Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about what exactly is having a “passion” for something.
On a car forum I frequent, there used to be this guy who would make excellent photo threads of car events. Recently he seems to have disappeared, and the rest of us forum members have been wondering where he went. You don’t realize you take people for granted until the first big car event where there’s no photograph thread afterwards. Where did he go?
Through discussion with a mutual friend, it turns out he was tired of spending the massive amount of time editing pictures and making it into a proper forum post, only to receive tepid response from the forum gallery. Why put in all the effort when the reception feels so unappreciative?
First, I have to say it’s indeed super time consuming and tedious to put together a story thread with photos and words; for the person consuming the content it’ll likely be scrolled through in minutes, but for the person creating, it takes many, many hours. Each of my own photo stories take at least eight hours each to make, so I can sympathize with the amount of work that forum guy puts into his posts.
Second, we should all be more vocally and visibility appreciative when we enjoy reading/watching things made by other people. Absolutely nothing brightens a creative’s day more than positive feedback and people giving thanks for sharing. It may sound cliche but it truly makes it worth the effort.
But with that said, I have to disagree with that guy’s decision to stop making photo threads, simply because of the perceived lack of feedback. Is it really something you’re passionate about if you get discouraged by the actions and opinion of outsiders? For me, having and following a passion is strictly internal: it’s for me and nobody else. It’s the engine behind the power that keeps me home on a weekend working on a project, while others are out having fun. Not that I’m not having fun, because passion projects are fun.
Creating content for this website is and will always be something of a joy for me, and I don’t care if not a single person reads it (and I’m thankful for those who do.) So long as I myself am satisfied with the output, that’s perfectly good enough for me.
Maybe that forum poster lost his passion, which is okay, too.