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How to Always Be a Passionate Writer
by Maria Chatzi
Return to The Writing Life
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Do you ever feel envy for enthusiastic and inspired writers, who are always motivated by a burning desire to write about almost anything? Well, don't -- you can achieve this too. This article reveals the secrets of how to always be a passionate writer.
Why is passion important and necessary, and how is it related to a writer's success? How do you grow and reinforce a passion for writing? How can you reconnect with the passionate writer you once used to be? What are the things every writer should know about passion? Read on!
Why Be a Passionate Writer
We all dream of a successful writing career. However, to be a successful writer you need to be a passionate writer, because passion:
- helps you deal with your fears (enabling you to overcome writer's block, go public, disregard failure) and spot new writing opportunities.
- motivates you, brings more energy, keeps you focused and committed, cultivates your interpersonal skills (for cooperation and better relationships with fellow writers, publishers, agents etc), sparks your creativity, leads to self-improvement.
- has a positive impact on others (helping you inspire anyone you come in contact with).
How To Grow, Maintain and Reinforce a Passion for Writing
A. How To Get Started
First, you need to get to know yourself better. So, keep notes of any observations you make and any decisions you reach, in regard to what you enjoy most. Do you feel happier when you:
a) write in a specific genre or field of interest (e.g. fantasy fiction, educational issues, articles on any subject, tourist guides etc.)?
b) write with a particular subject or content in mind (e.g. cats, or guerilla art, or baking, or rocks and minerals)?
Start by identifying what you are passionate about (be as clear and as specific as possible), so you can find where you belong and focus on doing more writing of that specific type. Also, valuing your feelings and intuition will help you find what you are passionate about quicker.
The next thing you need to know is whether you are a generalist or a specialist. Specialists explore their interests by narrowing their scope as much as possible and by digging deep. Generalists, on the other hand, need to widen their scope as much as possible and build their work on knowledge, skills and experiences gained from a large variety of subjects and fields (they are the polymathic "Renaissance" type of writers).
Who says that if you are a doctor who writes health guides you should only write about medicine? If fishing excites you, write about fishing. If making art also inspires you, write about making art. Keep all this information neat and organized in a file. Then, if you feel like taking your writing passion a step further, find out what connects fishing, and/or art, to health. Now, you've got a health guide that reflects your knowledge and expertise, your skills, your experiences, your personality and what you are passionate about. Or, you may choose to stick to writing about medicine but decide to devote yourself (as a writer and doctor as well) to Alternative Medicine, which intrigues you and challenges institutionalized medical practices.
The final step is to find the "Why" behind your passion. For example, ask yourself questions such as: Why do I love writing about wild flowers? Why do I find writing about women's issues so challenging? What fascinates me when writing about applied psychology? Also, ask yourself why you hate to write what you don't feel eager to write about? The more "Whys" you answer, and the clearer and the more detailed your answers are, the easier you will get to the roots of your passion as a writer.
B. How to Maintain and Reinforce Your Passion for Writing
Following is a list of what to do and what not to do, to maintain and reinforce your writing passion:
- Be a life-long learner. The more you learn, the stronger, the more and the better connections you will be able to make between various topics, themes, ideas that interest you. Learning opens doors leading a passionate writer to untrodden, challenging paths. Be open to new experiences.
- Live your passion. Your home, your lifestyle, your hobbies and other leisure activities, what you read and research, what you love talking about, will all mirror your passion as a writer.
- Go public with what you feel passionate about. Telling the world (your readers, agents, publisher, friends, anyone) about your passion is like signing a secret contract that you will continue to care and pursue your passion. It is like announcing you are on a mission.
- Be true to yourself when it comes to accepting your real passion. If you are born to be a writer, there is no such thing as an "elite" writing passion -- whether you love to write about the stock market and multimillionaires' lifestyle or about cleaning and organizing your space, your writing will shine the same.
- Do not judge whether it is worthwhile writing on a topic you are passionate about. Such thoughts will replace your eagerness and the zest with self-doubt, disappointment, stress. Once you have identified what you are passionate about, just take the ride to where it leads you to. You cannot know where it ends until your get there. Passion is born from what matters most to you.
