Are you pointing your writing passion in the right direction?

Writers are passionate beasts, full to the brim with great ideas and endless creativity. Right? Of course. But that's no use if we can't focus our passion in a way that lets us actually get things done.

There aren’t many writers who are not passionate about writing. There are some, I think, who may see their creative work more as a means to an end than a work of art, but most of us write because we love it.
It makes sense. Most people write without any reward beyond that feeling of satisfaction you get when you nail a sentence or get great feedback, and yet they still do it. We all still do it.

It figures then that we must be passionate about writing. For all the frustrations and false starts, we must really like to write.

Aimlessly galloping

The problem with passion is that it’s easy to misdirect. This happens a lot in sport, when an athlete gets so pumped that they’re completely unable to perform in the way that they typically would.

Similarly, with writing, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of new ideas and boundless possibilities. We allow our imaginations to run away with us and, as a result, we lose focus.

There’s no easy answer, because passion, enthusiasm and a galloping imagination are generally good things. We wouldn’t be the same if we had to write without them. They’re part of who we are.

It seems to me that the only solution is to try and find some sort of middle ground. To look for a balance where we are passionate about our work, but without getting carried away and never completing.

Creativity should never be aimless. We should always start out with the intention of finishing what we set out to do.

Making good decisions

Perhaps the way to achieve this is to always keep in mind that everything we do, unless we’re writing under some sort of contract or tight legislation, is done by choice.

I’ve previously written about how important it is to take responsibility for your writing. I think the same sentiment applies here. Because we can control our passion, if we put our minds to it.

To me, it’s about making good decisions. For example, if you’re excited about two projects that you have on the go at once, but deep down you know that you can’t fully commit to either, then maybe one of them has to go.

That would be a tough, but good decision. You’d still work on something that you’re passionate about, but your passion would have focus. You’d do more with it. Your end product would likely improve.

Do as I say, not as I do

Almost everything I write on this blog is as much a note to self as it is advice to anyone else. This article is no exception. I’m a total daydreamer. I’m always fighting for focus.

As such, I’m going to be doing a little project pruning myself over the coming weeks. I have some great ideas that I’d love to pursue, but I know that now is not the time. I have to make some good decisions.

That sounds pretty cryptic, but I assure you it’s not. It’s simply a case of taking all the things I love doing and making sure that I point my writing passion in the right direction.

Share your thoughts

Are you able to control your writing passion or do you get overexcited and lose track of what you’re doing? Got any tips for making good decisions and getting things done? Let us know in the comments!

5 Comments 24 July 2011 Reply

I completely understand what you said in this post. You can have a thousand projects running through your head all the time – hey, it’s what happens to writers, we can’t stop thinking and coming up with ideas- but you have to focus on one of them in order to be able to give them full priority and attention. And energy. And passion. If not, then the result is a lot of messy paragraphs that you can look at later and say, “What was I thinking?”
Of course, there are people who can working on several books at the same time. Sometimes I with I was one of them, but for now, I try to devote myself to one project at a time, or at least to work on one of them intensely. In the meantime, I usually built the structure and characters for the other ones.

Now, that makes me think about characters and how a full, rounded rounded one can turn into a different person when you write about him/her. Ha. Ah, the magic of this beautiful craft.

Thanks for another great post! 26 July 2011 Reply

No problem and I agree with all that you say. Thanks for the detailed response. 25 July 2011 Reply

Hi,I now start to understand passion to write.
Thank you for the article.
I will continue to follow this blog and implement your tips because I like the topics and the conversation around!

Anonymous 1 August 2011 Reply

I use the 3 M’s – Meditation, Mind Mapping and Mission. All my projects use all three and I don’t so much end of course but on a new course which I could never have dreamed of if I hadn’t written and published exactly those books at that time.
p.s. there’s also 3 T’s – Trust, Timing and Truth 1 August 2011 Reply

All good things come in threes, they say! Sounds like some pretty good words to go by to me. 

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