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The Writing Life: Creativity and Passion

22 February, 2010

(The usual caveat: I’m not a published writer and these writing posts are as much to help myself as others. Gain from them what you can, but please don’t take them as definitive advice.)

Over the weekend, I’ve found myself thinking a lot about passion when it comes to creativity and whether it’s as necessary as simple enjoyment. It occurred to me that there was a time when I first started writing – back when I was around 15 – when writing was very simply a passion. I spent a great deal of free time thinking about it and I couldn’t wait to get back to the keyboard.

Now though, I feel differently. I still enjoy writing very much and I really can’t imagine doing anything else with my life, but writing has become less an all-consuming passion and more a job that I really enjoy.

There are all sorts of problems with that statement, I realise. For one, it’s almost impossible to define ‘passion’. Secondly, my life has changed a lot since I was 15, so it’s difficult to compare now and then. There are still differences though and sometimes I find myself dwelling on them – I don’t tend to get caught up in daydreams about writing any more because I’m thinking about chores or work. I don’t rush to the keyboard to write either, although I do write every day.

I think that’s really the crux of the matter. Whilst I’m still an amateur, I’ve gone from writing only when I felt like it to the discipline of writing every day. I’m hoping to improve my chances of making a career of this by doing so, but whilst I don’t think discipline has stripped all the fun out of writing, it has sobered my view of it. Perhaps writing seems less of a romantic past-time than it once did.

Of course, the worry that lies behind all this runs thus: if I’m not passionate about what I’m writing, am I writing the wrong things? That’s the question I still can’t answer and which prompted this blog post. I really have no way of knowing. Maybe I’m just in a brief slump and the passion will have returned in a few weeks or months. Or perhaps I’ll realise that I have been writing the wrong things and I need to re-evaluate. For now though, all I can do is keep writing and keep enjoying what I can write.

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