Regain the Passion (Part 2)

(Read Part 1 of Regain the Passion first.)

When does passion flourish? Under what conditions?

First, a writer’s passion is generally at its highest point when life is going well. (Big surprise!) When relationships are smooth, health is good, there’s enough money to pay the bills, the writer is following a healthy diet and getting sufficient sleep: these are the optimal conditions.

Whatever is draining your passion first needs to be attended to, thoroughly and persistently. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always bring back the passion. It simple sets the stage, giving yourself the optimal environment for your resurrected passion to grow.

Habits of a Passionate Writer
How do you recognize passion for writing? Yes, it’s a feeling, but it’s so much more.

Each writer will exhibit certain habits when she is being passionate about her writing. These habits are individual and personal. Take a moment to make a list of habits that (to you) marks a writer as passionate.

To me, a passionate writer:
A. writes, almost daily.
B. listens, observes and thinks—alert to her surroundings.
C. carries a notebook everywhere to jot down impressions, descriptions and ideas.
D. journals—daily, if possible.
E. is focused—begins and continues her writing with energy.
F. reads other good children’s books, both current and classics.
G. keeps up with professional reading.
H. shares her enthusiasm at conferences and workshops (but doesn’t over-schedule such events so they don’t interfere with writing).
I. leads a more secluded life than the average person, in order to nurture and explore her talent.
J. is physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually healthy.
K. Most of all, passionate writers are 24-hour-a-day writers. Even when washing dishes or cutting grass, the passionate writer’s work is close at hand, on the edges of her mind. Everything she does is writing-related and life-related, so that her work and her life are inseparable.

What did I leave out? What additional things are on your list? (Next time we’ll talk about practical ways to get the passion back.)

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9 Responses to Regain the Passion (Part 2)

  1. Sandyy Asher says:

    Love this series, and your list is right-on (write-on?), although I don’t journal and never have, except on those rare occasions when we’re traveling in foreign countries. For me, the passion includes — and may be all about — losing oneself in the writing. The physical world disappears, including the sense of “self,” and the imagined world takes over. Real-life distractions, large or small, some more than others, can undermine the achievement of this totally dedicated state of mind.

    • kwpadmin says:

      Hi, Sandy! :-) Yes, losing oneself in the writing is such a joy! Sometimes it takes me more work to prime the pump than other times. When I feel great, have slept well, and no daughter is having a baby at the moment to distract me with cuddly newborns, I can “sink” into the writing with very little trouble. Other times, it takes a bit more work to blot out those distractions. But when it happens? Bliss!

  2. I agree with the whole list, but I think the part about being physically, mentally and spiritually fit should go towards the top. One really needs to take care of one’s body in order to feel energetic enough to write. If I don’t eat right, get enough sleep, or exercise daily, my writer really suffers.

    • kwpadmin says:

      Juliana, you’re so right about about our “fitness” on all levels having the biggest impact on our writing ability. Without the energy, everything else suffers. I didn’t actually list things in their order of importance…more just as they occurred to me. But managing your energy–right foods, more sleep, daily exercise–is critical.

  3. Deanna says:

    A few ideas . . .
    E-explore all genres of writing to find your perfect fit.
    S-submit short stories, devotionals, and magazine articles–a passionate writer reaches beyond the desire to “publish a book.”
    W-willing to keep writing and studying the craft, even if publication doesn’t happen right away.

    P.S. Has baby arrived? When you mentioned cuddly newborns, I imagined the sweet baby scent and a soft bundle in my arms. It’s been a while–my youngest grandbaby is five now.

    • kwpadmin says:

      Hi, Deanna,

      I loved your additions! All of those are true. And it’s not just at the beginning of your career. Mine has taken big turns several times over the years, and at those times, it was back to exploring various genres to find the “new fit,” publishing things and forms I had previously had no interest in, and studying to “come up higher.”

      No, baby hasn’t arrived yet, or I should say, “babies.” One is due today, one next month. Both girls have had lots of contractions, early “scares” in the hospital three times, then home for more waiting. When grandbabies comes, I stop for lots of cuddling. As you say, they grow up so fast and one day you turn around, and they’ve started school.

    • kwpadmin says:

      Hi, Deanna,

      I loved your additions! All of those are true. And it’s not just at the beginning of your career. Mine has taken big turns several times over the years, and at those times, it was back to exploring various genres to find the “new fit,” publishing things and forms I had previously had no interest in, and studying to “come up higher.”

      No, baby hasn’t arrived yet, or I should say, “babies.” One is due today, one next month. Both girls have had lots of contractions, early “scares” in the hospital three times, then home for more waiting. When grandbabies comes, I stop for lots of cuddling. As you say, they grow up so fast and one day you turn around, and they’ve started school.

  4. Liz says:

    A passionate writer — wakes up ready to ‘play’ with their characters and with words! And sees most of it as play = the writing & the revising, [ and even the submission process - which if you think of it in context of play -- you're looking for someone else to play with your characters too, so you both can send them out into the world.] It helps me tremendously to think of it like that, instead of as work and rejection.

    • kwpadmin says:

      Wow! That is decidedly a much better way to view the writing and storytelling process than what we are apt to descend into! Thanks for sharing that!

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