Monday, April 16, 2012

Find your calling...on the couch

I was watching Stephen Fry Live at the Opera House the other night and he was saying that writing - using words - was what he was 'meant' to do with his life. He said it was the lucky few who have always known their calling and he counted himself as one of them.

So I was thinking to myself, if you didn't know what you wanted to do, how could you figure it out?

I think it's as simple as looking at what you do when you're sitting on the couch! Sounds nuts? Well, here's my theory: there are things each of us are drawn to and usually it's what we choose to do when we're winding down or trying to relax. Often, because they're so enjoyable, we don't think of them as potential sources of 'work'. Okay, I admit this 'couch' theory only works for sedentary kinds of interests, but I think you're smelling what I'm cooking here, right?

These are the kinds of questions that clearly reveal to me my own interests:

- How do you spend your downtime? (For me, it's reading, drawing, blogging and, um, social media loitering.)

- What do you spend your spare time reading? (I love doing the blog rounds, newspapers on the weekend - the arts sections and the magazine supplements, particularly the profiles, interviews and features - and in terms of books, I like biographies, 'how-to' books and books on art and illustration, design and creativity).

- What kind of shops do you love to linger in? (I literally can't walk passed a bookshop without going in, I also love stationery stores - the beautiful, boutique kind but Officeworks will also do - and art supplies stores, of course!)

- If time, money, family commitments, mortgage repayments or what other people might think of you didn't come into it, what would you spend your time doing? (My answer? Writing, reading, making art and teaching others in my interest areas).

My answers point in a few different - but related - directions. But I think there's a bit of a pattern there.

Of course, deciding on what to do and making a living from it are two different things! But it helps to be going in some sort of direction I feel...

Would love to know other people's answers to these questions too!