What Are Creative Passion Projects And Why You Need To Start One Out Of Your 9-5.
Creative passions, passion projects, side projects, hobbies, whatever it's called these days, is a leisure activity you take on during your free time to pursue something you are passionate about that brings pleasure, relaxation and enjoyment.
As adults, I think sometimes we forget to take time off.
We have so many responsibilities. We focus on our jobs. Then, we come home and focus on the tasks at home, our chores, our children and, for some, even caring for our parents. More often than not, we go back to getting some work done before we call it a day.
The cycle continues, and we forget to focus on ourselves. Instead, we push back to doing the things we really want to do for ourselves that bring us joy.
For many years, I gave myself the same excuse. I would tell myself that one day I would take time to do something for myself that I really love. I have a long bucket list, like learning a new language, travelling the world, picking up sewing, or learning to play the guitar just for fun.
We all have these lists.
This bucket list will sometimes pop up in our minds out of the blue. We often tell ourselves, maybe later, when we have more time or money or when the kids are older. You know what I'm talking about.
We shouldn't wait to start a creative side project that we have always wanted to pursue outside our work scope.
Why I Started Exploring Creative Passion Projects.
A couple of years ago, I struggled with a career slump, going through burnout, stress, and feeling stuck with my work.
I've always loved exploring creative projects, but it wasn't until I was experiencing challenges at work did I decide to pursue a creative project more seriously and consistently. I came across an article that recommended picking up a hobby to calm your mind and help overcome burnout and stress. So, I gave it a go and took up crocheting (not the coolest project I know, but hey, I'm now a proud owner of a couple of funky scarfs).
I was constantly worried about work, even after work hours. Picking up a new hobby and learning a new skill provided the distraction I needed to help me relax from the daily stresses at work.
Sadly, you will no longer see me crocheting another scarf anytime soon. I have explored many different hobbies since and realized that online writing is what I love doing in my free time, thus, the creation of this website.
How Creative Passion Projects Changed My Life.
A number of research have been conducted that outline the benefits of hobbies and creative pursuits and how they can improve general well-being.
I spend at least half an hour almost every day of the week on a hobby. I blog, read and spend time on creative journaling. I have experienced first-hand the positive impact of pursuing creative projects:
#1: I feel more accomplished.
Work can be daunting.
There are many challenges, and in achieving work goals, you can rarely achieve something without the help of others. Then there are external factors like budgets, operations and other organizational processes that can create setbacks and become stumbling blocks.
Pursuing creative pursuits has allowed me to accomplish projects on my terms.
I don't need to wait for anyone. I don't need to get approval. There is no red tape. Instead, I set out goals that are simpler to achieve yet provide deep satisfaction upon completion.
For example, when I publish a blog post, there is a sense of achievement and pride that I got it done. I may not be the best blogger on earth, but I did it; I blogged.
#2: I am less stressed.
Before I took up hobbies, I would stress about work even after office hours.
The process of reading, researching and drafting an essay keeps my mind off work and provides the rest I need from overthinking about work deadlines and issues. Writing online helps me refocus my attention and helps me relax.
I believe it has also helped me manage my stress levels better, and am able to manage challenges much better.
#3: I've made new friends from all over the world.
Since I re-discovered my passion for writing online, I have been taking online courses.
Through these courses, I have made new friends. People who share the same passions as I do. There is nothing more wonderful than connecting with people with the same interests as you. I meet people from all walks of life, from different backgrounds and industries.
In the process, I've learned new things from my newfound friends.
#4: I consistently learn something new.
Writing online has allowed me to explore and share my learnings with others.
Learning new things makes life interesting. The more you learn, you realize there is more knowledge out there to gain. I am also more grateful because there is so much more to look forward to, new things to learn, do and explore.
#5: My career no longer defines me.
I have been a marketing communications professional for over twenty years.
I love what I do as a marketer. Creating and implementing marketing strategies to resolve a business problem still excites me. Exploring creative projects is not just a leisurely activity that helps with stress management; it is also a reminder that I have many passions and interests in life.
I am embracing the different facets and interests in my life and no longer define myself only by my career.