Mark Radcliffe, a great singer/songwriter (interview forthcoming here) put me onto this amazing movie – Lemonade – about advertising folks who had been laid off and then made these great, creative, powerful changes in their lives. Mark started following the Tour de France (and then, after he was laid-off again, took to music – I’m personally grateful for that turn in his life), another man started a coffee roasting business, another is making his film about how a surf school helps kids with Cystic Fibrosis, a woman started a wellness business, and on and on. Over and over, these people say how hard it was to be laid-off but how amazing it is now. I was almost teared up watching the 35 minute film. I want to watch it again now.

Over and over, I’m affirmed in my decision to quit teaching full-time so that I can pursue – well, writing – and whatever life brings. Every day I wake up and get to do – for the most part – what I want. I get to write, or watch movies, or help my roommate edit her online dating profile so that it shows off her wit. I can go for a walk for two hours and think, or I can sit here and “tweet” all day long. I can find new musicians, like Mark Radcliffe, to ask for interviews, and I can go to my students’ performances. All because I quit my job. Best decision I ever made.

So much of life seems to be about fear. If I quit, how will I pay my bills? If I am laid-off, what will I do with my time? If I quit, who will I be? This change – all change – is hard, scary, debilitating even in moments. But this change, this decision to pursue a passion, to take on what life has brought me, to live my dreams (to be hokey and right on) is, hands down, the best thing.

In this moment, I am trying to figure out more ways that I can use my writing skills to encourage other people in their passions. Whose book can I review? What musician can I interview? Whose work can I tout to help them see their passion is worthwhile? I’m not sure how all of that is going to pan out yet, but it’s coming together . . . word by word (or bird by bird, to quote Anne Lamott.) And I am so excited.

What is your passion? How can I help you pursue it? Really, tell me.

Lemonade the Film

In a similar vein, the great and wonderful Ken Meuller of Inkling Media gave me the honor of doing a guest post about blogging and writing today. While you take a gander, be sure to poke around the site. It’s got great advice for using the web to market yourself.