Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Write with Passion


Being a writer can be lonely, filled with rejection, tossed with bad reviews, and subject to a floundering economic turn. So why do you keep writing? Why torture yourself like this?

This is a question I often find myself asking. My answer is I keep writing because I can’t imagine not.

Kevan Lyon sums it up well:
“Write because you must, because it is your passion. Write for yourself, not to be published or for monetary gain. This is not a business for the “faint of heart”, but if you are writing stories that you are passionate about and continuing to learn from others you just may realize your dream of being published.”

Passion and Hobbies aren’t the Same Thing
I like to think of a hobby is something I take up, but could easily put it aside. Like I took a class on quilting and made some Christmas quilts. They were made with love, but far from perfect with all their crooked lines and bunched material. It was fun but I happily set it aside when I finished. I don’t have to quilt. I don’t wake up in the morning with a brand new quilting idea. I don’t eat my cereal thinking about how straight my sewing lines will be. Just the thought of that makes me giggle.

Writing on the other hand is my passion. It’s the characters I daydream about. The way I pay attention to how others speak. Or why I must read as many books as I can get my hands on.

Keep that Flame Burning
1. Set achievable goals and maybe one goal that would stretch you. This will give you confidence and yet push you to become better
2. Be a lifelong learner- attend writing conferences, take classes, read until your eyes burn
3. Surround yourself with positive, yet critical writers- plant yourself in a critique group that challenges you in your writing and points out your weakness. Yet one that is also there to give you those hugs (or cyber hugs!) and a listening ear
4. Try something new- have you always written YA? Write a MG or picture book? Write a travel article on your last vacation. You may surprise yourself and learn something along the way.
5. Take a break- sometimes we’re just tired and we need to rest. Give yourself time off. During that sabbatical, read or keep a journal or watch TV and study plot.
6. Reach for the stars- this has always been my lifelong motivation. If you don’t believe the stars are in your grasp, they aren’t. “Passion is energy,” says Oprah Winfrey. “Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.”
7. Be proactive, prepared, positive- luck doesn’t drop at your doorstep. Opportunity might though. When an agent says “I’m looking for ____.” And you have it!

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” –Eleanor Roosevelt

What do you do to keep your passion and dreams alive?

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Karen Strong 01.12.10 at 1:03 pm

Love this list Christina. Especially #3 and #5.

Good point about hobby versus passion. I don’t think I could give writing up. I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t write and read books!

Debbie Ohi 01.13.10 at 8:46 am

Great post, Christy. I find reading books I love is always inspiring!


Andrea 01.13.10 at 8:58 am

Christy, it’s interesting how your writing passion shapes the way you experience your life. I like the Roosevelt quote!

I love to read, maybe even more than I love to write. But Debbie, I find sometimes that reading books I love is depressing rather than inspiring, because it makes me aware of how my own writing needs so much more work to get to that level where someone just becomes a part of another world during the reading experience.

Kate Fall 01.15.10 at 12:03 pm

I like to try something new with every writing project. But most of all, I want to write what I enjoy reading.

I was at a panel recently where one of the writer/speakers said, “Even days I don’t write, I think about it. I think about it every day of my life.” And it hit me: so do I. I became that person with a passion for writing. When did that happen?

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