What is a Passion Project?

While “Passion Project” has become one of those phrases that are frequently thrown around, at its heart I think of it as being something you really want to do. It is probably something you have really wanted to do for a long time, taking the idea out and looking at it longingly on vacations, then tucking it away again as you return to your usual life. Equally, it could be a skill you have perfected over many years, but done for someone else. You found clever ways of simplifying it, or making it easier to teach, and would like to continue to pass that extra knowledge on to others.

For some people their Passion Project might surprise them when it appears. People who have been working on a project in the evenings and at weekends, just waiting for the ‘right’ time for it to come out of the dark, and into the light. For example, the graphic design magazine, How, recently ran a series of stories of graphic designers whose evening projects became so profitable, they were able to give up their day jobs to pursue these projects full time.

While for many a Passion Project grows once retirement is imminent, or has already happened, I’ve also found that Passion Projects can spring up unexpectedly. After discovering that ageism was rampant in the workforce, I started to blog about the areas of my life where I felt people over 40 were better able to perform. Week after week I posted on topics that intrigued and interested me, and when I ran to a natural stopping point with the idea, I wondered what to do with all my writing. I stumbled upon a webinar that encouraged people to self-publish, so with nothing to lose and a copy of InDesign on my laptop, I set about editing and arranging my posts, then published the book and the Kindle version of it. I’d always harbored a desire to write a book, and suddenly I found that I had done so!

There is also a lot of psychodrama about finding your “Passion” which makes it seem much more complicated than it needs to be. If there is something you are itching to get to work on, that is your passion. It may be a love of gardening or photography, and you are happy to do it as much as you can around your job, and that it is simply a process that brings you pleasure. I’m sure many generations have survived on having a hobby, but “Passion Project” sounds much more exotic!