Passion: Ten Clues for Writers and Readers

Passion, that elusive term we’ve tried to define this month with many examples, still remains…well, subjectively elusive.  We can all agree that we need passion in our lives.  But how do any of us recognize passion when it comes knocking?  Here are a few ways that might help us recognize some of the clues.

For writers, when you’re writing along and:

  1. A rogue idea, usually for a different project that you really don’t need just now, comes along with a little extra oomph and starts messing with your brain.  It says, “Write me!  Write me instead!”
  2. You’re making good progress on your story, and suddenly you realize that setting has become a character.  This is not a bad thing, but you want control of your own story, darn it, and so you try to change the setting.  Then the story collapses.
  3. You’re developing your protagonist, and a secondary character hijacks your story.  “Wait a minute,” you say.  “This isn’t about you!”
  4. For a change, your story is giving you no problems, and then all of a sudden the plot takes off in a different direction from what you had in mind.  This time you cry, because you have no idea where you’re going now.
  5. And then you finally get to the show-down with the villain, who turns to you and says, “Uh-uh.  It wasn’t me whodunnit.”  “Then, who?” you say, pleading.  “Beats me.  You’re the writer.  You figure it out.”  

For readers, when you’re reading happily along and:

  1. A text message beeps, alerting you that you are lost in a place with many books.  It could be a bookstore.  Maybe it’s the library.  Whatever, you have forgotten to pick up the children after school.
  2. You have finally reached the safety of your home with your children, and now you are so sucked into your BIP (book in progress) that nothing else exists except your fictional world.  An altercation on the homefront rudely interrupts.  Once again, you have forgotten dinner.  Or else you burned it.
  3. And speaking of burning…  Your eyes burn wickedly late into the night.  You have stayed up well past bedtime to finish the BIP.
  4. And even when you finally turn off the light, you can’t let that darned story go.  The story follows you into your dreams.
  5. But that’s only the beginning.  Because now you have to decide which of your 254 books left on your TBR pile to read next.

Passion.  I can’t live without it.  Can you?

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8 thoughts on “Passion: Ten Clues for Writers and Readers”

  1. I absolutely deny that I have ever done any of those “reader” things, and, in fact, I can’t finish this post because I started this book ……………………..

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  2. And then there’s that terrific book you’re reading and still want to watch the football game. I guess that’s what commercials are for.

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