Write or Wrong? Your Passion Will Let You Know…
Our topic today is writing, but kindly allow me a moment to qualify this diatribe before diving deep…
My motivations to write are never inspired by a desire to hurt, inflame, polarize, or suggest I have everything in the world figured out. I sure as fuck don’t. The more I learn on my travels, the stupider I realize I am. The most important thing that has made any difference in my strange world has stemmed from learning to be true to myself, unconcerned with the “practical-minded” folk who love to suggest what is or isn’t possible. They’re usually the ones working jobs they hate, married to women they despise, and picking shit up after a dog they’d happily buy a potassium-chloride drip-machine for, ironically investing the time to train Fido to euthanize himself.
Forget those people.
I know this is horribly cliché, but the only thing that matters is following your heart. You engage your hobbies because you love them, not because someone digitally transfers imaginary dollars into your bank account. Treat your writing, or whatever floats your boat, as such.
Find the thing you love most, and do it as much as possible. Your passion will speak for itself. The more you immerse yourself in it, the more opportunities you’ll stumble upon to earn a buck or two while enthusiastically embracing your day, no longer dependent upon alarm clocks or snooze buttons.
There’s always a solution to earn a living pursuing your dreams — but it’s up to you to find it.
Some people aren’t fans of profanity, and that’s fine. If publishers want to reject me for raunchy language or controversial subject matter, that’s their choice. If literature distributors with giant, Amazonian-like powers won’t let me promote a book because I chose an odd title, like, Jesus Loves it Shepherd-Style, that’s their prerogative. They’re running their businesses the way they see fit, and I don’t begrudge them for playing their safe and comforting, politically correct game.
Me though, I fucking hate censorship. Swearing is not a necessity to articulate any thought or ideology that intrigues me, I just happen to find much more laughter and fun within my craft when all words are fair game. We’ve come a long way over the countless centuries to gain freedoms of expression once unimaginable, but we’ve become twisted once more to believe creating a universal, offensive-free, lifeless linguistic process is a necessary goal to establish harmony amongst our wonderfully diverse species.
I ain’t a fan.
One of the reasons I put together essays of this type is because I love the process. From jotting a few ideas down on paper to the never-ending poetic massaging necessary to the often-shunned editing ritual — each step is joy.
Another is because I have genuine, heartfelt inspiration to share with my fellow compositional craftsmen — an obvious love for words is, of course, essential, but so is a lack of rejection fear. I’ll happily invest my time to put together a 1500 word essay under the assumption it’ll get rejected after the first sentence, or when an editor encounters the first of 43 uses of the word douchebag.
Like any passion worth following in life, the most important value that need be recognized is engagement despite concerns for success, acceptance, recognition, or kudos. To put it simply, do shit because you love it, not because you need to impress the endless parade of assfucks primed for the first available opportunity to rip you to shreds. Their undiagnosed superiority complexes are their demons, not yours.
If you’re looking for a little traction to share your message with the herd, or peddle a few books about fictitious worlds you love to enter on a daily basis to find out what crazy adventure your beloved characters might discover next, don’t get discouraged if your brilliance isn’t immediately displayed on a shelf beside the latest Stephen King tome. All the “greats” started somewhere. Every musician, actor, or dancer who stayed true to their calling, likely ate “shit” for decades, but endured because their passion was every bit as essential to their being as breathing air.
I do this because I love it. I started my blog under the assumption no one but myself would ever visit it. To gain even the smallest band of followers is flattering beyond my wildest dreams. As long as I remain amused, I’ll continue to write. If it becomes a chore, if tedium takes hold, or if I have to force myself to “get to work,” that’s the day I lay my quill to rest for good.
Let me leave you with a Barbara Kingsolver quote to wind this piece down:
“It’s a funny thing: people often ask how I discipline myself to write. I can’t begin to understand the question. For me, the discipline is turning off the computer and leaving my desk to do something else.”
Now that’s passion. If writing makes you feel that way, then do it every day. Never stop practicing your craft. The more time you invest in something, the better you’ll get at it.
Even though this essay might get summarily dismissed because of my potty mouth and holier-than-though observations, the time I invested in it has been completely worthwhile. Every word or sentence I commit to paper makes me that much better. And every thought I formulate, no matter how asinine, teaches me more about myself.
If you love to write, then fucking do it. Do it every chance you can. You don’t need a best-selling novel to be a success. A winner is someone excited to open their eyes in the morning, knowing another day of joyous wonder awaits. Whether it’s writing, taking care of the kids, or tossing sawdust on vomit at the carnival, it matters not what gets you fired up, only that you engage the thing you love every chance you get.
One last thought on writing. We’ll use a blog post as an example. Ask yourself this question:
Do you feel disappointed after doing a word-count because you know you’re nowhere near the goal you’ve set for yourself, or do you feel disappointed because the 10,000 more thoughts racing through your head can’t possibly all make the cut for a thousand-word limitation?
Answer honestly, and you’ll be one step closer to understanding where your true passion lies…