#BEDM - 6th: Passion projects

What do you love and would like to make money from? is the prompt for today's #BEDM.  I love many things, apart from the obvious friends and family (is there a job when I can be paid to sit on the phone and chat, or even better have weekends away with friends and family scattered through the UK, and indeed internationally?) I also love reading, crochet, Girlguiding, travelling.

To be paid to travel would be amazing, perhaps contributing to a guide book (my name is already in the back of the Lonely Planet South America on a Shoestring as I gave them lots of comments following my trip to SA a few years ago!) but I am presuming that's a very competitive area.

A few parents of Brownies have often asked over the years what I want to do after leaving university, and when I say I'm still not really sure (research, that would be good) they always ask if I want to work with young children, as I love being a Brownie leader and they tell me I am good at it.  To this, I always say thank you, but no thank you!  I do love being a Brownie leader, and I do love working with children (I'm going to be teaching teenagers English at a summer school this summer) but I'm not sure it's something I'd want to do full time.  I enjoy it immensely, but that's possibly because I know it's only temporary.  If I could be paid for being a volunteer with Girlguiding that would be excellent, but of course that's not the point of being a volunteer, we are all there because we love it.  There are a few paid roles in the organisation, but I think for me Brownies and Guides will always be my favourite hobby, I don't think it will be paying me any money any time soon!

Can I be paid to read books?  Paid to curl up on the sofa under a blanket (ideally with a cat on my lap as well, oh for the day when I live in a property which is suitable for cats!) and read all day?  But would that be quite isolating?  Having spent over a year writing up my PhD from home, six hours away from my university, I realised just how much I'd like to have colleagues, and different people to talk to.

I like baking cakes, I like baking cakes for friends, I like eating cakes, but I can honestly say I don't think they're good enough to sell.  Fine for charity cake sales, that sort of thing, but my icing skills are non-existent and I really don't think people would pay enough money for them to cover the cost of ingredients and time.  So baking is going to remain a hobby.

Which leaves crochet.  I can crochet, I'm quite good at following a pattern and making an object, but I haven't sold anything - everything I've made has either been for myself or a present for someone else.  Take this blanket for example, which I made for a friend's wedding (I loved making it, and in no way begrudge the time it took!): each octagon took about 15 minutes, each square took about 5 minutes, there are (I think) 9 rows of the brown octagons and 10 rows of the cream octagons) so add all that time up, plus sewing in all those ends and sewing it all together and then crocheting a border all the way around, assume minimum wage and add that to cost of the yarn, that's already a very high number, which people won't pay (or would they?!) and so you'd have to lower your price, therefore barely making a profit.  That's fine if it's say a commission piece but you enjoy the pattern and making it and can do it in front of the television, and there's no rush for it to be finished and the recipient appreciates home made, but how many people can actually say that?  Also, would the enjoyment be taken out of it knowing that it did have to be finished eventually, and what if it wasn't my colour choices etc etc etc?  I hate sewing in ends anyway, would I resent the ends even more if I knew I had to sit down and do them this evening as the item had to be posted off to its new home?

If we take my PhD as my last job (I had a grant for my tuition and living expenses, so I was to all intents and purposes being paid to conduct the research) then I can say I did enjoy my work.  There were good days and bad days, but I'm sure that happens in any job, and with any hobby as well!  Overall, though, it was a great experience, I met a lot of interesting and inspiring people and made many new friends.  I've just got a job working in a summer school, and I'm looking forward to that, the opportunity to flex my teaching muscles once again and get back into working with colleagues after so long spent at my desk!  I just hope as my work develops, so does my enjoyment of it.

Obviously, if someone does want to offer me a job to travel the world, read books, crochet a blanket, I would love that, please send me an email!  But otherwise, I think my work will be work, and my hobbies my hobbies, and I hope to continue to enjoy them all, but in different ways.  Good luck to those people who do manage to combine them, though!


  1. My dream is to find some fabulously well paid job that I can do part time (not sure why I'm in teaching then!), thus leaving me with plenty of time and energy to read, write, sew and travel. I can dream...

    1. I often say 'when I win the lottery I will....' but I don't ever play the lottery, so I'm not sure why I think I will ever win! For now, I will make do with going to be a little bit earlier so I can fit in more reading time!

  2. I'm sure this is a dilemma for lots of people, and one I think about a lot. I don't know how people can sell crochet and make any real money from it, or maybe it's just that I'm so slow! I love to make things and have thought about ways to make money from it, but I worry then I would not love it any more, if I had to do it... Well, good luck figuring it all out! x

    1. I think the only way to make money from selling crochet items is to have a production line going on and then to churn it all out, such as lots of legs for an amigurumi horse and then lots of heads etc etc...but for me I think that would take the whole pleasure out of it, I want to make an entire horse, not lots of bits. But hats off to those who do make money from it, they must have a secret...


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