Wednesday, May 11, 2011

How to Generate Passion for Your Writing

Passion is the fuel for our stories. It helps us to keep going and keep writing and keep striving. It’s the airbag that protects us from insanity when we think we’re headed for disaster. It’s the compass to a safe haven when we think we’re lost. Passion not only makes writing worth the angst, it also makes our work shine.

Can we learn passion? Many might argue we either have it or we don’t, however, I believe we can learn passion. I believe we can grow it and nurture it.

Focus on the positives: While it’s important to think of writing as a job if we wish to pursue it as a career, it’s equally important to remember why we originally took on this mammoth task.

To find passion for anything, we have to focus on what we like about it. The more we focus on those aspects, the more ‘like’ will become ‘love’. People fall in love with each other when they focus on the positives. They fall out of love when they focus only on the negatives. The same goes for our manuscripts — especially in the editing phase when it’s our job to find the faults.

Have ownership: Passion has a way of growing when we invest ourselves into a project—our unique selves. Because of that uniqueness, we will each find something different to get passionate about. Trying to write someone else’s story won’t generate any excitement for the story. This is why writing to trends doesn’t always work. Passion starts from that unique place deep inside.

Do your best: When we strive to do our best we can’t help but build a passion for it. How can we love a half-hearted effort? To put our all into our work, we have to care about it and we have to know it matters. That caring is the seed which will lead to passion.

Can you think of other ways to generate passion? What helps you get through a huge project?

35 comments:

  1. I have passion! And my critique partners are helping me maintain a sense of humor.

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  2. Great advice. Thank you. Most people would never write if it weren't for their passion but it doesn't always come through to the reader!

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  3. Great post! Sometimes, keeping that passion is a little hard, though.

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  4. I generate passion when I figure out a great scene or even one of my characters. Understanding how the story is supposed to be written, instead of forcing myself to write it, helps fuel my passion to continue.

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  5. are those your wine cellars, my dear? Didn't know you had a booze stash :)

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  6. I agree, passion is the key. It's what drives us forward and must be present to write with true feeling that will come through to the reader. Trends come and go, but classic literature lives forever, and if those works weren't written with passion, they would never stand the test of time.

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  7. I'm a sucker for external motivation - read a motivational book (I'm reading 'Crush it' now, or an uplifting blog. Also hearing about other successful writing journeys gets me pumped too. Any positive feedback gets me going too.
    I'm just easily influenced :-J

    Right now a new Macbook Pro would REALLY make me passionate about my writing (just put that in incase hubby happens by this blog).

    Wagging Tales - Blog for Writers

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  8. Yay for passion!! I always think I'm in a complex and profound soulmate relationship with my stories. I fall in love with them, I hate them, we argue, we make up and I fall in love with them again!

    Take care
    x

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  9. Being passionate about your work makes all the difference. Thanks for a lovely post.

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  10. Networking with other writers fires my passion and gets me moving on my projects.

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  11. These are such great tips, thanks for sharing.

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  12. I love this post. I think that these are all good things that can help passion grow, but I do believe there has to at least be a spark already there.

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  13. I definitely have passion. As for what gets me through a huge project, probably stubborn determination for the most part. LOL.

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  14. Another terrific post, my dear. Especially liked the point about taking ownership.

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  15. All of the above, and also--taking breaks and not forcing it. Also, not feeling guilty about not being passionate ALL the time. Great post!

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  16. Obsession is passion squared. :D I've always liked the idea of being obsessed with writing (I mean who doesn't want to be crazy? *nervous giggles*) Great tips!

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  17. write something your passionate about. Simple. LOL.

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  18. Yes, passion is indeed important. Just this morning I read the chapter in Plot and Structure, where James Scott Bell talks of Passion,Potential and Precision.

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  19. You've got to be doing something you love. In the case of writing a book, it has to revolve around a story line that is representative of your own life experiences.

    Duncan In Kuantan

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  20. Alex, ha, a sense of humour is a good thing to have.

    Shandra, thanks

    Emily, yes indeed

    Las Vegas, yes, understanding the story is a good way of generating the passion for it.

    Dezzy, lol, I do have a wine stash, however it's nowhere near as huge as that image. I took the photo at a winery in the Mudgee region of NSW.

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  21. LynNerd, well said

    Charmaine, yes, great point. Positivity, not only in your own work, but in the work of others, helps to buoy our spirits and enthusiasm.

    Old Kitty, hehe sounds like a tumultuous relationship ;)

    Damyanti, :)

    Susan, networking is another great way.

    Toyin, thanks

    Sondrae, yep. We have to WANT the passion. We have to WANT to write the story.

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  22. Trisha, there's nothing wrong with stubborn determination.

    Suze, thanks

    Sarah, yes! Breaks are important

    Madeline, hehe craziness is part of the deal after all ;)

    Read, ha...the trick is staying pasionate about it after all the revisions, corrections, rewrites.

    Rachna, yes, that's a good chapter

    Duncan, yes, and life experiences can be found in research too.

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  23. To get through a huge project, I need to care about my characters deeply and love their story. And realize the down times are just that and they'll go away.

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  24. Other than coffee in the morning and wine in the evening, I love what I do. I take great pride in the research and bringing relatable and loveable or tateable (is that a word???) to life foe the reader.

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  25. Passion is so important! I try to keep it high but sometimes I lose it. Very helpful suggestions.

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  26. I think passion is the most important tool for keeping a writer writing. Great post!

    Ellie Garratt

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  27. Another beautiful post, Lynda! You are just inspiring me all over the place! LOL Indeed, passion is most crucial when working your craft. Without it, the act of writing becomes boring and too much like a chore, instead of the pleasurable art it is.

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  28. Amen :) So long as it's art for art's sake you can't go wrong:)

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  29. Great advice. I love love LOVE writing. Everything about it. Even when my work gets ripped apart by my crit partners. I know I can make it better. They push me to make it better, and I love how my books turn out because of it.
    How can anyone write without loving it? It would be really hard to put passion into something I didn't love doing.

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  30. As I told you, I found watching great space opera while writing one inspirational and motivating. Not only to get through it, but to slow down. Not to make it better, but to make it exceptional. So, I hope. I'll probably change my mind about that 6 months from now. lol

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  31. Lovely post, Lynda! Having passion is so important. I regain passion when I read or critique my cp's work, when I make a connection in the industry or when I learn something about the craft (writing not witch). I also find that music helps me, depending on what piece I''m working on.

    Have a great rest of the week! :-)

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  32. I agree, and I find that passion is sustained when you have a real genuine interest in the story you are currently writing.

    Great post!

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  33. You need passion to write, for sure! I try to always remember to have fun.

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  34. blogger had issues and rolled back 30 hours apparently. I had 33 comments here and suddenly some disappeared before I had a chance to visit everyone. :(

    I appreciate all your comments and my apologies if you were one of the blogs I missed.

    Lyn

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  35. oh, these are GREAT tips, Lynda! And I guess for me, one of the biggest ways to fuel passion is just being excited about my story. That always seems to do it... :o) Thanks! <3

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