THE IMPORTANCE OF PERSONAL PROJECTS

En los años recientes Diciembre (fin de año) ha sido sinónimo de ocupación y estrés. Cerrar un año de trabajo es un torbellino (papeles y burocracia implícita por supuesto) y el estrés propio de las fiestas se termina apoderando de mi agenda aunque yo no lo quiera. Así que recordar la magia y la importancia de tener proyectos personales me motiva a abrir una nueva agenda para seguir haciendo lluvia de ideas para el nuevo año./ In recent years December (end of the year) has been synonymous of hard work and stress. Closing a year of work is a whirlwind (papers and implicit bureaucracy of course) and the stress of the holidays ends up taking over my agenda even if I do not want it. So remembering the magic and the importance of having personal projects motivates me to open a new agenda to continue brainstorming ideas for the new year.

✏️ The magic of having personal projects 💫

La magia de tener proyecto personales, o alguna actividad extra a todas las otras cosas que ya hay que hacer o que pagan las cuentas me sigue pareciendo bonito. ¿Hacer ilustraciones que no son para un cliente y que no dan dinero?, ¿aficionarse a la repostería y retarte a ti mismo encontrando nuevas recetas?, ¿la jardinería como método para desconectar de una semana ruda?/ The magic of having personal projects, or some extra activity to all the other things that already have to be done or that pay the bills still seem nice to me. Make illustrations that are not for a client and that do not give money? Do you like baking and challenge yourself by finding new recipes? Gardening as a method to disconnect from a rough week?

Tengo claro que uno de mis proyectos para 2021 será destinar más tiempo para esos proyectos personales que no significa un cero más en mi cuenta bancaria, pero que alimentan mucho mi creatividad y que me funciona también como respiro./ I am clear that one of my projects for 2021 will be to allocate more time for those personal projects that do not mean one more zero in my bank account, but that feed my creativity a lot and that also works as a breather.

Afortunadamente no me faltó trabajo este año, pero pude comprender la importancia de buscar una pausa para poner en prioridad esos proyectos personales o hobbies. A veces me costaba dejar de lado el ordenador para no hacer nada, ¿pero para qué trabajar tanto si al final no podía destinar un poco de mi energía creativa a algo que no fuera meramente laboral?/ Fortunately, I did not lack work this year, but I could understand the importance of looking for a break to prioritize those personal projects or hobbies. Sometimes it was hard for me to put my computer aside to do nothing, but why work so hard if in the end I couldn’t put a bit of my creative energy into something other than just work?

Últimamente hay una presión social por tener que monetizar todo, ya sea la afición por hacer macramé o brownies. Cada vez hay menos personas con hobbies, y tal vez pensamos “¿a qué hora? no hay tiempo”. Si te gusta bailar sientes la presión de ser una bailarina profesional, si te gusta pintar hay una presión por ser reconocido por ese trabajo artístico. Intimida la idea de ser exitoso (lo que sea que eso signifique) hasta con los pasatiempos o esa actividad extra que nos hace felices./ Lately there is a social pressure to monetize everything, whether it is a hobby related to macramé or to baking. There are fewer and fewer people with hobbies, and perhaps we think “at what time? there is no time”. If you like to dance you feel the pressure to be a professional dancer, if you like to paint there is pressure to be recognized for that artistic work. The idea of being successful (whatever that means) intimidates even our hobbies or that extra activity that make us happy.

Mi intención no es demeritar el hecho de poder hacer algo que te gusta a un nivel profesional, es magnífico cuando todas las piezas encajan y algo que disfrutas mucho termina convirtiéndose en una fuente de ingresos. Pero también pienso que el hecho de no ser la persona más pro, talentosa o exitosa nos debe privar de alguna actividad./ My intention is not to demean the fact of being able to do something that you like on a professional level, it is great when all the pieces fit together and something you really enjoy ends up becoming a source of income. But I also think that the fact of not being the most pro, talented or successful person should deprive us of some activity.

¿Cancelar el 2020? No lo creo, más bien aprender de él y tomar el tiempo para encontrar nuevas maneras de reinventarse, no sólo para diversificar nuestros ingresos, sino también para entender que todos estamos aquí brevemente y que hay que poner en prioridad el gran placer de hacer algo que nos gusta, sólo porque sí./ Cancel 2020? I don’t think so, rather learning from this year and take the time to find new ways to reinvent ourselves, not only to diversify our income, but also to understand that we are all here briefly and that the great pleasure of doing something must be a priority, just because we love it.

