Maybe I'm doing this wrong

by Jon Sullivan - 2021-07-06

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In taking inventory of the hobbies that I get the most joy from - Cooking, photography and programming - I started to wonder why I'm not spending more time monetizing that.

I feel like my hobbies are weird. I mean sure, video games, everybody loves that hobby, nothing special there. But cooking is something I put way too much time and money into to call it a hobby. Yes, I want some delicious food, so I cook it. And I love cooking, but don't ever want to do it professionally, so..... English speakers tend to call that a hobby. But for me it's more of an obsession. I take it too far. I spend too much on ingredients. I spend too much time making it look pretty. It's almost more food styling than cooking. And I never even have anyone else around to eat it. I spend a ton of money, slave in the kitchen for a couple hours, take a couple photos, then sit at my desk and eat it while watching YouTube videos.

Same with photography. I don't intend to ever make any money from it, but I still wander around with 10k+ in photo gear and always need more. Or more to the point, I feel I NEED 10k+ in gear. That's not a hobby. That's borderline mental. Oh well. It all makes me happy. My hobbies are just more expensive I suppose. Or I'm dumb. One of those.

But I think about passive income sometimes. And people do make plenty of money from food photography websites, or cooking websites, or food styling websites. So.... I'm cooking anyway. I'm styling it anyway. I'm photographing it anyway. In some ways this site could almost be a food photography website if it wasn't for all the bollocks I end up babbling. And my experience with the public domain photo website back in the early 2000s taught me that passive income websites are very nice. Publish a ton of stuff, monetize it, then just walk away while the checks hit the bank with zero work. Nice.

Maybe I should be doing .... that? Whatever "that" is. Writing recipes. Making posts about food photography. Programming a better website framework. Adding a real API. Monetizing.

That doesn't seem very "passive". We shall see.

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Michael Kindig
2021-07-06 21:05:49 : You’ve certainly have an enviable amount of talent in all the hobbies you describe above. And, you certainly have grown and maintained a vast following from them. Do you fear a possible loss of joy in turning a hobby into a professional grind? Consider having a few children and exploit them on YouTube. Those asshats make millions with their inane postings. But you’re right—it’s no very passive. Thanks for all the years full of food, photos, travel, and humor! What makes it all worthwhile is the integrity and humanity behind all of it. You’re a good soul mister Sullivan!

Jon Sullivan
2021-07-07 06:03:38 : Michael - It's not so much a fear as it is a solid realization that making it about money would fundamentally change how I approach it. It would make it about someone else's wants rather than mine. There is an assumption of mass marketability. It also limits how you present yourself. Being a cranky asshole on a blog is acceptable. Being a cranky asshole to random people paying for goods and services, not so much.

And...... The "good soul" thing. You are on the (not even short) list of people I've almost killed. Not really the sort of thing one looks for in a good soul. Just sayin'.

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