I’ve been saving money bit by bit to buy a new camera. You know, a fancy camera – a DSLR – because I love to take pictures. In fact, I spend a lot of time taking pictures, mostly in my own backyard and neighborhood. Taking pictures helps me slow down and focus on God’s intricate handiwork. Peering through the viewfinder, I spot beauty I would ordinarily brush by in a flurry of haste and multi-tasking.
So why then did I take the money I’d saved for a camera, money given to me by my parents and sister this past July for my birthday plus some I’d saved on my own, and spend it on a pair of boots? [super cute boots, but boots, not a camera, nonetheless]
It wasn’t a rash decision, believe me. Over the last month or so I realized that I can’t pursue my love of photography and my dream of becoming a published writer. And I can’t do both (or at least do both well), because both require a lot of time and dedication.
The truth is, to do both means that one will suffer. And I know myself well: I know I would snap pictures to procrastinate writing.
This isn’t to say I won’t ever take another photograph. I’ll continue to take photos in my backyard with my perfectly good point-and-shoot camera. But I won’t spend hours and hours reviewing a complicated manual and learning every facet of a sophisticated DSLR camera. And I won’t diminish writing time by pursuing photography.
Sometimes pursuing a passion requires tough decisions. I’ve made more than one lately. In addition to the camera decision, I also resigned from a freelance writing job. Over the last year I wrote devotionals for Tandem, which is a part of Back to the Bible, an organization based here in Lincoln. I loved working with my editor there, and my writing improved through the process of learning to write short pieces (350 words for this wordy girl is a challenge!). Plus I got paid – and believe me when I say I don’t get paid for many writing gigs. In fact, the money I saved from writing for Tandem paid for my conference fee and airline ticket to attend the Relevant conference at the end of this month.
But the hard truth is that writing anonymous devotionals on deadline twice a month took time away from my primary goals: building readership for this blog (and hopefully someday an audience for my book) and finding the time to begin a second book. And so after much contemplation and angst, I emailed my editor to say that I needed to step down.
I’ll be honest: part of me resents the fact that I have to make these decisions. Part of me resents that I have a day job that takes time away from my passion. I bemoan the fact that I can’t build a blog, write a book and earn money in the process, too.
But for now I tell myself that it’s all okay. I tell myself that there will be time for other pursuits later. For today, and maybe tomorrow, I am keeping my eyes focused firmly on my passion.
Have you ever had to put something on the chopping block to make room for pursuing a passion in your life?