Do what you love.

Poster by BluLima

I saw Stephanie Klein a couple of weeks ago at Book Passage in the Ferry Building. She's pretty much blog-royalty, and it was wonderful seeing her in person and hearing her talk about and read from her new memoir, Moose.

At one point in the presentation, someone asked how she got started in blogging and memoir writing. She explained that one day she decided to take all of the energy that she was putting into outside things and turn it inward. This was an active, deliberate choice. She started writing. And she got lost in it. She explained that it was a while later when she was approached for a book deal and exciting things ensued. Her advice was for us to do what we love and let the success follow.

Such good advice, right? And so simple, easy. But, how many of us are actually doing what we love? In jobs, in life, in everything?  And, how many of us are actually making a living by doing things we are passionate about? 

Sometimes it's so hard to follow such simple advice when we're stuck in ruts. The voices start in:

How am I supposed to do what I love when I barely have the energy to go to work, come home and cook dinner? How many people actually do what they love for a living and make money? That's not realistic. I have to put food on the table. I can't just go out and do what I love all day.

It's so hard to not listen to those voices. It's so hard to fight for the energy to do what you love. To find the time to work on those projects you can lose yourself in. The ones that when you work on them, time seems to just slip away. It's so hard to think that you, that I, deserve better than what we have. That we deserve to spend our time doing things that bring us joy. That we all deserve to have a job that we can lose ourselves in, instead of sitting at a desk watching a clock.

Sitting in the folding chair in a small bookstore, watching such a talented, successful, super-together writer telling people to "do what you love," I felt so inspired.  For a bit, because sometimes it's hardto listen to those talented, successful, super-together people give you advice like that. Because we look at those people through the eyes of our own insecurities and think, "But she's got so much more talent than I do... But she's a better writer that I am...But things just fell together for her." And we start to doubt, or at least I do.

So, today, instead of doubting, I choose to be inspired. I choose to take away all that I can from this experience and make the most of the wonderful advice I received from a successful writer. I choose to be inspired by her honesty and wit and attempt to bring that to my own writing. And, I choose to make an active, deliberate choice about what happens in my own life and not wait for others to make that choice for me. I will trust that I know what's right for myself.

Thank you, Stephanie Klein, for inspiring me. Thank you for sharing your struggles and successes with the world so that we know we aren't alone. Thank you for helping me believe that one day I can take my job and love it.