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From Avocation to Vocation · 15 June 2019



Most of us have hobbies. We dabble in this or that. Art, music, poetry, writing. Some of us even hope to someday that those avocations turn into vocations. But it does not really matter in the end. We do our hobbies, because we love them. Whether or not we ever get paid.


I remember when I first started thinking I would like to write a bestseller. I was young and naïve. And undisciplined. I would just write when I thought about it. Or as I put it: when I was inspired. That worked out for poetry. Or so it seemed. I could write a poem when I was inspired. Or when there was some occasion to do so. Just like I could write a short piece of prose for the same reasons. Inspiration and occasion were great for my writing.


Or so it seemed.


As I look back, I find that I was not really that interested in being a writer when I was just writing when inspiration struck or when the occasion called for it. I was not really using a precious gift I had been given by my Creator. And my actions showed that I did not really want to write that bestseller.


The more I think about it, the more I realize that dreams are wonderful, but they must have discipline and work to make them come true. We can wish upon a star, but unless we decide that we will work in a disciplined way to make that dream come true, our wishes fall on deaf ears. And those ears are really our own. After all, neither stars nor genies in bottles make our wishes come true.


Speaking of a genie in a bottle. It is interesting that the original genie granting wishes actually took stuff from other people to make the dreams come true. Which in a way is what happens in real life too. You cannot get something for nothing. At the very least, you need to give up time to make your dreams come true. If you really want to be a writer, you need to work at being a writer. Every day.


I love those T-shirts with sayings on them that talk about working.


Every doggone day.
24/7/365.
The competition does not take a day off.


Sayings like those are supposed to inspire athletes to do their best every day. Hard work in the gym pays off on the gridiron or the court or the field or the track. You may or may not win championships with those attitudes, but you will place yourself in the best position to do so. Which is what hard work is all about. Putting yourself in position to be the best.


Even at the keyboard. Even if I am just trying to get up to mediocre.


I may never change my hobby, into a career. But I will still work at it every doggone day. Well, at least six days a week. Sure. I will still be struck by inspiration on occasion or write something for a special occasion, but those lightning strikes will be the exceptions rather than the rule. And regardless of whether I ever get paid a cent to write, I will keep doing it because I love it. After all, writing is more than a hobby to me. It is like food for my soul. Which is why I will keep writing even if my avocation never becomes my vocation.

© 2019 Michael T. Miyoshi

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