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  • Such a great post! There is nothing wrong in wanting to monetize our hobbies or wanting to turn some of them into a business, but we should not let the pressure to monetize everything take the joy out of everything we do. The pressure to monetize every activity or to receive validation for it is taking the creativity and peace out of our lives. We are taught to look for validation in numbers, so we think that we need to receive monetary or social media validation in order for something to count and matter. This is not a healthy approach to things. I think social media also plays a part in this as well as the whole hustler culture. Somehow all hobbies have turned into competition. People used to bake for fun, not it has turned into a competition. When we constantly try to be perfect at everything, we end up miserable. Sometimes we need to do things for ourselves.

    • Hello dear Ivana,

      Thank you so much for sharing your opinion about this topic with me, it is really valuable to have your feedback in this post, since I know you really prioritize many of your hobbies, and of course there is nothing wrong to look for money, but sometimes we can do things just for the joy of the moment.

      And it is sad that now many activities are like a competition 🙁

  • 2020 was an awful year for me as you know, lets hope 2021 is a better year for us all. But yes it is good to have personal projects and YES everyone wants to monetize everything like one can’t just have hobbies. I see my blog and YT channel as hobbies. But what a great hobby I have I attend FW and even sit front row sometimes. I go backstage and I have met so many great people. So a great hobby to be sure. Yes and I do it b/c I love it!

    And thank you for your thoughtful words on my blog.

    Allie of
    http://www.allienyc.com

    • I hope so, Allie!

      Hope you can make more time to spend in activities that can bring you real joy. I feel like these things are really necessary, specially to disconnect a bit from the real world.

      I hope we can have FW and similar events soon 🙂

  • Such good advice! I think it’s important to do things we love just for the fun of it! While I do make a little money from my blog and youtube it’s certainly not anything I particularly focus on – for me it’s my hobby and I like having a little time to do something creative while the kids are asleep! 🙂

    Hope that you are having a great weekend 🙂 It’s a quiet one at home here, Brisbane is on a 3 day lockdown as we have had the first case of the virus outside of quarantine in over 3 months!

    • Hello Mica, thank you so much for your lovely comment 🙂 I hope you can make time to do the activities you like the most, I bet it is difficult with two little kids but good luck!

      Take care!

  • Such a post full of inspirations. Personnel projects are definitely my favorites. I’m having so much fun when I’m working on a new sewing project even if sometimes at first It can seems useless at the end it’s not.
    I’m up for anything which can make me more creative and improve my skills.
    I always think anyone can become a pro with a lot of practice.
    And I agree we don’t need to always look for the money when it’s about being creative. Any activity can actually be creative. The inspirations are everywhere !
    xx
    Margot
    https://troughthepasturesofthesky.com

    • Ooooh thank you so much for this comment Margot 🙂

      I know you’re a person that prioritizes time for hobbies and that is really valuable in these days 🙂 Specially since these activities are crucial to disconnect from the current situation of the world.

      Stay safe!

  • Pablo, you have given voice to a thought I have been having as of late. I am retired, and we are comfortable, and yet for the first couple of years I felt the self-inflicted pressure to monetize my hobbies. I have been trying to figure where the belief that if we can make money, we should has come from. I think two places. First if you’ve ever had your own business, the whole of whether you make enough money to live on is entirely on your shoulders. It’s a lot of pressure. And it can make us compulsive about looking for those paying opportunities. Second, at least here in the US, the love of the almighty dollar is pervasive. It leads to the perception that unless an endeavor can make money it isn’t a worthwhile pursuit.

    I tried monetizing my blog, but soon found it deeply dissatisfying. It affected what I chose to write, it put a damper on expressing some opinions in fear of losing followers, and killed self-expression and experimentation. I decided that from here on out, my blog and hobbies were to be for fun only. My quilts go to charity, my jewelry is for fun. I do have an Etsy shop that I am considering shutting down. I put the jewelry that I don’t personally wear there, but why?

    Ha! Well, you can tell you I have given a lot of the thought on the subject. I hope you are well. Stay safe!

