What's YOUR passion?

Saturday, April 04, 2009

What I love the most about being a part of the WOW! writing community is that we are, in my opinion, a nicely blended group: Some of us are in the beginning stages still waiting for that first publication nod, others are veterans with hundreds of published pieces behind us, and the rest of us are somewhere in the middle. But no matter where we are we sit within that writing spectrum, we all have one thing in common--a deep, rooted passion for writing.
That passion is what we draw from when the words don't come easily some days. It's what helps us to dust ourselves off and get back out there after a rejection (or two...or four...or more...). And it's what's brought us all here together. I realized recently, however, that passion is something that needs constant nurturing or it can fizzle out.
Some people call it "burn out," others call it "writer's block" but a few weeks ago I just couldn't get my words to come out. I sat at my computer desk, ready and eager to write, but nothing came. I tried all the suggestions made here on the forum at one time or another to get those creative juices flowing again: I went for a walk, read work I found inspiring, did other things to "refresh" myself...I tried them all. But when I sat back at the computer again it was the same--nothing. Nada. Zip. After a few days I was hit in the stomach with the realization that I'd lost my passion for writing anything. And it hurt.
I didn't feel like writing on my blog, for my newsletter, for anything. It wasn't like I didn't have work or that I'd been receiving so many rejections I wanted to give up (like in the beginning of my career). In fact, I'd been receiving more offers to work--in the areas I wanted writing in--than ever before. But there was nothing inside of me igniting that desire to delve in and create.
What the heck is going on here? I thought with frustration. Why can't I do this anymore?
Just as I decided that a sabbatical would be the best idea for me, the shining light in my life gave me a beautiful gift. Jaimie approached me as I sat at my computer desk, my face buried in my folded arms, and said, "Mama, can I take this to school tomorrow?"
I peeked over my arms to see the cover of the children's picture book I'd written. I had given an extra copy to Jaimie when the book came out and had told her to keep it with her whenever she felt badly or when she felt she needed extra courage. As alot of you know, I'd written the book to validate Jaimie's feelings about her Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and so she could see that other children went through the things she did.
"Can you come and read it to my class?" Jaimie whispered. "I want to talk about it."
Right in that moment, I felt a warmth spread through my entire body. THAT was exactly what I needed. I hadn't lost my passion; I just wasn't listening to it. You see, I'm the sort of writer who needs some sort of connection to the work I'm doing. I can't write for the sake of writing or just for a huge paycheque (Although the money is always nice too!!). I guess what I'm saying is that if my soul doesn't feel good about what I'm writing then...well...I'm "just writing." And that's when my passion turns off.
Jaimie reminded me the entire reason I write: to help the world understand her. After all, if she's learning to cope in the world around her and the people in it, those same people must learn to interact with her. And that's my job...my reason for writing...my passion. I've been much more creative lately--working on the projects that keep that warmth inside of me stoked. And I'm much happier.
What's your passion? No matter where you are on the writing spectrum, don't lose sight of it. Because in the end, without it, your writing will never be what it should be. Then you aren't being true to yourself or your craft.
Have a fantastic month everyone!


Virginia said...

What a sweet girl - I'm so glad she was able to help you find your passion again!

LuAnn said...

As the grandmother of a SID child, I found this post particularly interesting. I am so glad to have read this post this morning as I was just talking about my concerns regarding my grandson with my husband last night. I've sent you a personal e-mail.

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