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Writers....Is Your Passion Showing?
No, Not That Kind of Passion
We don’t want you arrested so please, don’t be showing that kind of passion in public.
No, I’m talking about another kind of passion, a passion that says you can’t wait to get those words down and share them with others. The kind of passion that grabs a reader by the throat and won’t let go until they, too are passionate. The kind of passion that is infectious and addictive, requiring intervention and a month-long stay in rehab.
Are you that kind of writer?
It’s not only a valid question but a crucial one, and depending on your answer, you will either be one of millions of writers who languish on the junk heap of obscurity or one who flies with the greats.
Is your passion showing?
You Have Two Choices
Passion is defined as a strong or powerful emotion about a person, thing or belief.
With that definition as our guiding beacon, writers then have two choices: they can either be passionate about the subject matter they are writing about, or they can be passionate about the craft of writing.
Which are you?
Allow me to give you an example. I follow a writer on the writing site HubPages. He writes about politics and government. He is not a particularly gifted writer. His sentences are often lacking in proper structure. His flow is often a hiccup. There are times when rhythm is missing, but there is never a time when his passion is AWOL. He believes strongly in his subject matter, and that strong belief shines through in his writing.
I will continue to follow him, not for his writing talent, but because of his passion.
I have read countless articles written by writers who have no passion. I only read them once. My life is too short and I won’t waste a minute of it on the mundane, and yet some of those writers are successful. How can this be so?
We live in a writing world that is infected by the dreaded disease of SEO. It is entirely possible for writers to make money today by simply perfecting the art of inserting keywords into articles that make burned meatloaf look enticing. They are robotic in nature. They follow a formula that says a certain number of keywords equals success, so they insert here, insert there, and presto, they have a SEO-friendly article that the Google gods will smile upon. The passion is missing but views are gained.
A Closer Look at the Two Choices
The first is a passion for the subject matter.
I am convinced that an average writer can make a recipe interesting if they have a passion for cooking. I am convinced that an average writer can make babysitting, garage sales, car repair or knitting interesting if they are passionate about those subjects.
If the passion is missing, a writer may still do well with the search engines, but any plans on being recognized as a good writer are just dreams built upon a foundation of quicksand.
The other option is to have a passion for the craft of writing. In this case, a writer may not know the first thing about car repair, but he/she can construct a sentence that is so exquisite, so beautiful, so marvelous, that they make a 1986 Corolla sound like a vintage Porsche. They capture the reader with words and descriptions. They make the subject come alive by expertly mixing and matching nouns, verbs, adjective and adverbs. They perfect the art of rhythm, and their voice speaks a universal language understood by all.
It is a thing of beauty to behold, just as all art, when done with passion, is beautiful.
Here’s My Problem with the Writing World Today
You can probably guess, but let me continue anyway.
There are millions out there who write online, and make some money doing it, and they do it by mastering the art of keywords and SEO. Introductions? Forget about it! Conclusions? Forget about it! Cohesive structure? Forget about it! All that’s needed is the right number of keywords, the plugging in of the right words in the right spot, and these people are damned good at it. And at the end of the day they declare to the world that they are writers and to prove it they show the latest check they received for their labors.
Let me ask you a question: is someone who paints by numbers an artist?
That’s my problem with the writing world today: it’s been diluted and diminished, and the passion is missing in the works of so many so-called writers.
"Your writing voice is the deepest possible reflection of who you are. The job of your voice is not to seduce or flatter or make well-shaped sentences. In your voice, your readers should be able to hear the contents of your mind, your heart, your soul."
Isn’t that beautiful?
And isn’t that beautiful as well? Combine those two quotes, internalize them, and you’ll understand my message today.
Join me on my writing blog
- William Holland | Helping Writers to Spread Their Wings and Fly
Tips and discussions about the art of writing
So My Question for You Is This
Do you want to be an artist, or do you want to continue painting by numbers?
I have nothing against those who write recipes, travel articles, how to articles or craft articles. We all need money and I get it. What I don’t understand is doing those things without passion. Writers do not simply write words. Writers communicate, relate and inspire. Writers tell stories, transmit messages and lift others with their words. Writers make the mundane exciting and have the ability to suspend reality and create new worlds.
With so much you could be doing, are you really satisfied with fifty percent or less?
Writing is an art form, and art is part of heart, and that’s what is missing in so writings today.
I think we need to reverse the trend and bring the heart back to the art.
Are you with me?
2015 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)
“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”