I may or may not have posted something similar to this in the past, as I dance around to this question as often as the seasons change. I am "lucky" enough that our circumstances allow me to stay at home. ( I really cant credit luck, but must acknowledge my husbands hard work and drive that has landed us in this situation) And yet, I always come back to this idea that I should be doing things on a professional level. I try and locate the roots of my motivation but have so far been unable to do this. Is it because being " a professional" is simply a prestigious title that I subconsciously believe would caress my delicate ego? Perhaps it stems from a desire to create an identity outside of teaching and raising kids. Could it be the currently imagined satisfaction of having work worthy enough of payment? I read something recently posted I am positive I am misquoting, but I cant locate where I originally read "I got to a level where I felt morally obligated to take on paid work" The idea struck a chord and perhaps it is a motivation similar to this. Is it that I have seen there is more of an investment/motivation to follow my direction as an artist when there is an exchange of currency and I feel like I cant take my work to the "next level" unless I have a subject willing to invest the same amount of energy? I like to think it is the elation I get throughout the creative process, and the smile's I see on my "Clients" faces when I present them with their images that fuels my ambition. Realistically, I am sure it is a mixture of all these things On the other side of a balanced scale- there is taxes, hard work, inevitably difficult clients, marketing and a general energy commitment that goes along with it. If you are still with me.... I suppose what I am wondering is, if the work output to satisfaction input ratio is something that can be pre-calculated? Or does it really just come down to jumping in, testing the waters and experiencing first hand, fulfillment or lack thereof? Did you know you would enjoy photography as a career before you started? Is it simply a means to a end? Would you do it if you didn't have too?