve found your passion.
Can passions change?
Your passions can end up changing. Like I said, even if you’ve found what you’re passionate about, you can still try new things.
Your journey doesn’t end when you find your passion. There’s still an entire world to explore, things to try, new books to read, and new classes to take.
People have gone from being singers, to actors, to entrepreneurs. Others go from models to business majors. Make up artists to teachers, dancers to social media marketers, fashion designers to soccer players.
The possibilities are endless.
The important thing is that you never let your curiosity end.
You can stick to your passion, give it your all, and still try new things now and then.
You can have more than one passion. One you make a living out of, and one you do as a hobby. You can make money from three different things for all I care.
There are no rules when it comes to passion.
“It’s your place in the world; it’s your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live.”
— Mae Jemison
It’s up to you to decide what you want to do and how you want to do it — just make sure you love it because life’s too short to do shit you hate.
The most important thing you can do to find your passion
In summary, follow everything that makes you curious — stick it with it if you like it or quit if you don’t — until you find your thing.
You don’t have to completely let go of something if it’s not your “ultimate” passion, but keep searching until you find the one thing you want to make a living from.