Feed Your Passion, Check-In Your Fear At The Door

Everyone has something they’re passionate about. Some like to paint. Others like to dance. Some may even like taking photos of the world outside. Whatever your passion is, you simply abandon yourself in it and you don’t worry if you’re good at it or not. What matters is you love something and you indulge in it. It’s when you stop doing what really matters to you that you lose a piece of yourself.

I’m no stranger to this. I’ve always loved writing ever since I discovered it around my pre-teens to teenager days. I kept notebooks filled with ideas or wrote fanfiction, like Sailor Moon, to continue the adventures of the Sailor Scouts (mainly in alternate universe type scenarios). I eventually ventured out and took a stab at writing my own original stories.

paper_computer_penCreative writing classes in college introduced me to exercises I could do to get the writing and imagination muscles flexed, and they challenged me to push my writing beyond what I thought I was currently capable of.

I sought out books on my own about writing tips I could use to keep honing my craft. I kept tweaking and editing my pieces until I was satisfied with the desired result. I was always brainstorming and I was always aware of my outside surroundings to draw inspiration from anything that could be a potential story at a moment’s notice. It wasn’t until post-college did the reality of adult life and the hardships that came with it eventually force me to close the door on the passion I had for telling stories.

A number of factors came into play when I shut off what used to bring me joy. The main ones were lack of motivation and the struggles I endured, sapping any inspiration and sheer beauty I used to see in the world. Over time, things did get better. When the storm in my life was finally starting to settle down, I felt an old familiar spark to write again. It was a meek and tiny whisper, but I heard it. The problem came when I was trying to bring myself to write again.

A strange and irrational fear of actually sitting down and creating something I imagined in my own head had paralyzed me. No matter how much I really wanted to pick up a pen and write something on paper or type the words onto a Word document, I couldn’t do it. Maybe too much time had gone by and I felt rusty. Maybe my confidence in writing what I wanted to write without caring if it’s good or not had left me. Whatever it was, it kept me from revisiting that part of my life again.

Part of the reasons I started blogging a few years ago was to feed my desire to write without having to really dig deep into my imagination and create something from scratch. Blogging and creating your own stories are different processes. When you blog about games, movies, books, fashion or whatever topic strikes your fancy, you’re ultimately stating your opinion or thoughts on the matter. It doesn’t really require any level of creativity beyond writing these topics in such a way that is engaging and entertaining for the ones who read it. Writing your own stories requires a level of originality and massive amounts of imagination to create characters and worlds that you not only care about, but other potential readers might care about too.

Blogging has been my answer to the writing dilemma, but it really didn’t satisfy this call to truly create something again. I was avoiding my first and one true passion as if it were something to run away from, instead of welcoming it in again like a friend who has been missed dearly for years. Your passion isn’t something to be feared. It’s something you do and it makes you happy. Whether you make money off of your passion is a whole separate issue, but it really starts by doing what you love and never stopping. Being a storyteller never gave up on me. I gave up on it.

I realized lately that this fear of writing a story, even a small vignette to get started, is keeping me from rediscovering what I once loved. Why should I let fear hold me back from anything? Maybe I’m not a good enough writer. So what? You only get better at something if you keep doing it and you don’t quit.

This is the year where I don’t let fear rule my life anymore. My passion has been pounding on the door, demanding to be let in. I won’t shut out that part of myself anymore. Taking the first steps toward finding the joy I found in writing won’t be easy. It may very well feel like I’m a baby trying to learn how to walk again. The important thing is I’m giving myself a chance and it’s all I can really ask for.

If you have a passion, don’t give up on it. When you love something so much, allow it to keep bringing you joy, let it grow, thrive, and let it take you places. It may just lead you to a much richer and rewarding life.

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8 thoughts on “Feed Your Passion, Check-In Your Fear At The Door”

  1. This post is me in a nutshell. I’ve always loved to write fiction, even as a child, but as I got older, I just couldn’t finish anything. I still can’t! As a teenager I got into Xena fanfiction and really planted myself into the circle of writers that participated, but I could never write anything of my own (anything worth publishing, that is). There is a major fear that accompanies my need to write fiction and I’m currently trying to overcome that.

    It’s so easy to hop online and post an article on a video game, but fiction requires a lot more personal energy. I think in a way, you give more of yourself to something like fiction, and it’s scary to think about giving such a personal piece of yourself to a public audience. Especially an audience that may not appreciate it like you do.

    Who knows? Maybe sometime soon we’ll both be published authors. I still dream about seeing my own books on my bookshelf, even if they’re books that aren’t technically “successful.”

    1. Exactly! I’m slowly starting to get back into the creative writing game. I did start on a fantasy novel from a few years ago that never really got fully fleshed out. I haven’t touched it in years, but I’m planning on dusting off the old digital cobwebs and diving back into it. The best thing we can do is keep dreaming and keep doing. Dreams don’t become reality until you actually do something about them!

  2. Great article! This is really great advice to me right now, not really in relation to writing but in relation to being an activist for certain causes. It gets hard and even though I love it I’m afraid to push forward and do more. This post inspires me to keep going and to do what I love and what makes me happy 😀 Thank you for this!

    1. Thanks! I’m really touched that this post inspired you in some way, considering I wasn’t really expecting it to. 🙂 Sticking with a passion you love is definitely not easy. Sometimes you doubt how good you are or you may not see the results you want with the amount of energy and time you put into something, but as long as it’s something you want to do vs. something you feel like you have to do, that’s really the key to keep pursuing what you love.

  3. I know what you mean, but I’ve found some ways to interject my Creative Self into my blogging. It’s subtle. I’ve become more and more familiar with blogging, and confident. I feel like slipping in more poetic language isn’t so bad anymore.

    When I started, it was a bit different. I wanted just the facts, straight and narrow, no higher reading level required.

    It feels good to stretch my vocabulary, even if the pieces aren’t purely born of my imagination.

    1. That’s why I do believe blogging also has a level of creativity, but not in the same way as writing your own story does. You have to find the right balance of presenting information while also making it sound really entertaining for someone to want to read further. I’ve read articles where I started getting bored with the voice of the writer because it felt like I was reading a college essay or there’s no connection to the point a person was trying to make in their article.

      Whatever style of writing allows you to express yourself, then just keep on doing that. Doing what you love should never feel like a chore. If it does, then maybe you don’t love it as much as you think you do.

  4. I could not agree more! It’s so exciting to hear you’ll be diving (back) into creative writing. Good luck! I did that last year and have been enjoying it so far. Although it took quite a while to get into the habit — that’s the biggest hurdle, I think.

    I definitely relate to you having trouble picking up writing again as an adult. In high school, I finished a few novels and a screenplay and had all kinds of other ideas, but I got busy in college and had more of a “life” than before. So I stopped writing. And now that I’m an adult, it’s really been a struggle to get past my inner critic. I think I’m getting there, though. =)

    1. Good for you! I’m glad it has gotten extremely easy to keep writing as an adult. 🙂 I think that’s a common staple for most writers. We tend to be our own worst critic. I don’t know why it’s easier to just do something without thinking about it too much when we’re younger, compared to when we’re older and we seem to have a lot of fear holding us back from doing what we want to do. The same “don’t let fear hold you back” principle is also being applied to other areas of my life, not just writing. I’m hoping to succeed all across the board!

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