Finding the Passion
I’m told I wrote my first ‘book’ when I was in Kindergarten. I remember enjoying creative writing time in 3rd and 5th grades. And I remember joining Writer’s Ink (a writing centered club) in 7th grade. All through middle school you never saw me without my writing binder. Either my green leather one or, when I upgraded, my giant zipping gray binder filled with other folders and notebooks and spare papers. (I still have both of these! But they were retired when I reached high school and bought my first laptop.)
I was the girl who literally once got herself grounded from writing. My parents had felt I had become addicted to my fantasy world and were trying to protect me from myself. (Kind of humorous if you think about it. Even better if you picture it. My parents coming home from a grocery trip - where I had asked them to buy my a new notebook - and they handed me the notebook and asked what it was for. When I said a new book, they took it back and said I could have it when I went two weeks without writing.) It was a good thing I took a break. I didn’t think so when it started, but it ended up being very healthy to take a step back and breathe real air.
After middle school my writing took a back burner. I still wrote occasionally, but that break my parents had forced me to take ended up letting me take a step back. It let me focus on my music and other hobbies. I made a few new friends - friends who would end up being the only ones to stand by me when I had to abandon my first high school. Friends I still cherish to this day and am embarrassed to admit I never fully appreciated them in high school the way I do now. But high school became more about music than writing. Though I did publish my first two novellas while I was in high school, and I wrote the most meaningful book of my existence to this point. But writing wasn’t my sole purpose in life anymore. I learned how to human.
Taking a step back from writing wasn’t easy. I screamed and cried and cursed my parents for their unfair punishment for something I didn’t even think needed to be punished. I was making worlds! I was creating! Most parents would be proud of their child spending all of their time in books, not punishing their children for make believe! But I am so, so grateful my parents saw where my life was heading and gave me the chance to stop it.
Losing the Spark
Like I said, my writing took the back seat for a while. I honestly probably didn’t write anything at all my senior year. (cue horrified gasp) But I picked up the pen (so to speak) when I went to college. I went back to said Meaningful Book and I completely fell in love all over again. And I managed to get it published after I got married. It was a dream come true! (I mean, mostly. I’d dreamed of a traditional publisher finding my book and falling in love and publishing it. Instead I had the craziest urge to self publish it, so I did. But still, it got published. And I love the feel of it in my hands.)
Since that project (actually in the middle of that publishing process) I have managed to write another completely amazing novel. I still really, really love Pulchra Arcanum and it’ll probably be a work in progress for a few years as I decide what to do with it. But as I have been trying to force myself to edit this book for the eventual goal of publication, I realized something.
The Passion is GONE
Holy cow did this realization break my heart. When I wrote Pulchra I was writing every single day. I was loving the feel of words spilling from my fingertips. But editing it with the intent to get it self published has made me realize that I never intended all of my writing to become public access. My first books (the ones I became addicted to in middle school) were literally worlds just for me. I became best friends with my characters in a way I’ve never been able to do again. I loved writing My World of Glass, and still count it as my biggest accomplishment. And though those characters became very real to me, they were never the same level as enjoyment. I still had days where I stared at a blank page. And now I stare at a screen (regularly but not consistently) full of words and just dread forcing myself to edit them. Because I lost that spark.
Returning to the Basics
I wanted to know if I was the only one who felt this way. I took to Twitter. I asked my followers if anyone still wrote for fun, or if it was all just to get published. The response was overwhelming! So many people had something to say about it. Lots of people talked about how it had started as fun, but it is nice to get paid (lucky them!). Some people talked about how they had to enjoy writing because it was their escape (I spotted younger me saying the same things). But a few of the responses talked about how writing needed to be fun first and foremost, and if publication came then it was the cherry on top. When I read those answers, my heart yearned for that feeling. The feeling of writing just for me and a few close friends. I missed that. I missed feeling like I was creating a world just for me.
So I have decided to do just that. I need to find my passion again. I need to find the reason for the words. I need to find the happiness in the words again. And I hope you will join me! I hope someone will return to the basics, whatever their hobby, and find the joy again. Find that passion behind the action. Get your heart back into it. And please, tell me about it! Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or here on my website. Comment below if you are going to join on this challenge with me! Share this post and commit by telling your social media followers that you will be finding your passion again.
Starting now, I am going to spend some time writing for me. I might share what I’m working on, on Wattpad or some similar platform (you can find me here on Wattpad), but for now I’m going to be writing for me and sharing what I learn about me, writing, and passion. I’d love to hear who else will join me on this journey.