Sometimes you need an escape from the hectic work week and the non-stop flow of chores and duties.
Finding an escape doesn’t always mean disconnecting, but rather, finding a passion that helps you connect more to yourself and what you enjoy.
Passion projects are just that. They allow you to explore your creativity by spending free time and energy devoted to what you love, whether it’s a charitable cause or a creative outlet.
What is a Passion Project and How to Choose Yours
A passion project is an activity or endeavor you pursue because it inspires you and gives you deep satisfaction, fulfillment, and engagement.
It’s something you pursue for the sheer joy of it. The love of what you are doing outweighs any other considerations.
Your passion project may be related to your career, or it may lead to a career. But that isn’t the main motivation. Expressing your passion is what drives you.
Finding an outlet for your passions also can help ease stress and mental unrest. However, not everyone knows what they are passionate about, making the process of choosing a project even more difficult.
Here are a few ways to choose a project that works for you:
Make a list of your interests. When you scroll through Instagram or Facebook, what captivates you? If you follow lots of art accounts, learning to draw would be a great passion project! Ask your friends what they do as a side hustle. Learn about their process and how they found their passion. Follow the same path and see where it leads you. Remember what you loved as a child. If you loved collecting bugs as a kid or making houses for dolls, you may have dropped your hobby as you grew up. Look back at that time and see how you can channel that into a worthwhile project now. Figure out what you have time for. If you have too many ideas, narrow it down to what is feasible in your free time. You may love to travel, but only get a week of paid vacation.
5 Reasons You Need a Passion Project
It will make your life more fulfilling and meaningful.You will find like-minded people to share your passion with.You will learn more about yourself and what inspires you.You could make money if the project leads to career opportunities.You could find your life’s purpose.
55 Passion Project Ideas
If you need some inspiration and ideas for your own passion project, we have you covered with the following activities to consider.
Start a Newsletter
There are endless possibilities for the content of a newsletter, from sharing recipes to updating friends with the recent developments in your favorite tv show.
Write Short Stories
Writing short stories can help boost the confidence of any writer and is the best way to prepare for fiction writing.
Help the environment and save some money by reducing your waste in your home and on the go. Try to motivate others to do the same.
There’s nothing more satisfying than a beautiful handwritten note. Calligraphy is an art form in itself and a perfect passion project for writers and artists.
Connect with Mother Earth and your neighbors by forming a cooperative garden in your community.
Come harvest time you’ll reap the rewards of your passion and feel the satisfaction of growing your own food!
Take Pottery Classes
Ceramic pottery is one of the earliest art forms, not to mention its beautiful practicality. Sell dishware or sculptures to make money, or just keep your creations for yourself.
Start a Blog
As the saying goes — if you love something, write about it! Blogs are the perfect way to connect to a larger audience and bond over shared interests.
Start a YouTube Channel
Vlog about your life, make reviews or share lifestyle tips. Use your unique personality to inspire, educate, or entertain others.
Engage in Letter Writing Campaigns
You don’t have to have lots of money to have an influence on politics. Letter writing can have a huge effect on the issues you care about.
Review Literature or Films
Are your friends tired of you chatting their ears off about your favorite movies? Start writing about then instead. You may end up connecting with a like-minded audience.
Become a Playwright
There are many ways to channel the writing muse. If you have a story to tell, write a play! You could even have a local community theatre produce it.
If you have a keen aesthetic eye and the right tools, refurbishing old furniture could be your next passion project.
Start a Zine
Zines are small-format self-published magazines where you can collect poetry, collages, essays, and more under a unique vision.
Run for Local Office
If you are tired of the way your local government is running things, be the change! Adults of all ages have held office in their local governments and made huge impacts on their communities.
Try Graphic Design
It’s not too late to get a crash course in Adobe Illustrator. Graphic design is a lucrative business for creatives that can be done remotely as a side gig or a full-time job.
Model for Drawing Classes
It may seem strange but being a part of someone else’s creative journey can be just as exciting as embarking on your own. Help out artists by modeling for them.
Start a Charity
If you have the funds and a cause you care about, starting a charity or nonprofit can be deeply fulfilling. Find out how you can serve your community by researching your area and getting to know its residents.
Organize Elaborate Dinner Parties
Throwing a good dinner party is an art. From planning the menu to decorating, your passion project will give you experience in many creative roles.
Perform at Poetry Open Mics
Check online or in your local paper for any open mics in your area. These are great places to test your poetry with an audience and build a following.
Compete in Marathons
If you love to run, training for a marathon gives you a long term goal to work towards. And you’ll improve your endurance and overall fitness.
Learn to Cook Like a Chef
YouTube channels like Bon Appetit can help you become an at-home chef as you learn to prepare gourment meals for friends and family.
Landscape Your Backyard
Landscape design could be your next creative venture. If you don’t have a spacious backyard, volunteer to spruce up a friend’s yard. Take an online landscape design or master gardener course to improve your skills.
Learn a New Language
The famous Frederico Fellini once said, “A different language is a different vision of life.” Expand your vision of life by learning a new language.
Learn How to Code
Does technology turn you on? Coding is a fundamental skill for so many jobs, but it also allows you to pursue your own online passion projects. Learning to code improves your logic and problem-solving abilities.
Organize a Salon
A salon is a gathering of intellectuals to discuss literature, art, and academics. If you are an intellectually minded person, starting a salon might be the perfect venture!
Start a Book Club
Gather a few book-loving friends for a monthly get-together. Pick an old favorite book or a new bestseller to discuss at your regular meetings. Take turns hosting and providing drinks and snacks.
