• Eric Dahl

Profit vs. Passion

I am a fan of Capitalism as I’m certain most of you are as well. We all need to achieve a certain amount of income to take care of our loved ones, maintain a dwelling, buy food and to lead the lives we would like to live. Personally, I have never been driven by money, although I know that I need to make enough to pay my bills and to take my daughter on vacations, but I must have creative outlets to be happy. The challenge for me, and might be for you as well, many of my passion projects and creative outlets pay very little if anything. It reminds me of the phrase starving artist or how great painters, or musicians are only acknowledged after they are dead. Now that I am back on a good health path, I’m longing to resume my passion projects. These include writing a third book (and hopefully a new one every 2 years) and writing enough original songs to develop an EP or Album of my own. I learned a lot from writing the last two books and being a published author has provided me credibility that I did not perceive while I was writing. But, unless you are a New York Times best selling author who has an Oprah mentioned book every few years, it is hard if not impossible to make a living as a writer. In the past eight years I have been fortunate, thanks to friends’ introductions, to be a freelance writer for a fair number of magazines including Maverick Country, Worship Musician, Christian Musician, Guitar Collector, American Songwriter, Guitar World and Music Radar. And I do love writing and covering new music gear. It feels like Christmas when new music gear shows up at work or my home and I get to play and test it before writing the articles. The pay isn’t tremendous, but I feel lucky to have the opportunity to be published on a regular basis and it does feed my muse. Songwriting is a similar endeavor. Obviously living in Music City there are many songwriters living here, or traveling to Nashville as a destination, to make it big as a songwriter or artist. While I was raised in Missouri and lived in Las Vegas for decade my goal while performing music was to support my addiction to buying new guitars and to have a music outlet. The same goes for songwriting for me. I have no delusions to be a hit songwriter or be discovered but I would like to become better at crafting songs so I’m not so fearful when I play a Songwriter Round here. Maybe it is from too many years of playing cover songs by other bands. But every time I agree to play a Songwriter Round, I must face down my fear of playing my originals in public. Once I am at the venue and perform it feels great, but there is a gnawing in the back of mind that my original songs aren’t good enough. Hopefully after writing more songs this year, I will be less apprehensive about performing them around town. As with much of life I believe Profit vs. Passion is accomplished by striking a balance between the two. All of us must make a certain amount of money and in these times, things are costing more, but bills must be paid. Passion or creative endeavors may not feed us literally, but they do feed our hearts and souls which also need regular nourishment. And if we neglect our Passion Projects, it is harder to maintain or achieve internal happiness. I’m still working on this balance, but when I play guitar daily, workout at the gym, write some articles and work on loftier goals like books, interviews, and songs I feel more centered. Life can’t only be about real work and responsibility. As humans to feel fulfilled we should nurture or creative, passions and goals outside of the things that must be accomplished. Certainly, we must carve out time at night or on weekends to do them. But when we chase our dreams, passions, and creative muses it doesn’t feel like work anyway it is just a part of who we are. Maybe in 2022 and beyond we can all find time to embrace and pursue our Passions at least in balance with how we must achieve Profit?


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