    Michelle
    https://mybijoulifeonline.com

    • Hello Michelle,

      You made my day! It was comforting and inspiring to read this comment and this is really good motivation to keep up with the creative work, despite it is a hobby or something that somebody paid for 🙂

      I really like that you’re keeping your hobbies on top of your priorities, despite the current culture lead us to believe that you have to monetize everything we do in order to be “succesful”. The best is to keep enjoying the path and to remember why you started those projects 🙂

      Stay safe too!

      Pablo

  • Hey Fungi! I hope you are enjoying your project!
    Your work space is always so great and lovely, and it seems to continue evolve.
    I often loose myself by “professional”, and I make a very hard plan to do for my goal, then I can’t do it…hahaha

    However your blog helps and encourages me always:) Thank you so much, Fungi!
    I just get myself back after I read your great blog, and I really love those beauty items to support your project, too

    To be honest, I had been looking forward to seeing the first post this year<3
    Have a lovely day!!

    akiko

    • Hey Akiko, thank you so much for this lovely comment 🙂

      And I am a fan of your workspace too, haha you have noticed that I am moving things constantly.

      I hope you keep blogging for many years since I really enjoy your content. Thanks for the beautiful words!

      Pablo

  • Love love love this article Pablo! Such a great source of inspiration for 2021 and just the creative life in general. I agree that it’s so important to have a few personal projects. Surely it’s nice with some extra cash, but it’s even nicer to just allow yourself to do something without pressure. I’d love to be more creative this year and not having any goals related to it. Perhaps learn how to play piano properly or paint more. Thank you for the inspiration! I wish you the best 2021, and I look forward to continue our conversations and exchanges of ideas 😉 /Mia, Xx

    • Hey Mia, thank you so much for your kind words!

      I hope you can make time for those personal project in 2021, step by step you’ll achieve your goal 🙂

  • Hello Pablo!!! Happy to read you here again, your posts are always so interesting and a full of inspo to me!
    Hope you spent nice Christmas Holidays, and I wanna take the chance to wish you again all the best for this 2021!
    You’re a so nice, brilliant and talented person and I’m very very happy to have known you in the crowded web!

    But let’s pass to the post: this is really the best post for the new year I’ve read until now! Full of hope and inspirational enough but even well grounded!
    And even this time I totally agree with you: having personal projects, hobbies and activities is very important, but this sick idea to have to monetize everything often risk to tansform something that should help your self development aand give relief to your stress in another stressfull and arid activity.
    Let’s be clear: there is nothing wrong in monetize an hobby or an activity, and I really think that this would be the best way to earn money, but there should be a limit at a certain point.
    I think that there is something deeply wrong in this need of wanting monetize everything: you risk of not having no more that precious personal space with no pressure and duties, just to relax and having fun.

    To this 2020 was pretty important to me as well: I’ve learned to found alternative ways to enjoy my life other than go out and having fun with friends, and I guess I’ve got to know myself better is this half-isolament.
    So, maybe this is an impopular opinion, but I wouldn’t throw it away: definitely wasn’t the best of the years, but 2020 was in someway important to me.

    Ok, lets cut with this 1st super long comment comment of 2021!
    Stay safe and take care, my friend!
    XO
    S
    https://s-fashion-avenue.blogspot.com

    • Hello dear Silvia,

      First of all thank you so much for your comment, you know your feedback is really valuable for me and I really appreciate that you always take the time to support me 🙂 It means a lot and it is a pleassure to coincide with people like you in this saturated blogging world.

      And talking about the blog post I am really happy to know that this was an useful article for you. I know sometimes it could be hard to get the motivation, but you’re making a really good job!

      When it comes to monetize (if that happens that’s amazing and there’s nothing wrong with it) I’d say you have to make a balance in order to keep enjoying that activity, right?

      Stay safe and thanks again!

      Pablo

  • Hola Pablo!

    What a wonderful post, I love the imagery here and that bouquet of tulips is melting my heart!
    I couldn’t agree more with you about feeling the pressure to monetize every talent one has. Monetize every minute you spend doing something or doing stuff for others only for the sake of some kind of monetary reward. While it is obviously lucky to be able to make a living from what you are essentially good at, I also think that we should prioritize mental health and joys of doing something just for ourselves (and no, posting it on social media is not obligatory hah).

    I really like this resolution of yours and will try to implement more of it into my daily life as well!
    Take care xx

    Naya
    http://www.nayatilly.com

  • Hola Pablo!

