Here's the unglamorous side of journalism and fiction writing: You need to meet deadlines. All the time. Or else. Sure I pursue my dreams through my work, but it's a lot of hard work most of the time. I once wrote an article (Passion for Japanese Culture) about Danny Choo a "full-time otaku" who pursued his dreams until he is living it.
Danny was very systematic in pursuing his dream, taking up Japanese classes and even working in a sushi restaurant to immerse himself in his passion - Japanese pop culture. Everyone should read his article about Pursuing Your Passion, by the way. It'll teach you a few things about how to pursue your dreams.
Don't be afraid of failure. Also, practice!
He established a college for cartoonists called Center for Cartoon Studies. He has a no-holds-barred approach to his art and did not think much about failing etc. He told me, "Better to fail than to take a bad job somewhere and suffer."
His advice: If you want to be a cartoonist - draw!
What these two folks have taught me is that if you want to do something, let's say write, just do it. And do it with discipline and determination. Being artistic is not a fuzzy feeling you get. Being an artist means hard work, dedication and being able to learn from your mistakes.
So if you want to pursue your dreams, start working on your art, project or business and work hard at perfecting it. Set aside time each day to hone your skills. Read books and blogs related to your passion. Learn and connect with fellow passion pursuers.
This post was originally published on Dec 13, 2010. This is a revised version.