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Thread summary:

Full time writer doing heartís work and getting paid for it, seeking discussion with others who also do what they love and get paid for it

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Old 07-02-2008, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic east coast
5,372 posts, read 9,880,794 times
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For some of us, work equals something we do for pay and are not happy with the work itself--it's a means to an end (survival/bill paying). Is it any wonder we cannot wait to leave this work?

For others, work can be doing one's heart work and it's not work, really, though we might earn money from it..from this work we may never want to retire. Imagine if we were able to combine our favorite hobby or past-time with our livelihood, and it was our heart work.

For me, I am now doing my heart work (writing/journalism) and it does not seem like work at all. I feel so fortunate that editors give me magazine and book projects in return for my joy of research, interviewing and writing. I write about topics that are interesting and meaningful to me...sure sometimes, the deadlines loom and I have to scramble to meet them, but I try not to take on more work than I can do with grace and leaving time for being in nature (which is necessary for my peace of mind and contentment).

Retire from this? No, perhaps not ever, though I may cut back as time marches on and my mind needs more repose or more time in nature....

It was not always so with me--there were earlier times when I lived by the alarm clock and commutes and cubicle life --I "retired" or retreated from that work which was out of step with my values...now it's pretty much joy. May it be the same for you.

It helps that I've also moved from wanting always more to wanting less: living simply. This created the space to develop my full-time writing work.

Is anyone doing or going toward their heart's work?

Hugs,

Little Dolphin,
your scribe
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Old 07-02-2008, 01:29 PM
 
Location: Oriental, NC
917 posts, read 2,093,445 times
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How wonderful for you! As for me I do some of each. The "regular" job is a weekly paycheck and is okay though not great. Then I also have a small pet sitting business and I raise Bichons (fluffy little white dogs) Now If I ever win the lottery I can really do my hearts work...Buy land and have a no-kill animal shelter built! You live sort of near me I think so if that happens you will read about it in the paper!
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Old 07-03-2008, 01:46 PM
 
Location: Ireland
650 posts, read 1,111,605 times
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LittleDolphin, I write too! And finally making a living from it, happily. No, I'll probably never retire from it.

My husband works a 9-5 job he hates, and won't leave it tho' I've begged him to. I'm finally at a point this year where I can support the family, but nooOOOooo.... doin' the big manly thing and working a job he hates (I think it's because he knows he'll be busier at home if he quit LOL)

I did jobs I hated, when I was younger. I found it soul-destroying. But DH doesn't seem to mind it. Everyone's different.... well, I think you and I are the lucky ones!!
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Old 07-04-2008, 12:24 AM
GLS
 
1,985 posts, read 4,851,717 times
Reputation: 2408
Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleDolphin View Post

For some of us, work equals something we do for pay and are not happy with the work itself--it's a means to an end (survival/bill paying). Is it any wonder we cannot wait to leave this work?

For others, work can be doing one's heart work and it's not work, really, though we might earn money from it..from this work we may never want to retire. Imagine if we were able to combine our favorite hobby or past-time with our livelihood, and it was our heart work.

For me, I am now doing my heart work (writing/journalism) and it does not seem like work at all. I feel so fortunate that editors give me magazine and book projects in return for my joy of research, interviewing and writing. I write about topics that are interesting and meaningful to me...sure sometimes, the deadlines loom and I have to scramble to meet them, but I try not to take on more work than I can do with grace and leaving time for being in nature (which is necessary for my peace of mind and contentment).

Retire from this? No, perhaps not ever, though I may cut back as time marches on and my mind needs more repose or more time in nature....

It was not always so with me--there were earlier times when I lived by the alarm clock and commutes and cubicle life --I "retired" or retreated from that work which was out of step with my values...now it's pretty much joy. May it be the same for you.

It helps that I've also moved from wanting always more to wanting less: living simply. This created the space to develop my full-time writing work.

Is anyone doing or going toward their heart's work?

