Writing itself has never been an issue. I can exhaust a topic if I have enough information – or opinions – about it. It can be a piece about washing machines and I can write it. I have the ability, even if the interest isn’t there. No, writing has never been the problem. Letting words flow from my brain to paper through the point of my pencil (or the clicking of keys) comes easily.
The problem, therefore, has always been finding inspiration. Deciding on the “what” I will be writing about is the tough part. My objective for a given piece makes or breaks what I write. Sure, I could write all about the Spanish-American War based on information I’ve picked up on, books I’ve read, or television programs I’ve viewed. Am I truly passionate about the war, though? Not really. On the other hand, the American Revolution gets my mind – and pulse – racing. A small group of men willing to bring forth the ideas they believed in… People fighting for independence from a stronger, more powerful, and established country… The Founding Fathers jotting down ideas and creating a constitution – one that would still be in effect hundreds of years later… A war fought with the American spirit behind it… Each of those things give me goosebumps, make me bite my lip, and truly cause me to pause and think. It’s not only a factual event from our nation’s history that I could describe with facts I’ve learned, but it’s something that’s feeling-based, that provides me with a truly emotional connection to a remarkable event in time. What is that caused by? Passion.
If you have passion for a subject, a topic, a person, a place… Trust me, you can write about it. It doesn’t have to be profound. It doesn’t have to sound smart. You don’t have to spell all of the words correctly. You aren’t bound to traditional English language conventions. Just write. If you’re passionate enough, the words will flow…
So what am I passionate about? (Besides Thomas Jefferson and the Constitutional Convention, of course.) I’m passionate about Nick… Our dogs… My family… Cooking a good meal… Trying new recipes for delicious desserts… Having a clean house I’m proud to invite friends to visit… Making a difference in the lives of the students I teach… Reading books that leave me on the edge of my seat… Being friendly toward strangers in my community (you never know when the stranger you’re talking to is your new friend)… Watching TV shows that make me laugh, think, feel, cry… Listening to music of all varieties… Singing along and feeling the words… Sleeping in and relaxing on weekend mornings… Eating breakfast (especially bacon!)… Organizing rooms in our house that aren’t quite lived in yet… Finishing a story I’ve been working on for a long time… Writing thank-you notes to those who helped me or gifted me in some way… Sending Christmas cards in early December to all of our closest family and friends… Expressing myself in a “just because” note to Nick just to let him know how much I love him… And so, so many other seemingly mundane, everyday things that I encounter.
So perhaps I’m guilty of claiming from time to time that I’m passionate about writing. When, in reality, I’m passionate about writing about the things I’m passionate about. I think there’s a big difference. How about you?
Questions to Consider:
- What are you passionate about?
- Do you enjoy writing for the sake of writing, or do you find yourself interested in writing about the topics that you fancy?