All work and no play? Here's how to distinguish your work from your hobbies

Written by Katie Heyes, 20.

Find what you love to do and you’ll never work a day in your life. It’s an old saying which makes the prospect of earning a living suddenly seem not so daunting. Turning your passion – that thing that motivates you to get up in the morning - into a career sounds like a recipe for success, right? But can you keep the fire burning for your hobby when it becomes your 9-5? Or will you start to hate the thing you once loved?

Sadly, it’s not uncommon for people to succumb to those Monday blues. Last year’s survey, commissioned by SME loans, revealed that a third of the British workforce have little to no enthusiasm in their current job. Tedious tasks such as getting through to a rowdy class of Year 8s, sending emails and reaching deadlines can become so much more arduous, stressful and frustrating. In the end, it feels like you’re giving 100% with very little sense of reward.

So what do we do to alleviate that stress? Well, hop on down to Hobby Hub of course!

Whether that’s doing a bit of cross stitch or experimenting with some polymer clay, hobbies can hold a special place in everyone’s heart. Not only do they calm us in moments of stress or when we’re low, but they also let us find our unique interests and build specific skill sets. And thanks to the ever increasing popularity of apps such as YouTube and TikTok, it is now so much easier to generate a larger following of subscribers and followers. All of which help increase traffic, potentially revenue and thus help to monetise your passion. So yes, some lucky humans out there can even build a business out of their hobbies!

However, whilst pursuing your hobby as a career seems like an idyllic scenario in theory, the reality is that making a living is more complicated than just following your heart. Acquiring a sustainable income can be a long process which requires patience and full-time commitment. Thus, the pressure of budget setting and meeting regular short and long-term deadlines can sadly affect how we see our passions. Without the involvement of economic practicalities, hobbies may just be considered personal activities existing simply for some sense of catharsis.

Yet, by having to set yourself a strict schedule, budget and regularly meeting the demands of other people, there’s always the chance of losing enjoyment out of doing the thing you once loved. Adding the financial and business aspects can change the vibe of your favourite activities completely. You need to start taking them so much more seriously compared to when they were just light-hearted activities used in order to wind down after a busy day.

So it appears that we’ve got a mixed bag on our hands. The classical juxtaposition between comforting hobbies and demanding mundane jobs is turned completely on its head when you consider pursuing your favourite pastime as a career. There’s always a chance of you losing that previous love for your hobby as you’ve come to associate work as a tedious yet mandatory task.

Well, as long as there’s a balance, why not? There are countless enjoyable activities out there to try out; you don’t have to just stick to the one you chose to earn money from. Stick to the hobby you’re most passionate about and you’ll be feeling more motivated to get started on this project or that commission. But if the work does pile up, and you feel that passion starting to slip, make sure you have another enjoyable self-soothing hobby to fall back on. For example, if you’ve just finished a new canvas painting ready to be posted tomorrow, why not celebrate by baking a cake or starting a new book in the evening? Always having something you can fall back on creates a healthy balance between completing necessary work and indulging in a leisurely end of the day. Remember hobbies are integral - not to please other people or meet this or that deadline – but to comfort you and you alone.

This contribution was written by Katie Heyes, 20. Visit her profile here to find out more about the voice behind the words.