…Love What You Do.
These 8 words have being playing on my mind over the past few weeks. The truth is, we all have moments, weeks, months even, when we feel lost and don’t know what to do next (an article that helped me). How do you go from that lost confusion and lack of passion to listening to yourself, what makes you happy, and how to pursue those things that put a spring in your step?
As much as I love writing and having my writing resonate with people, some days it feels like a chore. I’ve read about writers who have felt the same way – how they carry on writing anyway, because the days when it’s hard are the days you have to work even harder, even if you only have a sentence or two to show for it. On one hand, I wonder if forcing it is the right thing to do – won’t you feel yourself losing passion and motivation? On the other, it seems that if you stop writing on the hard days, it will only be harder next time you have a day – or week – when the words just won’t flow.
Yet there are those days when it’s more beneficial to shut down your laptop, put your notebook down, and venture into the world. Or watch a few of your favourite films. Or just go to the park and read/people watch (delete as applicable). If your heart isn’t in it, and your brain isn’t either, then why force yourself to damage your relationship with creativity? Yes, write every day if you can manage it. Yet sometimes you have to give yourself explicit permission to venture forth and go outside. Prolific writers need to get their inspiration from somewhere. You can get inspiration from just writing, but you also need to read widely, have conversations, research, see things, give yourself space and time to let your mind wander.
My problem right now is figuring out where I go from here. My priorities often get confused – do I do what I love and maybe earn some money or do I make money doing something I don’t love? Neither of those things is the right way of looking at it. I find myself freezing when I think of money – panic washes over me and it stops me from writing. It is far better to persevere, follow what you love and then money will come into the equation. Passion – that is what people need to live. I’ve been feeling flickers of passion coming and going over the past few weeks.
It comes when I worry less about money, and just write. It is a tall order to stop worrying about money; it seems counter-intuitive, especially when you really need it. Yet productivity and ideas come better when you are less worried about the monetary value of things. I would love to be paid for all the writing I do – and I’m sure that I will be. But keeping productive, at least in terms of putting things out there – is the important thing. Some people will disagree with me, because I’m expending energy that might be used to gain money. The irony is – I am expending energy to gain money – it just isn’t fast money.
I’ve also been questioning what it is that I want the most. Do I want to write longer, well-researched non-fiction books or do I want to write feature articles? I’m recognising that I’m not necessarily a news-reporter or someone who wants to write comment articles on the latest events. I’m capable of doing them, but much of the time, I write blog posts focused on the inner life, ideas and things that I find inspiring – and in my work with Deaf Unity, I love learning about other people’s experiences. It’s a learning curve that has taken a while to navigate. What enthuses you? What ideas are you interested in? Who inspires you? Don’t look at money – look at passion, and above all, listen to yourself, pay attention to your reaction to things.
“Love. Fall in love and stay in love. Write only what you love, and love what you write. The key word is love. You have to get up in the morning and write something you love, something to live for.” – Ray Bradbury.