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★ Getting paid, yo

love, over on the magnificent 5by5 podcast, back to work;

You’re not going suddenly arrive and do what you love. You get there through course correction: look back at all the ugly birdhouses and look ahead for the next step toward building a home.

One great way to start doing what you love (as a job), is to just start doing what you love and receiving payment for it! The way I’ve done that is to start this blog, then I left my job for 9 months to go traveling around the world. Right now my only job is to write interesting things on this website, for interested and interesting people to read. That’s it. Right now I get paid in page views and (very rarely) nice comments. You know, as well as I do, that I can’t feed myself with page views or comments. But for the moment that doesn’t matter, because I’m doing something that I love.

Actually, in many ways this is like being a musician, or a artist, or a (surprise) writer. You don’t become The Beatles in one week, you’ve got to spend years banging out covers and crummy pop songs until you get good enough to deserve the attention of such a wide audience. If you’re specially talented or clever, or insightful you may even create something so inspired that it reaches an audience decades or centuries later. If so, you’re so far beyond caring about money that it’s more like a search for that super-mortal existence: living on in the work you produce. But to get to that level, you’re going to need to spend a long time honing what it is that you do – banging out blog posts, rocking new crummy pop songs, learning how to stretch canvas just so. In addition to this, you’re probably going to need to figure out what other skills are needed to make it all work; who you need to know, what kind of relationship you need to forge with them, how much you’re going to need to evangelize your own work before others begin to do that for you. It’s going to take a long time, and if you’re not prepared to accept that as a reality, you might just not make it.

But that’s not what matters, actually. Because when you start doing what you love, you get to write your own definition of success.

*Disclaimer: this site is not my job, in any tangible or imagined way. It is, however one outlet for me to do what I love. The page views are very nice, though, I’m more than happy to accept your attention as payment for my efforts, and I love you all for that.


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