    Happy 2021 to you <3
    (this is the second time I write the comment, please ignore it if the previous one is already posted)

    The imagery in this post is absolutely beautiful, especially the bouquet of tulips is simply melting my heart!
    I couldn't agree more with you in regards to everything mentioned in the post. Lately we all feel pressured to monetize essentially whatever we are good at. Monetize your time and also expect monetary rewards for whatever you do for others. I believe it is super important to prioritize mental health first and do things in our free time that bring us joy, and no it is not obligatory to document everything on social media 😛

    Love this resolution of yours and will implement into my life this year too!
    Take care xx

    Naya
    http://www.nayatilly.com

    • Hey Naya, don’t worry!

      For some reason one of the comments went to the spam folder…. sorry, sometimes that plugin can confuse a real person with one bot, buc luckily I rescued both comments for the folder.

      Oooh and thank you so much for stopping by!

      I like to know that you’re prioritizing mental health, for me that’s the most important thing in life. Maybe you have a well paid job but if it is taking peace of mind from your life, well…. it is better to start looking for other options if possible. So I want this to be my oasis and my personal space where I can feel a bit of freedom 🙂

      I hope you can make time for those special activities!

      PS: Those tulips were on point 🙂 First bouquet of the year!

  • Hey Fungi!

    Hope you’re having a great start to 2021! Wishing you the best in the new year.

    Ohh love this post because it got me thinking about one of my favorite hobbies…salsa dancing. I try to go every weekend to a spanish club and enjoy the music. It always fuels me up and I have a great time with friends.

    http://www.fashionradi.com

    • Thanks for your kind words Radi!

      I hope you can go to many salsa classes this year or to the club to enjoy the music!

      Keep safe!

  • Very well said! I always end up finding new hobbies and as soon as a friend or family member finds out they tell me, you should sell this, or you should charge for this! I feel that somethings shouldn’t be turned into a business because you get personal joy out of it. I have recently started charging for some things that I always considered hobbies and that also brings me joy LOL. Thank you for the beautiful post Pablo! Have a great week!
    PerlaGiselle | iamperlita.com
    ♥ | INSTAGRAM

    • Thanks for stopping by Perlita!

      Aaaah I know that kind of comments, but sometimes it feels to do things just for the pleasure 🙂

      I hope you can enjoy a lot of those activities in this new year 🙂

  • I really enjoyed reading your article!
    And yes it is sad that everything we do on the side/hobbies tend to be viewed as successful if we are making money from it, how many Followers we got from it etc.
    Personal projects is what I’m clinging ( : to for a healthy mind during the pandemic. I am grateful for my job but as you said, it’s great to have an outlet you can pour your creativity into besides work.
    I just finished a creative project for my blog – it was to do a fashion editorial with the theme ‘All dressed up and nowhere to go.’
    Xo

    • Hey Biki,

      Thank you so much for making a stop and saying hi! I really appreciate your comment 🙂

      Oooh yes and followers are a new problem to this equation, since nowadays we are starting to measure “success” in an activity with the number of followers or likes.

      Good to know that you finished a new creative project! Checking it out right now!

      Stay safe!

  • Hi Pablo,
    oh yes indeed personal projects can really help you feel more happiness and gratitude. I want to start some new ones as well, but with the priority of really feeling good while I´m doing them and not stress about them.
    For example I always do a photo book at the end of a year, which takes a longer time to make cause I make it like a scrapbook and paint and write some things in it. A few days ago it bothered me that most of the pictures are still laying around, as december was more busy this year. But I really want to enjoy my time while doing it instead of rushing through it, so I´m planning it in as a relaxing time once or twice a week and if it takes a couple of weeks to actually finish that little project it´s fine 🙂
    I also started a writer club, where I´m living which is a bit tricky over zoom, but I hope over the next months we will come together and enjoy our time and inspire each other.
    have a great start in the new week,
    Tiziana

    http://www.tizianaolbrich.de

    • Hey Tiziana,

      I hope you’re having a good start of the year and thank you so much for your meaningful comment on my blog!

      I hope you can finish that project, one of my favorite things in life is to play with photos and make collages and scrapbook, it doesn’t matter if you don’t finish in a certain period of time as long as you enjoy the process which is the most important part of all the hobbies!