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Lead Workout Classes
Do you love fitness classes and wish you could teach them? Many local gyms offer training programs for teaching. This can lead to lucrative side hustle or just something fun and fulfilling.
Put Your Home on Airbnb and Travel
It’s not always easy to travel when you have to worry about paying your own mortgage. Offer your home for short-term rentals, giving you the funds to travel yourself. The world is your oyster!
Learn to Weave or Knit
Learning to make textiles isn’t as hard as you think. There are great tutorials all over the web. All you need is your hands, some yarn, and a loom.
Host a Podcast
There are many different types of podcasts, from storytelling podcasts to finance. Pick a topic you love, purchase the recording equipment, and start podcasting.
Host a Stand-Up Comedy Night
Do your friends think you’re hilarious? Have they ever said, “You should do stand-up!” Channel your great sense of humor into a weekly comedy show at a local bar or cafe.
Paint Pet Portraits
You’d be surprised how many people would love a high-quality portrait of their furry friends. Lend your artistic eye to paint a few pups, and you’ve got yourself a potential business!
Do you love photography and want to get better at it? Wedding photography can be incredibly expensive. If you have friends getting married, offer your services at a low cost as you improve your skills.
Make Short Films
Smartphones have amazing capabilities nowadays, and plenty of high-quality films have been shot on iPhones. If you have a vision for a film, shoot it yourself, and get feedback by sharing it on social media.
Produce Your Own Music
If you are musically inclined, become your own producer. Start with simple software like GarageBand to learn the basics. Make an album or just play around!
Discover Your Ancestry
Websites like Ancestry.com and 23andMe are excellent resources for learning more about your family’s past.
Upcycle Thrifted Clothes
You don’t have to be an amazing seamstress to make your own clothes. Transforming an old dress into a new creation can be as easy as a few simple alterations.
Train for a Long-Distance Hike
Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail or the Appalachian Trail can be life-altering. Check out Cheryl Strayed’s memoir Wild for an account of her experience hiking the PCT alone.
Film a Documentary
Are there people or events that fascinate you? Do you enjoy interviewing and researching? There are stories all around you. Pick up a camera and start filming your own documentary.
Start an Instagram Campaign
Instagram is a great way to communicate a message. If you care about a particular cause, use social media to get the word out.
There are many jobs that need to be filled at community theatres, from actors to tech crew to designers. Volunteer your services and enjoy connecting with other creatives.
Teach an Art Class
Do you draw or paint? You could be qualified to teach at a local recreation center, or you could even offer private lessons.
Get a Booth at the Farmer’s Market
Booths are available to many different types of vendors, from farmers to local craftspeople. Make or grow something you love and share it with your community.
Become a Yoga/Pilates Instructor
Most yoga studios offer teacher training. Check out the websites of local yoga and pilates studios to find classes.
Pick Up a New Instrument
Have you always wanted to be in a band but don’t play an instrument? It’s never too late to learn. There are many instruments that are surprisingly easy to pick up.
Restore Vintage Cars
Do you have mechanical abilities and love cars? There’s a huge community of vintage car collectors who attend large conventions where you can admire each other’s hard work.
Join an Improv Group
Improv is a unique form of comedy that is made up entirely on the spot. Exercise your funny bone by joining a local troupe.
Take Acting Classes
You don’t have to seek a career in Hollywood to take a few acting classes. They can help with public speaking, creativity, and confidence. And they are a great place to meet friends.
Learn Interior Design
Do you have an eye for style? Does the idea of shopping at IKEA fill you with joy instead of overwhelming dread? Try interior decorating or design.
Woodworking is steeped in tradition and will connect you to the past while helping you to build something new and useful.
Fill Up a Sketchbook
This may just sound like doodling, but filling a sketchbook can be a serious undertaking and an art form itself. The more you sketch, the better you’ll become.
Read a Book a Week
If you haven’t picked up a good book since your last high school English class, make it a project to read a new work of fiction a week. You’ll be surprised by the profound effect it will have on your life.
Start a Research Project
Your academic pursuits don’t have to end after you graduate. Head to the library and find a topic that interests you. Your research might lead you to write an academic article or even a book.
Study a Scientific Theory
Did you hate physics in high school but wish you knew more now? It’s never too late to fall back in love with science. There are dozens of educational YouTube channels to inspire you and help you learn.
Become an Amateur Zoologist
There’s an entire subreddit dedicated to Zoology. You don’t have to be a child or a scientist to love and study animals.
Passion Project Examples
Looking for some real-world passion project examples? Take a look at these projects of well-known people you’ll recognize. Perhaps their passions will inspire your own.
Actress Gwenyth Paltrow channeled her love of beauty and wellness into her massively successful lifestyle company, Goop. Michael J. Fox turned his Parkinson’s disease challenge into a project to help others suffering with the same diseaseStar of NBC’s The Good Place, Jameela Jamil, started her online community I Weigh to promote body diversity and inclusivity. Actress Halle Berry dedicates her time volunteering at the Jenesse Center, a domestic violence intervention program. Larry Page, one of the co-founders of Google, has spent his time and money on a start-up called Zee.Aero with the aim of developing flying cars.
Have you found your passion project?
Undertaking a passion project can be a transformative experience, uplifting your spirits, and motivating your work.
Too often we get stuck in a rut without exploring the various opportunities available to us. We think we don’t have a passion or worry that we might try something that we won’t like.
But exploring your passion could be your passion project for now. View the search as a fun adventure and see where it leads you.
Passion projects amplify your childhood curiosity, giving you permission to explore again.
Take some time to jot down a few ideas for your next passion project. Do some research and take the first steps on an idea that interests you. It could lead to something life-changing.