Written by Karen D. Swim
William “Paul” Young is a writer and now thanks to viral word of marketing, and a little help from a friend he is a published best selling author. Young’s story is told in the February edition of Writer’s Digest and is aptly titled Cinderella Story. How many aspiring artists dream of doing what they love and being wildly successful at it?
Young calls himself an “accidental writer.” He views writing as an expression and never pursued it as profession. He gave his work to friends and family as gits. One gift, The Shack, launched his accidental publishing career, selling 3.8 million copies. He did not toil for years, query publishers and agents, and suffer rejection. No, Young simply wrote because he loved it and one of his books just happened to take off.
The “accidental writer” may or may not pen another novel. He is not under contract and doesn’t feel the pressure to produce another blockbuster. He will always write because he loves it.
Young’s story reads like a dream come true, and on the surface seems to lend credence to the modern day mantra of pursuing passion as profession. Entire industries have sprung up teaching people how to pursue and profit from their passion. But is that always the best course?
For many, when passion becomes a job complete with deadlines, loss of creative control and administrative duties it quickly turns from dream to nightmare.
“I am so over puppies running through fields of daisies,” he proclaimed as his lip turned slightly upward. I examined his face closely unable to pinpoint his age. There was a hardened wisdom that seemed out of sync with his generational references. An accomplished photographer who was “living the dream” was long over the youthful love affair of “art as job.”
Mike the photographer has a new dream of creating a business that frees him from art as job. Young was blessed with the gift of money for art but not beholden to it as “job.”
Can we merge passion and profit and maintain the balance?