It really is good to have productive, professional work that you do because you’re passionate about it. And to be clear, I’m talking about work that you’re purposely being under-compensated for.
Why is that good? Well, because it’s a different kind of work. Different work means different results, and it’s good to know what your own work is like when viewed from different angles. Your ability to work is like a particular kind of machine, and it will produce different outputs with different inputs. One kind of input is “being paid to do this,” and another kind is “you want to do this enough that not being paid for it is okay.”
That’s also different than hobbies or things like that, though. I’m still talking about work. Just a different kind. Like, this blog doesn’t count – this is passion work, for sure, but this is by me and for me. I’m talking about if I was writing content like this for someone else’s website, and either not getting paid, or getting paid less than what I could command.
So… why do that? Well, because for one – it can help you discover what things you care about enough to do that. And two, it can help you command the process of discovering and utilizing that process.
You see, lots of other people want to convince you that their passion should be your passion, and thus that you should use your skills on their project because of that passion. Instead of, you know, for money. Sometimes you should! But it should be because you genuinely do have a great desire to do that work and see its results. But if you’ve never engaged with a passion project before – how will you know what it looks like? How will you avoid being conned?
So do a little bit of passion work. Do it on your terms. Seek it out. Don’t let someone else sell it to you. Find it yourself, and play with it. You can even find some other ways to get compensated, while you’re at it. But learn what it looks and feels like to work on something you believe in, because it really is great to do when it works.