Writing My Passion
At least in a professional sense, I have been the most successful when I’ve been writing my passion. I’ve always been passionate about sharing knowledge with others.
Back in the mid 1990s when I first became involved in doing technical support, I became passionate about a particular product: Check Point FireWall-1. This product was certainly not the first firewall, but it was one of the first ones with a half-way decent GUI. It also happened to be a product I was supporting at the time. Anyway, I got involved in the FireWall-1 community and started collecting knowledge. I started with the page someone else had set up on my employer at the time’s website. The content eventually made its way onto my own website. I maintained that content for several years and wrote two books.
Sometime during the middle of the second book, the passion was gone. It had honestly been slipping for a while, but it was clear that my passion for the product was no more. Not coincidently, my career also took a detour away from directly support customers into more “backend” endevours. I spent the better part of a year trying to do this new role. While I was doing okay, it was clear to everyone involved this was not the best position for me. There was a need for someone to support a different product–a product I had been involved with nearly from the beginning, even during this time where I had no day-to-day interaction with customers. I took the opportunity, and found some of my passion once again.
Circumstances are giving me reason to rethink a number of things. One huge issue is that I do not have a clear idea in my mind about what it is i want to do. It is difficult to bring my vision to life when I don’t know what that vision is. Today I spent some time evaluating things and I realize that to move forward, I need to be tapped into my passion. My passion involves two things: technology and helping people. My professional life has involved those two things.
This past week, the thought that I’ve had is “I would love it if someone would pay me to write my passion.” I became inspired by reading the story of Dooce, which essentially became the full-time job of the woman who started it. The ad revenue is earning enough money that both her and her husband didn’t need “real jobs” anymore. And what is the site about? As near as I can tell, just this woman’s life, but it’s very popular. She’s had an interesting iife and has an interesting attitude.
I would love to be able to just write about technology and help people make sense of it all. I’ve often thought it would be fun to write for a magazine or host a technology radio show. Blogging helps scratch the magazine itch, and well, I could easily record my own podcast and put it up. Time has been a factor there. Meanwhile, I am also trying to figure out how to monetize this passion. I need to pay the bills somehow, but I get the sense that I should not worry about the money and just do it.
I think I’ve followed this line of thought as far as I can take it this evening. More reflection is needed on this topic. Thoughts from the peanut gallery are welcome.