Passions vs pastimes: how to tell the difference

Passions in Life

This week’s post was inspired by the NZBloggers #BlogGreatness challenge. Every week, bloggers are tasked with writing a post about a predetermined topic. This week’s prompt is ‘Passions in Life’. You can check out other blogs on the subject here.

“A passion project doesn’t mean a side business, although it could grow into one. A passion project is often an indulgence of your deep inner desire to create. A drive to bring your ideas to life, whatever form they may take.” – Ernest Barbaric

When people ask me what I do in my spare time, I often shy away from mentioning my blog.

“Oh, you know, just the usual. I read, I cook, I watch movies, I go to the gym, I hang out with my friends and family.”

Yeah, and I spend the rest of my waking hours writing articles for this little blog thing.

It took me months to build up the courage to share my blog on social media. I still feel sick with dread before hitting ‘publish’ on a new post. Once an article is published, I spend hours agonising over my every word, half wanting to take them all back.

So why do I do it? Why do I blog? Why do I put my deepest thoughts into writing?

Mind Nomad is my passion project. I first came across this term when reading an article on and it resonated deeply.

Passion Project: “An indulgence of your deep inner desire to create.”

Before I started blogging regularly, I felt like I was bursting with ideas and potential, but lacking any real game plan to start making things happen. All thoughts, no action. The simple – though terrifying – act of publicly sharing my writing was a way to start listening to a part of me that I could no longer ignore.

For me, passion is often an uncomfortable necessity. Many people paint passion as being wonderful, glorious, infectious energy. It can be all that, but more often than not I find passion is loud and intrusive. It demands your attention when you just want to be lazy and take the easy road. Passion is urgent and primal, driven by intuition and blind impulse – the exact opposite of a peaceful pastime.

Passion (adj): intense, driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction.

Pastime (n): an activity that someone does regularly for enjoyment rather than work; a hobby.

When I first started thinking about this week’s #BlogGreatness topic, Passions in Life, I made a list of my favourite things. Reading, baking, eating chocolate, afternoon naps, drinking tea, lazy Sundays, early morning cuddles, being at the beach, the endorphin-rush after exercise. But then I realised these things incite joy and comfort as opposed to passion.

Passion is staying awake until the early hours of the morning because you absolutely must finish what you’re writing. Passion is being unable to concentrate at work/school/life because all you can think about is penning your next idea to paper. Passion is tiring and consuming and often confronting. It’s putting something above small comforts (mostly sleep).

Replace writing with whatever else keeps you awake at night, and there you have it: that’s your passion. Maybe it’s family. Maybe it’s friends. Maybe it’s faith. Passions often change and evolve, but there’s always something demanding your attention, something impossible to ignore.

Passion is what would be left if I lost all of my favourite pastimes – take away tea, lazy Sundays and the beach, but I will still have my pen.

13 thoughts on “Passions vs pastimes: how to tell the difference

  1. What an awesome post , This is so true as I have lost count the many times that I have told people that the reason I blog about books and write articles online is because it is a Passion not because of the maybe benefits . I am not in it to make money, that would be a nice incentive to have on the side but I do it because I love it and I would be lost if I didn’t.
    Check out my Top Ten Passions In Life post @


  2. Hello Jess,

    Thank you for referencing my article :) I really appreciate it, and I love your take on the idea as well.

    It’s really important for our emotional, mental and energetic health to embrace the things that give us joy. One of my passion projects has been the podcast I mentioned, and it’s provides so much value and insights to myself, and inspiration to the listeners – that I am so incredibly grateful to have embraced that idea and started.

    Best of luck on your journey :)

    – ernest


    1. Hi Ernest,

      Wow, firstly, thank you for reading – that has made my day. Sometimes the Internet feels like a small place :)

      I completely agree, having a passion project does inspire so much joy, energy & for me, a sense of purpose and direction. I’ll be sure to have a listen to your podcast.



  3. This is a wonderful post. I too feel shy to mention my blog, especially since it’s a topic (beauty) that a lot of people don’t respect. It really is my passion, and I really connected with this post.


    1. Hi Lena, thanks for reading! I received some advice at a blogging workshop last year that has helped me immensely when I feel a bit anxious about sharing. I was told ‘not to write for my friends, but for someone like me’. Imagine your ideal reader as someone just like you – interested in the same things – and the whole process feels much less daunting. I used to try to “please everyone”, but it is your blog and you get to own that space. That’s the beauty of it! ;) Sorry, couldn’t help myself with that pun ha ha. Thanks again for reading and I’ll definitely check out your blog :)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wonderful post! This was a very uplifting read. My blog is also my passion. I read a lot and I sought an outlet to discuss what I read and other thoughts I may have and I found my blog. I was shy about it too and didn’t share it with others until a few months after starting it. I’m not very bold now but I have grown some. A thing I’ve discovered about passions is that pursuing them can sometimes enhance other sections of your life. I blog in my free time but the practice–writing articles, editing what I write, researching material, and brainstorming new content–also help to improve the skills I employ at my job.


    1. That’s wonderful, Zezee! Thank you for reading. You are so right – blogging does reach into so many other areas of life. It has helped me in my job as well. Great to hear from a fellow book-blogger too :) So many books, so little time, don’t you think?


      1. Oh yes, I agree. When I woke up this morning, the first thing my eyes caught on was my bookcase, which is filled with books I’ve yet to read. I wish I were a faster reader, or had more time to read.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s