Defending My Dreams

It has been a dream of mine since I was young to be a writer and to own my own business. Since I have a good amount of savings, a minimum of expenses, and some income already established I am currently going to pursue that dream. I plan to make my living from my blog and other writing. When I tell people that I intend to make my living from my online endeavors I’m generally met with a negative reaction. I’m not entirely sure why this is.

There are some who are skeptical that I can actually make enough money to support myself. It is yet to be seen whether I can actually do so but I have plenty of money to pay my expenses while I’m trying to establish myself. Since I’m paying my own bills and I’m not responsible for anybody else I don’t see that it is anyone’s concern if I want to spend some time establishing myself as a blogger/writer.

The more common criticism is that I need to be working. And by working they mean I need to have a job. It seems to many that if you don’t have a job then you are not doing anything productive. This isn’t true. Lots of work doesn’t involve having a job and you can be plenty productive outside a job as well. If I am going to be successful at this I will need to do lots of work. Some feel that time not spent at a job is wasted time. Is writing a blog post that I don’t get (directly) paid for a waste of time? Is it being productive? I don’t think it is a waste of time and I think that I’m being productive. Those who think I should get a job probably think the opposite.

I’m not letting this criticism stop me. My feeling is that most people would love to pursue their dreams if they had the opportunity but are afraid to take a chance. I may not succeed but I will not regret trying.

15 thoughts on “Defending My Dreams”

  1. The “you should be working” criticism is what I often face when I tell people I plan to retire by 35. It doesn’t seem like something that should warrant criticism.

  2. I think people are projecting on you Andy.They only see the get a job,get married,buy a house, have kids path.They don’t realize that isn’t the only way to live a life.I don’t know how much you make writing but I only read a handful of blogs and this is one of them because you write well.You make something I like so I would label that productive.

  3. You go for it, Andy, and don’t worry about what other people say or think. If you have a flair for writing then you owe it to yourself (and to your potential readers) to pursue your interest in that area.

    I’m a writer, and despite the downturn there’s still plenty of money to be made in the industry if you have a way with words. Yes, it will be scary when you start, but you’ll continue to build your following here on the blog, and you’ll pick up more and more freelance work elsewhere, if that’s what you want.

    Too many people spend their lives wishing they could do something other than what they are doing, but are too afraid of it not working out, or what other people might think about what they are doing to actually follow their dream until it’s too late.

    Paulo Coelho had something quite important to say about this. This quote of his has become a bit of a mantra of mine.

  4. Hi Andy,

    You are very correct in pointing out that lots of work doesn’t involve getting a job. In fact, people like Jeremy Rifkin, the author of The End of Work, people that more and more people will not have traditional jobs.

    With new technologies, automation, low cost overseas workers and a general over-supply of every imaginable good, less people will have traditional jobs in the future.

    And why should we get a “job” if we don’t have to? Too many people equate “employment” with productivity. Rifkin anticipates that volunteer work will take an ever increasing role in our lives as government and business fail to meet the needs of society.

    I feel that life should be spent doing meaningful work that brings value to others. That could be teaching impoverished children, volunteering at a homeless shelter or writing a blog. Do what makes you happy and forget what others think or say because they don’t matter anyway.

  5. Actually If you view blogging as a business, then I wouldn’t consider quiting my job until my business income covers my expenses by a factor of 1.5 times.
    Other than that, hoping that you would make money without the tangible results of making enough money online or from interest/dividends/rent/royalties is dangerous.

  6. I think their skepticism and negativity is based on two key factors: their lack of information and you going against the herd.

    When you look back in history, any person who enacted new ideas or strayed away from what everyone else was doing was met with criticism (or worse).

    If it’s what you want to do, then more power to you and let their clueless attitude fuel your motivation.

  7. Well, you know you can always find great motivation/inspiration from Jacob at ERE…. you’re right, most people want to see everyone “working”, but there are many forms of work that aren’t recognized: intellectual labor, for one, and domestic labor (by much of the larger society). There are many kinds of work. And yes, Matt_SF says it right, whenever anyone sticks out from the herd, they’re the first to get attacked or mocked (which explains the humor behind the vegan/carnivore funny photo going around). Keep up the good work though! And remember that the traditional “job” is on its way out, anyway….

  8. who says you have to be productive, so long as you pay your own way?

    are they envious, or scared that you may find a better way?

  9. Tyler – I know how you feel. It isn’t like you’re just going to be lying around on a beach sipping on a margarita after you retire. Not that there is anything wrong with that. You will probably still be doing something it just won’t be a job.

    Tom – It can be difficult to live a different life. I’ve tried to conform somewhat but this leads to me not living the life I want and still not being what society expects. Kind of the worst of both worlds. If I live my life my way at least I’ll be happy. Thanks for the comment on my writing. I feel that my writing isn’t that great and can use a lot of improvement so any compliments are appreciated.

    Nik – I like the story you quote. I’d like to contact you for some information about the freelance work if that is okay.

    Siouxsan – Thanks for the encouragement.

    John – Good points and thanks for the encouragement.

    Bloggingbanks – I don’t currently have a job so it isn’t like I’m quitting a good job to pursue this. I have about two years living expenses in savings based on my projected expenses. If my income were to just continue at its current level it would be over five years before I would be getting close to depleting my savings. I don’t need to increase my earnings by much to exceed my expenses. I am taking a risk by not getting a job but in my opinion it is a small risk.

    Matt – Thanks.

    MoneyEnergy – ERE is one of several sources of inspiration for me. Thanks for the encouragement.

  10. Dude, you are truly awesome. PURSUE YOUR DREAM!!!

    You’ve got a law degree- ever think of being a writer that specializes in whatever law you specialize in? They make a $$$ of money if they can find the right opportunities.

    Keep your blog awesome!

  11. In the real world you’re expected to have a job and many people have a hard time dealing with those who chose to live outside their expectations. The easiest solution for this is to simply tell them that you are a freelance writer. When they ask how much you make just tell them that you make enough to live comfortably.

  12. I do believe that when someone knocks you down its because of their own insecurities. Maybe the ones that knock you down are the ones that long for a dream but are so beaten down that they envy you and your drive. I wish you all the best and I know that you will prevail.


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