Pursuing Your Passion in the Margins

Why it's ok if your passion isn't your full time thing right now. www.annswindell.com
This is the start of my newest article for Darling Magazine.

You can read the full article here!

While we wish it were otherwise, most of us don’t have the luxury of pursuing our creative passions as a full-time job. Whether we love painting or pouring candles, writing or dancing, event planning or photography, the truth is that we don’t often make a living from those passions. Instead, we find pockets of time to shadow those desires on the weekends, the evenings, and, often, when we could be sleeping. We read articles and books about our hobbies, and spend our money on the passion we love so dearly. But we aren’t waking up every morning to head to a studio or the craft room or the keyboard. Instead, we get up and work at jobs that don’t set our hearts aflame.

Those hours in the margins are often charged with the electricity of a soul on fire. Click To Tweet

There were a lot of years where I bemoaned my lack of time to pursue my passion. I’m a writer at heart, a woman who comes alive with the tap of keys on the keyboard, a woman who could spend hours each day whittling down a paragraph until it sings with the vibrancy of power and precision. But for most of my adult life, I’ve been a writer in the margins, pulling out my laptop in the evenings or on the weekends, taking twenty minutes over lunch or an hour after work to finish an article or pen a chapter.

And for a while, I thought I was missing out. I spent my best hours, I believed, working as an administrative assistant, and later as a teacher — for ten years. I gave those “normal” work hours to jobs that I deeply valued but that didn’t necessarily hit the sweet spot of all of my dreams and passions. I supposed that because I wasn’t a full time writer — a full time creative — I wasn’t doing the beautiful, meaningful work that I could be doing if only I had the time.

I was wrong.

I can say that because, in many ways, I’m on the other side of the proverbial fence now; I work as a writer and writing coach. I’m a full-time creative — well, as full-time as I can be while also being a wife and mother, and being primarily at home with my toddler. But I’m making a living as a writer, and when I’m working at my job, it’s (mostly) in my creative sweet spot.

And I have learned that I’m not more creative because I have more time. I’m not even convinced that I’m producing “better” work because I have more hours to work in.

Having to squeeze our passions into the margins of our lives is a good, good thing. Click To Tweet

In fact, what I’m realizing now is that the necessary boundaries that most of us live in — our jobs, our responsibilities, the hours we give to mothering and laundry-folding and meal-making and grocery shopping — those boundaries are actually gifts to us, if we will receive them that way. Having to squeeze our passions into the margins of our lives is a good, good thing.

You can read the rest of the article here, at Darling Magazine!

And if you’re a writer, don’t miss out on this post!

Images via Sé Kipp


  1. Leslie Glass says:

    Thank you, Ann! This article met me exactly in the right time and place. I am grateful to have stumbled across you via Sarah Hagarty and look forward to following you more closely. I have been nudged to write more as I’ve relinquished my priorities to the Lords but without a lot of direction. I can’t wait to see where His plans lead.

  2. yes, this was exactly what i needed to hear. thank you

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