Successful or Passionate?


I’m happily getting to know more and more of my writer friends each day and my thoughts are focused a lot on my writing. And I have to say that energy must be in the air because more than one discussion on this very subject have come up right as I was putting this together - I’m thinking it’s a never ending topic.

I couldn’t help but think about how my writing really relates to who I am and it brought up a question. Why do I write? Why do we all write and where does our desire come from that makes us this unique group who feel the urge to express through the written word?

When you think of what you put down everyday, do you see yourself as writing because you have a story that is just burning inside you and wants to get out or could it be driven by the thought that it will serve you well with a piece of fame and fortune? Really if you were to ask yourself, are you writing for the success of it or is it simply a true passion?

I mean, I’ve been told I am a passionate person and I suppose I do see myself as a passionate person but when I home in on myself a bit closer, I’m not really sure I can fully separate the two each and every time. Or do I?

Ideally, I’d like to pair the two sides and see my ability to bring home the bacon walk hand in hand with doing the things I love. I think I am doing my best work when I’m actually enjoying myself, so why not?. Of course there is the factor that passion alone can’t make the world care about the things we each personally hold dear, no matter how much we want to write about them in our stories. Man, it is hard to avoid that inner adrenaline when you love what you are doing and writing! So, we forge forward and hope that our readers think our story is just as awesome as we do and something they just can’t live without.

Then I wonder, can I have smart passion? Is there such a thing? I mean, for example, I feel really good about drawing a portrait for someone who just got married, or just had a baby and if I get paid also, this is a good thing, right? I just want to believe that! The same goes with my writing.

But since our passions are not a guarantee, I think that doing something that puts gas in my Jeep today so I can four wheel and go out to my favorite restaurant seems like the right thing for me also! And paying the bills is certainly a success. Could how I go about doing that though cause me to question if my passion comes first?

I’d like to think we can have both, although I read a lot about the fact that the two should be blended with care (i.e. Forbes - Passion will put you in the poor house). Am I just a dreamer? (I’ve been called that too). I think the big fantasy would be to give it all up and go for it, and then be amazingly successful of course. What a great feeling! I know a lot of people with the want and desire to do just that but many times that is not how it goes down. The realist in some of us just can’t give it all up to run and go.

If you had to pick, where would your true loyalty land as a writer? Is it with your writing and your stories when you look at all that you have going on?

I do know that when I am on the receiving end of a good book or story, I feel like I can sense the passion from the author when it’s a book that sucks me in. I can sense how they took great care in putting their characters and storyline together in such a way that it can almost seem packaged just for me. I will see the characters and feel their needs, pains and happiness. When the author can get me to care about the things a character holds dear and get me to feel right along with them, I think the author has let his/her passion out free to do its job. I am affected by their story. I would like to think we all write for that.

In the end and when I look at it for me, I have to say that it’s only because of my passion for the things I do that make any of them worth it in the first place. A means to an end, fun tickets, obligations (and yes, the bills!)...those things are always there, but I truly believe that without the ability to express what makes me true, none of that would matter to me. And so I write my stories, write with my friends and my daughter, draw for others and myself and stay in creation mode. I can see that it’s my passion that keeps me going. To me, it is having that passion at all that is the real win and it is my driver. I think that’s the good stuff. Plain and simple.

I can’t imagine my life without it.