The Career Author Podcast: Episode 134 – Why You Need a Passion Project

Talking with Tara from Kobo

Why You Need a Passion Project

No matter how much you love being a career author, you will definitely need a break from the work at one time or another. It’s easy to cram writing and marketing into the few available hours you might have and it’s hard to walk away when you’re the only one managing your time.

J. and Zach have an open and honest conversation about the role of passion projects and hobbies in their lives and businesses. J. spent a year developing a new podcast that culminated in a collaboration with his son during the pandemic lockdown as well as reconnecting with an old band mate.

The Career Author Podcast is a podcast where co-authors J. Thorn and Zach Bohannon share their struggles and successes as full-time authors, advice for improving your writing craft, and honest discussions of what it takes to build a successful career as an author.

In this episode, you’ll discover:

  • The importance of filling the creative well
  • Why it’s important to get back to nature
  • What will happen if you ignore your physical health
  • How hobbies can improve mental clarity and capacity
  • Why you have to tend to your relationships
  • How hobbies can possibly be monetized
  • How you can apply what you’ve learned on passion projects to your writing or business

Also, J. discusses a coffee alternative that’ll help clear your head and defeat that caffeine addiction.

Send us your ways and hacks – https://thecareerauthor.com/waysandhacks/ 

Leave us a comment: What is your passion project or hobby?

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13 thoughts on “The Career Author Podcast: Episode 134 – Why You Need a Passion Project

  • Morning guys. I’m sure it’s a great way today but I don’t like coffee. I drink tea, you know, that stuff you lot threw into Boston Harbour. 😉
    My non-work passion project is learning to play the guitar. Don’t think there’s any danger of me getting up on a stage but I’d like to try and write some old-style Blues songs – I can just about strum the 12 bar blues.
    My work passion project is writing. I love writing. This year I am writing in a new genre for me and next year I am writing in another new genre both of which I am excited about.
    Your passion project J sounds amazing and I am looking forward to listen to it but is there a problem with having a passion project?
    What is the opportunity cost? If one puts so much time, effort, creativity and passion into a project, is there any left for the day job? Has writing become the day job? How could our outcomes improve if we could put that much time, effort, creativity and passion into our writing?
    I’m not asking for answers but these are uncomfortable questions that crawled through the dark recesses in my mind and made themselves known to me.
    Brings to mind the saying; “Find something you love to do and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.”
    Great show.

    • Thanks! Sounds like a jam session might be in order the next time we see each other 😉

      Like anything, a passion project should be conducted reasonably so that it doesn’t create an opportunity cost. Once can overdose on water if you drink enough.

      • Yes, I thought that about jamming before. I mean, King plays with the Remainders, right? Every one of The Career Author events should include music and some playing! Creativity explodes with music. Most authors I’ve been interviewing for the podcast play something. Yes yes yes – let’s include playing (if possible to bring instruments).

  • High in the 90’s…that’s cute. It’s supposed to be 114 here this weekend. :O

    J, I am TOTALLY going to listen to the Consequences of Rock podcast! That is right up my alley. Plus, it will be nice to listen to a podcast that has nothing to do with being an author. I homeschooled my son until he was fourteen, and when he was eleven we spent a few months studying the history of rock. It was so much fun! I started with guys like Big Joe Turner and we worked our way up until what was current at the time. We watched a series of videos that I think were done by Time Life (remember those?). They were great. I got tons of CD’s at the library so we could listen to bands whose work I didn’t have. We learned a few songs on the guitar and bass. We watched youtube videos. And we had some really great conversations. We had a blast. Eleven years later, we still have great conversations about music.

    Passion projects…I don’t really have one right now, which makes me sad. I’m not even able to do my hobbies the way I’d like. Because of COVID, I can’t do aikido and I can’t go to my dance classes. The one thing I love to do that gets dropped all the time is drumming, and I have a drum kit sitting behind me! I’d like to get back into it. Drumming is such a great stress release.

    • Kim – I think that’s great what you did with your son and learning rock! I wish more schools would realize the benefits of learning in depth like that. The high school my kids went to is trying to be more like that, but they keep getting resistance. It’s a whole big thing, but mostly because of small minded people that send their kids there.
      Anyway – I have been wanting to get back into my martial arts (Kuk Sool Won), but then COVID – I feel ya’ on the Akido.
      For the drumming -have you tried rock band? It’s not quite as good as really playing, but it can get the itch out especially when playing with others. And again, J, here is another musician…..

  • This was well timed gentlemen!

    I’ve fallen into the trap of thinking everything I do should have an ROI on money and time.

    I love my writing. But when it started to contribute significantly to the family budget, it very much became a part-time job.

    I also love animal tracking, hunting, and naturalist skills, but I put pressure on myself to justify the time spent there by putting meat in the freezer, and my new book series features a tracker protagonist.

    After a 15 year hiatus, I started tentatively playing guitar again. I tried to justify it that my hands need the exercises to stave off carpal tunnel, but truth is, even though I’m not very good, I enjoy it.

    Nobody is ever going to pay me to play guitar, although they might pay me to quit. As a result, I’ve always resisted putting time and money into the hobby. I own decent-ish guitars, but I’ve always skimped on a good amp.

    Now I have the money, and I live on rural acreage with no close neighbors. I’m gonna buy that Marshall I’ve always wanted…

  • Hello, just listened to my first episode for your podcast and the Passion Project was an interesting topic. It really made me think about the things I write about and why as well as the different types of things I’m interested in learning about but I probably won’t get paid from. But it also let me know not to make myself feel bad or guilty about having a passion project or two. I think it provides balance to be able to take a break from the content that you want to make money from. Thanks for this discussion.

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