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Igniting passion as an artist

Whether you’re a writer, painter, photographer, or other type of artist, you are a creator, a mini-god, a microcosm of the macrocosm. And you create for a reason. All artists have their reasons. I began creating as a way to answer questions: Who am I? Why am I here? Is there any purpose to my life? Why do things happen the way they do?

These questions are what motivate me to write. In the writing, occasionally, I get answers. There are other reasons why I write—I like to tell stories, to explore relationships and psychology. But my real passion for writing stems from my original questions.

What is your passion? Why do you create? These are important questions every artist needs to answer for themselves. The key, I think, is in the word passion.

To be successful on any level, you have to be passionate about your art. If you don’t feel that burning passion for what you do, then maybe what you’re doing needs to change. Sometimes, what needs to change is something small—a shift in attitude or purpose.

In the middle of my millionth memoir rewrite, I found my passion for that particular project lagging. I’d gotten bogged down in the details of my craft to the point where I felt as if I’d lost my white-hot center, my burning passion for the story. How did I find it again? I took a break. I wrote some poetry. I listened to one of my favorite authors, Isabel Allende, speak on the subject of passion (see her Ted Talk above).

Whenever I feel myself lagging or beginning to question why I write in the first place, I listen to her talk above and it re-inspires me. What inspires you?

Exercise: Set your timer for eight minutes and write down all the reasons why you became an artist. Then, set the timer for six minutes and write down what inspires you as an artist. What keeps your white-hot center burning? Keep these pages handy and reread them whenever you feel your passion lagging.

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