Thursday, July 23, 2015

Passion at the Center

If you find that you start a number of stories or pieces that you don't ever bother may be that there is nothing at their center about which you care passionately. - Anne Lamott 

Does anyone else have at least a half dozen unfinished stories on their computer? I have at least a dozen unfinished projects on my laptop, and whenever I pull one of them up, I end up giving myself the third degree. "Why didn't you finish this? When are you going to finish this? What was the initial idea you fell in love with? How do you get back to that?" I run through a list of stock excuses, then I feel guilty and develop a sudden craving for ice cream.

Last week, I was filling out a worksheet, and one of the questions happened to be "What are you passionate about?"  I stumbled. For, like, half an hour. I couldn't come up with anything other than a predictable answer. Of course I'm passionate about hubby, about my kids, my pets, my home life. But I knew that's not what I was being asked. I mean, a lot of people are passionate about their family and pets, but they don't blog about it, they don't hold sit-ins over it, or devote themselves to the study of it. They retain outside interests like geneology, photography, astronomy, political discussion, or collecting rare coins.

Well, I am passionate about writing. It gets me out of bed in the morning. I like to discuss craft with other writers; I like to read books on the subject. Writing gives me a place to think out loud, but...what's at the center of that? The act itself doesn't necessarily set me on fire with mad passion, although I've read plenty of books that hit that mark within me. They made me care.

So what am I passionate about? I'm not really sure. Animal welfare, maybe? Aside from signing petitions here and there, and sharing images of pets for adoption, it's not something I actively put myself out there and get sweaty over. Know what I mean?

When it comes down to it, I have a lot of interests, but I can't think of a single topic right off hand that inspires me to great passion. I like to learn new things, so now I'm trying to figure out where my passion lies. Why?  Because I want to write about it, warts and all, whether it turns out to be quirky people, saving the ocean, or recycling tin cans. ♦

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