Hugs,

Little Dolphin,
your scribe
Like you I am doing my "heart's work" in healthcare. However, although I enjoy the clinical aspect, I find myself frustrated and stressed by the politics and red tape of the Healthcare system. Unfortunately, I am still working on the transition from "always wanting more to wanting less".
maybe if reincarnation is true, I will come back as you in my next life.
I wish you well.
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Old 07-04-2008, 02:21 PM
 
Location: Fresno, CA
1,071 posts, read 1,060,397 times
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Originally Posted by GLS View Post
I enjoy the clinical aspect, I find myself frustrated and stressed by the politics and red tape of the Healthcare system.
I worked 30 years in mental health where the politics/red tape/stress along with the demands of the work itself left me exhausted and drained. I seldom felt truly rested or relaxed. Hanging in there did provide me with a reasonably good salary and finally the opportunity for a reduced, modest early retirement at 55. I jumped at that and have not regretted it.

Inside there has always been a longing to be creative. I got good feedback on my writing when I was younger and dreamt of a retirement filled with travel, writing, painting classes and woodcarving. Ahhh!

Life, however, had other plans for me as my mom was beginning to have obvious signs of dementia and now needs a full-time caretaker. That would be me. This has been a great blessing in so many ways I didn't expect. However, the flip side is there is just no denying how very difficult, draining and constraining it often be.

I still feel the desire to be creative but don't feel the inspiration I used to have. A once per month readers/writers meeting gets me stoked but that energy doesn't stay. Hearing other published writers talk of their ups and downs getting published paints a daunting picture.

I admire those of you who have followed your aspiration as writers or any good calling that brings you joy.

My respite is a part-time afternoon independent contractor job installing emergency assistance equipment for senior citizens. My brother (Bless him!) stays with mom after he gets home from work. I genuinely enjoy my job most of the time. This and weekly dinner with friends helps keep me positive (and sometimes sane ).

That strong yen for freedom, creativity and travel remains. Though in overall good health, it's difficult not to see my best retirement years waning while I run in place. Still, I count those blessings everyday 'cause there are bunches of them.
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Old 07-04-2008, 02:50 PM
 
Location: DC Area, for now
3,517 posts, read 12,063,187 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mollyblythe View Post
I still feel the desire to be creative but don't feel the inspiration I used to have. A once per month readers/writers meeting gets me stoked but that energy doesn't stay. Hearing other published writers talk of their ups and downs getting published paints a daunting picture.
You can still write. Being published is not a requirement to follow your muse. Some very great writers were not published during their lifetimes. And then there is always self publishing on the internet.

I don't really regret the compromises I made to have a career - it will let me retire with some measure of security. For those who were successful at blending the ability to put food on the table with their heart job, more power to them. Unfortunately, the world also requires a lot of labor that is more drudgery than fun. I'm just glad I have an end point to it.
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Old 07-07-2008, 11:30 AM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic east coast
5,372 posts, read 9,880,794 times
Reputation: 10246
I agree, you don't have to be published to be a fine writer. My writing group has several excellent poets, a writer of non-fiction who is very good, and others whose work is wonderful--most of these good writers have seen print...some because it's not their goal, and others haven't found the right market yet...but for the most part, they derive income from others sources and writing is a passion/hobby but not necessarily an income generator...

For me, I'm an idiot-savant type--all I've ever wanted to to do since a child was to write for a living..now, finally, I am, and it's my livelihood as well as my passion. I've invested quite a bit of time and money in classes and books to learn how to sell my work to magazines and Web sites, and it's paying off.

To succeed in this business, I try to deliver more than the editors expect and they (some) reward this diligence with subsequent assignments when they find out they can count on me for solid research and on-time delivery of articles that speak to their readers' needs.

Professional writing: It's a craft, it's a business, and sometimes, when I get really lucky--it's highly creative. It's always interesting, though--putting together research, interviews, data and narrative to be lively and interesting is a challenge that uses left and right brain parts..

Okay, I'll get down off my writer's soapbox...but just wanted to encourage those who want to earn a living from writing--it's doable, but like any other professional career, it takes education, practice and starting at the bottom and working your way up. Failure to meet a deadline or going way over contracted word count is poison to editors...on-time or even early delivery earns your reputation.
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Old 07-07-2008, 02:23 PM
 
Location: Fresno, CA
1,071 posts, read 1,060,397 times
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Right you are, Tesaje!

