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Posts tagged ‘passion’

How to stay passionate in your life and writing, Part one

Some days I feel as if I’m still twelve and other days a hundred and twelve. Some days I feel young because I have so many things I want to do in the time I have left. And other days, I feel old because I’ve already done so much—I survived my childhood, graduated college, raised a family, worked for somebody else, ran my own business, went back to graduate school, changed businesses, buried my parents, and lost two aunts, two uncles, and two cousins in the span of two years.

So when I heard that one of my favorite authors Isabel Allende was giving a Ted Talk on aging, I couldn’t wait to watch it. In “How to live passionately—no matter your age,” Allende begins by quoting poet Mary Oliver in one of her poems: “Tell me, what are you going to do with your own wild and precious life?” Allende says she wants to live passionately. How does she do this? By saying “yes” to life.

Staying young is often a matter of attitude, according to Allende. She says, “Our souls are ageless.”

After watching Allende’s Ted Talk, which you can view below, I was inspired to make a list of things I’m passionate about. I have many passions but some of my top ones are: spending time with my family, helping people with my business, writing, reading, being in nature, learning Spanish, and listening to music.

What are you passionate about? How do you live passionately? What are you doing with your one and only life?

For more on passion by Allende, see my previous post, “Igniting passion as an artist.”

In my next post, I’ll give tips for staying passionately connected to your writing.




Stick it to the man: Follow your creative passion

In today’s age of smartphones and the internet, it seems that we actually work more hours than we used to. Ironic, isn’t it?

I know in my busy world it’s a constant battle to find time and quiet to write. Sometimes, one day of interruptions can lead to several days in a row of the same. So, what do we do? Give up? Give in? Watch others achieve their dreams while we sit and spin and wonder what happened?

Instead, take pianist James Rhodes’ advice in his post, “Find what you love and let it kill you,” and satisfy your hunger for what you love.  You don’t have to go to his extremes—unemployment, divorce, nine months in a mental institution, and weight loss—to live your dream. But if you DON’T live your dream, you might as well dig a hole and jump in now.

You can still live your dream by setting aside time each week or each day to pursue your art or passion. If you have a job that you don’t love so much, then beginning to live your dream may just save your life or your sanity.

Read Rhodes’ post and please share it with those you care about.

You can’t be a writer and live a quiet life: Three writing truths

I once heard a writing teacher advise her students to live a “quiet life.” She said if you want to be a writer, but live too exciting a life, you won’t have any time for your writing.


Yes, if you want to be a writer, you have to make time for the act of writing. But you also need to live a passionate life. If not, your lack of passion will seep into your writing.

This week I discovered Owen Egerton’s blog, “Type So Hard You Bruise the Screen,” where he shares his list of 30 points of prose (ala Jack Kerouac).

A few of my favorites from his list:

* Do not wait for inspiration. Go out and hunt it. Seduce it. Pin it down and dribble spit on its forehead until it cracks your leg bone and renames you. Read more

Why I write

For years, I wrote poetry, legal briefs, and Christmas letters, but never prose (except that one short story in college that was so bad I vowed never to write prose again). But circumstances and people change. I remember exactly what propelled me into writing stories.

In 2003, I had a serious flare-up of an existing thyroid condition. I spent six months in bed and another six months regaining my strength. Often, before drifting off to sleep, I prayed I would wake in the morning. During this time, my life changed in many ways—I became more appreciative of family and friends, of sunlight, of the ability to walk, of grass and birds, of anything that made me laugh.

I also realized I was not 100% happy. I’d been ignoring my creative side for too long. I’d made a lot of progress in my life—overcoming childhood trauma and a failed first marriage. I’d been an excellent mother and provider for my son—home schooling, meeting all his needs–including piano lessons and helping him fulfill his gift of touching people’s souls with music, but somewhere in the process I had neglected my own soul’s needs. For me, writing was like breathing. And I’d been holding my breath too long. Read more

Steve Jobs: Love what you do & you can change the world

Even though we braced ourselves for it, the entire world is stunned and saddened by the passing of Steve Jobs, the visionary co-founder of Apple. In Brandon Grigg’s CNN news report, Jobs is referred to as a modern-day Leonardo Da Vinci. And he was. What I admire most about Jobs was his passion.

To the 2005 Stanford graduating class, Jobs said, “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on.” Read more

What if you write only what is meaningful to you?

I’m a big fan of passion. I believe that whatever we do has to be done with passion. Maybe this is why my house is currently a certified disaster zone or why I’m behind on bookkeeping—because it takes me awhile to work up my passion for these tasks.

When you do something with passion, you do it for yourself and nobody else. You have an inner fire. I can tell when an author has passion—I feel it in their writing, in their words, in their images. They capture me.

I recently read a post on by photographer Scott Bourne (@scottbourne) where he asked the question of his fellow photographers: “What if you concentrated on making only meaningful photos?” Bourne explores what this concept might mean to his body of work and encourages photographers to find what is meaningful to them as artists—not what they think is meaningful to others.

He writes, “There seems to be a rush to mediocrity in so many of the things that surround us lately that we may be in danger of simply forgetting about excellence.”

As writers, we have to be knowledgeable about the market—what’s selling, what’s not, how genres have shifted or combined to make new opportunities. But we don’t want to write to the market. We don’t want to write about vampires just because that’s the new hot trend (unless that’s truly your passion).

The most successful authors make their own trends. They find what they’re absolutely passionate about, what is most meaningful to them, and write about it. Read more

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. Read more