- Do not be afraid to say "No" or "Goodbye" to a writing job you do not feel excited about. Do not write about anything you have no enthusiasm for. If the job helps pay your bills keep it long enough to replace it with another one, one that touches your heart.
- Do not hold back on trying things out. Passionate writers know that when one method or approach won't work, another one will. Testing, exploration and a positive attitude are the core of all creative activities, writing being one of them.
- Do not spend too much energy on your day job, if you are not a full-time writer. To be a passionate writer, you need to live a balanced life because passion itself is energy (strong and positive), which disappears if you overwork. Entertainment, relaxation, healthy eating and exercise are absolutely necessary.
C. How to Reconnect to Your Lost Passion
Were you once a passionate writer who has lost that passion for writing? If your answer is "Yes," here is a remedy. Before you proceed to reading it, keep in mind that if you want to fix the problem you need to be patient, hard-working and persistent.
- Identify the main reason (the cause) that you lost your writing passion. Was it lack of interest in the topics or the field/profession? Was it the writing environment (the people you were cooperating with or the physical place)? Did you run out of ideas? Did you block your own way to success out of some type of fear (of rejection, of change and the unknown, of success)? Once you have found the reason, challenge your problem-solving skills.
- Remember what it felt like to be a passionate writer. Remember your thoughts, your dreams and wishes, your beliefs and values, your aims and goals. Reconnect with why you loved doing what you did. What is missing or has changed now? Find the purpose you once had (e.g. to help people, to entertain, to teach), that made writing worthwhile.
- Look back at your best moments in your writing career (successes, tasks you enjoyed a lot, great relationships you got into, etc.). How did you get there? What did you do (or write about)?
- Try learning more about the writing craft and hone your skills, even if you are an experienced writer. Also learn more on anything else you find interesting (sign up for webinars and writing courses, visit public libraries, buy new books, watch videos). Scan all incoming knowledge to pick what sparks again the feeling of strong devotion to your writing.
- Use affirmations to get rid of any negative thoughts you may have on reconnecting with the passionate writer you once were. Believe that your passion for writing is still within you, because it is; you have only lost touch with it temporarily.
- If your interests have changed (for example, your writing was once inspired by colors but now you may be enchanted by rocks and crystals), you may wrongly believe you have lost touch with your previous passion as a writer. Embrace your new interests with enthusiasm and you will reawaken your writing passion, combining the old with the new.
- Team up with fellow writers who have succeeded in finding their lost writing passion. Surround yourself with support and positive spirit. But remember, not everything that has worked for others will also work for you.
D. Five Things Every Writer Should Know About Passion
- Passion is a magnificent combination of emotion, spirit and attitude. Money and fame cannot turn you into a passionate writer. However, if you become famous due to your passionate writing, fame may help your passion grow even stronger, but only if you believe your fame reflects the success of your mission as a writer.
- The more fun you have writing and the less you care about money and fame, the deeper the roots of your passion go.
- Collaborative work and joint projects could build, maintain or intensify passion for writing.
- Passionate writers allow themselves to be vulnerable -– they are open to everyone and think of their readers as their friends. As a result, they are not afraid of being transparent, nor of being wrong, misinterpreted or rejected.
- The ultimate success is to combine what you are passionate about as a writer with what your readers are passionate about.
Nothing great has ever been achieved without passion. We writers have to know how to explore it, cultivate it, maintain it and reinforce it. However, passion is fragile and it may suddenly disappear as well. So, we also need to know how to mend it and reconnect to it. Being always a passionate writer takes patience and determination, but it pays back with a happy and successful writing career.
Copyright © 2015 Maria Chatzi
This article is not available for reprint without the author's written permission.
Maria Chatzi is a teacher, a writer, a self-taught artist, and a craft designer. Her goal is to help children and adults acknowledge their creative identity and discover their potential, so they can play an active part in the new creative culture. Her teaching and writings aim at equipping people with the techniques they need to acquire self-knowledge, be creative thinkers, build their self-esteem and succeed. She does a great deal of volunteer work, especially for public libraries, leading Arts and Crafts Workshops (for adults and children) and Creative Writing Workshops (mainly for children).
Find out more at http://www.creativity-portal.com/howto/a/maria-chatzi/
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