It's always great to hear from those who are living the dream they've aspired to like you Little Dolphin and LilyLaLa. And who are enjoying themselves once they've reached that point.
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Old 07-08-2008, 07:29 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic east coast
5,372 posts, read 9,880,794 times
Reputation: 10246
Living simply...ah, the agony and ecstasy. The wanting less aspect of my life is newly come to me...there was a time when I lusted after more and bigger. Then I read a book called "Your Money or Your Life" and it threw a switch in me that changed my outlook on
my untamed consumerism...

There's so little I actually need--but of course, like most everyone else, I have an endless list of wants...it's kind of amusing now, the way it works in my mind--I ask, "Do you need that gizmo, gadget, apparel, lipstick, appliance, car, granite counter tops to support life??--or is it another one of those "wants."

For example, since I have a car that runs and is paid for, do I "need" another fancier car with car payments--or do I merely want it to prove/show the world that I'm successful and a person of worth? Do I "deserve" that pricey car? Not really--I already have one--what I really deserve is some time to be still, time to be in nature. Maybe even some time to volunteer in my community to give my life some meaning and to help in this place I call home.

If I give in to my wants, I'll have to work hard(er) to make the payments, pay the credit card bill.... Would I rather have the time to write a poem or an article or a letter to a friend or work on the community newsletter? Or take the dog and myself for a walk?

It all comes down to choices, doesn't it? How we choose to spend our life's blood, our time--shall it be for more "stuff" or shall it be for personal fulfillment, joy and laughter?

Does that make any sense?

Finally it did for me. For others, your mileage may vary...

I'm no saint, believe me...and yes, I still buy things that add to my joy of living. Just today I ordered a book on line that I just had to have...but I bought it used and only after I checked to see that it wasn't available at the library. It cost a lot less than a new car, yet made me very happy. And it doesn't require any expensive fill-ups...

Wishing everyone simple pleasures of your heart's desire.

Thanks for listening,

Hugs,

Little Dolphin,
your scribe
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Old 07-08-2008, 11:48 PM
GLS
 
1,985 posts, read 4,851,717 times
Reputation: 2408
Quote:
Originally Posted by mollyblythe View Post
I worked 30 years in mental health where the politics/red tape/stress along with the demands of the work itself left me exhausted and drained. I seldom felt truly rested or relaxed. Hanging in there did provide me with a reasonably good salary and finally the opportunity for a reduced, modest early retirement at 55. I jumped at that and have not regretted it.

Inside there has always been a longing to be creative. I got good feedback on my writing when I was younger and dreamt of a retirement filled with travel, writing, painting classes and woodcarving. Ahhh!

Life, however, had other plans for me as my mom was beginning to have obvious signs of dementia and now needs a full-time caretaker. That would be me. This has been a great blessing in so many ways I didn't expect. However, the flip side is there is just no denying how very difficult, draining and constraining it often be.

I still feel the desire to be creative but don't feel the inspiration I used to have. A once per month readers/writers meeting gets me stoked but that energy doesn't stay. Hearing other published writers talk of their ups and downs getting published paints a daunting picture.

I admire those of you who have followed your aspiration as writers or any good calling that brings you joy.

My respite is a part-time afternoon independent contractor job installing emergency assistance equipment for senior citizens. My brother (Bless him!) stays with mom after he gets home from work. I genuinely enjoy my job most of the time. This and weekly dinner with friends helps keep me positive (and sometimes sane ).

That strong yen for freedom, creativity and travel remains. Though in overall good health, it's difficult not to see my best retirement years waning while I run in place. Still, I count those blessings everyday 'cause there are bunches of them.
You have my empathy since my practice over the past few years has been in Mental Health. Monday I was at a respiratory transitional care unit where half of my patients are in a persistent vegetative state. Today I was consulting at a locked DD/MD state facility. Tomorrow I will be at county mental health trying to coordinate the prescribing patterns of eleven psychiatrists, which is akin to herding cats.

While Life has dealt you a setback, you still come across as creative and with a good plan. As you know, those few outside activities you are able to work in are essential to your health. In addition, from your expertise you know that in order to be a great caregiver, you have to take care of yourself. While you are working hard to enhance your mother's quality of life, keep up your respite care efforts to maintain yours. Who knows, maybe that passion and energy to become a writer may be reborn. Good luck.
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