Writing has always been a form of therapy for me. When I was younger, whenever I felt stressed or angry or needed to let out my emotions, I would grab my laptop and write down everything I needed to in order to lighten myself – this resulted in a lot of angsty teenage posts. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realised that although writing comes to me quite naturally (obviously moaning about my problems is my forte), it isn’t something that I’m particularly good at. Studying music journalism at university taught me a lot about journalism, but it didn’t teach me much about writing. If anything, uni taught me that my style of writing is unlike any other. It also taught me that my writing isn’t easily altered (which is a shame because this means improvement is quite the challenge).
Whenever someone asks me about my writing (music and personal), I don’t know what to say. Although I am proud of all the writing that I do, and I thoroughly enjoy reading it, I don’t think that I’m a great writer. I also don’t think I have a special ability that no one else has. My “I’m a music journalist” comments are always met with “omg. That’s so cool! How do you do that?” And again, I have no clue how to reply. I pretty much go with a nervous laugh and a “yeah”.
I love writing, so I do it. I just don’t think I’m amazing at it. But that’s ok. I don’t need to be great at something in order to enjoy it.
Do you remember when we were kids and we would draw the most scribbled, awful pictures? It didn’t matter how terrible they were, or how untalented we knew we were, we would still draw. Why? Because we enjoyed it. We acted as if those terrible pictures were the greatest masterpieces of our lifetime. I wish we could all live that way again – doing things purely because we enjoy them.
You’re allowed to be bad at the things you enjoy. I can’t sing for shit. But that doesn’t stop me from belting out Death Cab’s ‘Soul Meets Body’ in the shower!
I think the problem in today’s society is that we forget that a hobby or a passion can be just that. Society believes that a passion or “side project” isn’t valid or real if it doesn’t make you money. Creative genius and badass babe Elizabeth Gilbert talks about this on many occasions (check out her book ‘Big Magic’): your passion doesn’t have to be your job or career. It doesn’t have to make you a penny. It just has to make you happy.
You might be the worst painter in the world, but if you feel happy and at peace when you pick up a paintbrush, do it. Just because you’re not Picasso, it doesn’t mean your passion isn’t legitimate.
If it makes you happy, do it.