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.
Creative 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.