Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Is Writing Your Passion?

Over the past several months, the issue of someone's passion in life has been the subject of many conversations.  So many people are just "working", doing a job in order to make ends meet.  I'm no different:  I have a day job that I work over 40 hours at every week, and it pays the bills.  But it's the things that I do with my remaining waking hours that really shows what I'm interested in, what I like to do, what I'm passionate about.  And one of those things is writing.

I don't know how many times I've heard someone say that they would just LOVE to write a book.  When I press them, they say that they have a really neat idea, and when they tell me I usually agree.  So then I ask them why they don't do it, why they haven't started yet.  The answer I usually goes something like this:  "Yeah, when I find the time!".  I've got a little secret for you:  If you are passionate about something, you will find the time.

Do I feel bad for these people who dream of writing a novel, but never do?  I little, yes, because they don't even give themselves the time to try it out.  But, then I remember that if they really wanted to try it, they would find the time.  However, there's another type of person, someone who actually did try writing a novel or two.  They've succeeded where so many others don't even start.  They've finished their book, and then they went on to self-publish it.  And then they start to wonder why it isn't selling a hundred copies a day.

It's these folks that really need to evaluate if writing is their passion.  If they really had the passion for writing, they would continue to write, to learn, to study, and to try to make their next writing project better.  They would be able to identify areas in their last work that could be improved if they were to do it again.  They wouldn't be frustrated with slow or even non-existent sales, they would be grateful for the sales that they did have and work to find more people that would also be interested in what they wrote.  They wouldn't get discouraged by a bad review, because they had been expecting it.  They would find time, even little bits of time, to keep writing or doing other things that advance their latest project or hone their writing and/or story telling skills.  These people have passion.

Do you have the passion?  Do you stay up late writing in order to finish something that's captured your attention?  Do you keep looking for new opportunities because you never know when you'll come upon a really good way to reach your target audience?  Do you keep learning about the industry, the latest changes, trends, and how to make it work for your goals?  If you do any of these things, and look forward to it, then you probably have the passion.  But what if you don't?  What if you find it to be taxing?  What if you find excuses to NOT write?

If you find yourself questioning what you're doing or finding ways to avoid writing or doing anything having to do with writing, you have to seriously question if you have the passion for writing.  Okay, we'll all give you credit for finishing that novel, because that's a huge thing; not many people even get that far.  But be honest with yourself and how much you like writing.  It's not for everyone, just like being a surgeon isn't for everyone (I'd faint so fast in the operating room it wouldn't be funny).  I've often said to people who complain over and over and over again about their job, if you don't like it, why are you still doing it?  Life is too short to be stuck doing something that's drudgery.

So find out what your passion is.  If it's writing, that's awesome!  Keep at it, keep writing, researching, doing, learning.  But if it's not, do yourself the biggest favor you can, and stop writing!  Go find what your passion really is, and pursue it with gusto.  You'll know what your passion is when you dream about it in your sleep, talk with people about it even when they could care less, and especially when you start to invest your hard-earned money on things dealing with your passion.

So go on, find your passion!  Mine is to write.  What's yours?