“If you do something you love, you never have to work a day in your life” It’s a nice thought, but no. Even doing something you love can have you up till 11.30pm muttering threats to your computer screen, or awake at 5.30am with a brilliant idea that makes you get up and look for a pen . However, there is an awful lot to be said about the importance of doing something you love, as long we ignore the implication that it’s effortless. After all, life’s not a rehearsal.
At heart, I’m a writer. If I don’t write something every day, I feel weird and fidgety, as if I’ve forgotten something and it was this feeling that led me to what I’m doing today.
It was New Year’s Day 2013. My children were four and seven. It was time to claim back a bit of myself. Daily blogging seemed like a good motivational way to make myself write every day. I chose a subject I would never get bored of. Perfume.
From Avon to Amouage, from niche to nasty, from fruity to floral, I smelled everything I possibly could, good and bad for six years. I attended a Perfume Society Workshop on How to Improve Your Sense of Smell, and a fascinating all-day workshop at 4160 Tuesdays on How to Make Your Own Perfume. (it is VERY HARD). Throughout the years I made mistakes and got things wrong and met hundreds of wonderful people and had good days and bad days. Every second was worth it.
My dogged determination paid off. In 2017 I was a finalist in the prestigious Jasmine Awards, run by the Fragrance Foundation UK. I was pipped to the post by the UK’s biggest perfume influencer, Thomas Dunckley, so I didn’t mind too much, plus I got to turn up at BAFTA and rub shoulders with lots of perfume glitterati. The following year, I was a finalist again, but was pipped to the post by a writer from Harper’s Bazaar. I was sanguine. I was just a blogger from South Wales and look where I’d got myself! I would have patted myself on the back, but I had to get back for the school run.
It was in May 2018 that the universe started dropping giant hints at what I should be doing for a living. More and more people were coming to me with paid work: either writing or social media. Meanwhile I had my head down, looking for office jobs and ignoring the obvious signs. After finally failing to land a 9-5 job I felt certain I would get, I felt dejected and crestfallen. But not for long, because freelance work was coming in thick and fast, even as I dried my tears.
Eventually I could ignore the giant neon signpost no more, and Sam Scriven Media was launched on the 9th September 2018. It feels like exactly the right fit although it’s far from effortless. I do everything myself, from making the website to bringing myself tea. Business is brisk, I’m working hard, loving every minute and can enjoy endless feline company at my desk as I work with some very lovely people indeed.
So, if you have a passion project, don’t write it off as just a hobby. It might be the start of something beautiful.