Okay, so that title might be a little more dramatic than what I was going for. But whatever, you get the hint that this post is going to be about passion, and how she is a flighty, finicky, frustrating (fill in the blank).
Maybe I’m alone on this island, but I don’t trust passion. I see her as a salesperson (I can say that because I am one, too) who has all sorts of neat gadgets and tricks up her sleeve, and then once she draws you in, BOOM! Bait and switch. (I never do that, of course.)
Passion can be good. It can be great, even! But I’m wary of being driven by passion. To me, that’s like getting in a car with a stranger and saying, I’ll go where you’re going! Um, no thanks. I’d rather drive the car, and if I’m forced to pick up this stranger, they can sit in the back, on the opposite side where they can’t strangle me from behind.
Because let’s be real, passion can be flighty. When things are going great, it’s like passion abounds. Everywhere you look, BAM! Evidence of your hard work.
But when things aren’t going so great and you want to throw in the towel and you can feel the hope and drive draining out of you like sand in a timer? Yea, I’ll pass on that.
I think that passion is something we need to wield as a tool, not something we should let consume our very being. That’s too out-of-control, too unpredictable. Like riding in a car with a stranger, you don’t know if they’re going to drop you off at the right destination or take you to some motel to chop your head off. (Sorry, that was graphic.)
When I hear of other writers/artists, or myself even, talking about how they just can’t seem to will themselves to write/paint/etc. because they’re just not passionate about anything, I throw down the BS card. I’m sorry if this is too controversial for you, but if we only did our work when we were passionate, there’d be about ten books on the shelves and one coveted painting going for a trillion billion dollars on eBay. Being able to work without feeling something is more impressive to me than someone who’s written ten books because they were “possessed by passion.”
Are you getting sick of that word yet? Because I am.
I think it goes beyond “not losing your passion,” because that sounds like putting in extra work. You’re telling me I have to work to keep the passion and then work to reign it in all the time? I’d rather work through my lazy days without it, actually.
A better word for what we artists need is love. *cue cheesy “awe” sound* But seriously though, why don’t we let our love for words or paint or that applause at the end of a show drive our work? Love does not fade so easily, and it gives back what it takes. If I write out of love I feel fulfilled at the end, not drained of everything in me.
So my point of this random rant is to urge you to find that love for your craft within you and to allow yourself to be inspired by that, rather than pesky passion.
And speaking of love, here’s a song I like. ;)