Recently, I was asked to contribute to a forthcoming book about Australian indie music covering the late Seventies onwards. I jumped at the chance to write about my first love – music – and just one aspect of how it’s influenced my life.
I worked in record stores from the mid-1980s and was a music journalist in the 1990s – with a surname like mine, I guess it’s a kind of destiny? Now, that was a purely passionate profession! I’ve often thought about getting back into it – but I’ve fallen so out of touch with the scene I didn’t know how.
Then an opportunity landed in my inbox – from a guy who’d been a regular customer at one of the record stores I worked in. He asked me to contribute 1000 words or so on my reminiscences about vinyl records (I still have all the LPs and singles I’ve collected over the years) and he loved what I submitted so much he asked me to edit some interviews he’d done for the book, to “make them interesting reading”. I suggested turning them into mini feature stories and set about doing just that. That ‘passionate profession’ approach stirred in me again. And as I started feeding the content through to my client, he started giving me some of the best feedback I’ve ever received!
This experience has made me realise a few things I think most of us can relate to:
- Having a passion – and pursuing it – is a necessity in life. I had neglected indulging in my passion for music. I used to be an active consumer – an addict, almost – buying records and CDs, seeing bands. In recent years, I’d become more passive, just listening to radio in the car, watching Rage playback on weekends… but I’ve started making more of an effort – no, commitment – to seeing live music again. And I LOVE it!
- Doing something you’re passionate about can be effortless. You can get lost in the flow of discovery/reconnection/expression and it’s such a pleasure. Getting paid for it is an added bonus.
- That passion SHOWS! It gets results! And it can spur you on to doing even better work. What seemed so easy for me to produce made such a good impression on my client. “I can’t get over how good this is,” he said in an email. I found my client’s enthusiasm and appreciation a priceless incentive.
Granted, it’s not always possible to have a passionate profession – to work on projects that stir such purpose and fire in your soul, but when an opportunity lands in your lap and you trust your instincts about it, it’s usually win-win.
How have you been able to harness your passions in your professional life?