Tell The Truth To Yourself, Not To Me
(The image tells us that he’s a developer. But let’s assume he’s a writer.)
I’m going to ask you this one question: Is writing authentically your passion?
Long ago, I was in doubt. Is writing actually my dream? Is it what I genuinely love and relish doing?
Or is it just something else? The fame, the money, the approval? Are these things luring me towards writing or is writing luring me towards writing?
What is it? Still a hidden truth.
Till now, I’ve come to the conclusion that I love writing. Even more than that, I love to express.
I like talking to people, interacting with them and sharing my thoughts. And writing seems to be a good medium for that.
And writing itself is an art that I enjoy. Playing and juggling around with words is fun! Only a true writer can understand the satisfaction he/she gets after writing a few words.
But I’ve seen many people writing just because of its peripheral benefits.
The topmost reason for people to write is appreciation and approval. It is present in the background of every writer. But here’s the important question…
Is it what drives us?
Having a simple desire of being read or acknowledged, according to me, is safe. But there’s a problem when you become dependent on it.
I had started to derive my sense of self-worth and confidence from it.
I realized this a few weeks ago. And again a few days ago. (I’m a constant realizing machine you see!)
Someone who read my posts on WordPress sent me an email about how my posts were proving to be useful.
“A personal mail.” It was a big deal for my ego. I liked the appreciation and felt worthy! I still remember that feeling of pride.
There’s no problem in acknowledging the appreciation. But when your sense of self-worth becomes dependent on it, that’s problematic.
A few days after that, I listened to Eckhart Tolle’s talk. A lady asked him, “Can you elaborate on healthy self-esteem vs. ego?”
He said, “Your ego wants external things to cling on and identify with. A house, or a car, and it derives its worth from them. Then, it also compares itself with others. ‘He’s got a graduate degree. Oh, I have 3 PhDs.’”
“On the other hand, self-esteem is something that derives its sense of worth and identity from the formless being within. When it knows what it truly is. It is not something outside. But the indestructible life force inside!”
Here lied my core error. I was identifying with my writing and the comments I was getting.
In reality, was I writing to write?
I again and again asked myself the same thing.
What am I doing this for? For money and followers or for my satisfaction? Am I deriving my worth from it or am I treating it like my dream work and passion?
Have I made myself over-dependent on it?
Because a passion frees you. It doesn’t bind you.
There’s no need to burden yourself with something you can’t do. There aren’t many real writers out there.
Don’t make art to make money. Make money to make more art.
– Jeff Goins
Why does the quality of many people’s writing decline in a flash after a viral article? Or why do they start playing safe?
‘Cause they are satisfied. Their aim was never to write. But to earn fame and money. Or perhaps, they gave it too much importance, more than needed.
So they’ve stopped. They’ve turned stagnant.
For real artists or writers, there’s no need to fear. Because there’s no actual competition.
In the end, the one with the long-term aim of “writing” is going to cross the finish line. And he/she will keep writing even after that.
Because writing was his/her aim and still is.
It is necessary to time and again examine yourself. That are you a writer? Is it de facto your passion? Or has a third party goal has set in?
And for the ones who really want to be writers, this question is more important: Am I still a writer? Have I deviated from my goal?
Money is important, but not more than the art.
Art is important, but not more than your interest.
Interests are important, but not more than you.
You read the whole thing, awesome!
Now, I have a book for you! — Redefining Positivity & Optimism
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20 thoughts on “Is Writing Your Passion? Really?”
Very interesting article. I think for myself writing is the art of creating something out of nothing and everything at once. The thrill of that creating experience is what drives me because when I’m in the depths of creation, my mind is calm.
i totally agree with the fact that our minds get calm…for a true writer, his/her writing is like a meditation…
It’s like dieting, job, or any other of life’s pursuits – extrinsic motivation usually results in failure at some point while intrinsic motivation results in greater success.
true…it’s what takes you to the ends and prepares you for the long-run…
Nicely done. Have you read The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson? It presents a similar argument, and is an excellent book.
hehe…i’ve heard of it, but I guess my parents won’t be too thrilled to see me buying a book with a title like that! but thx, anyway…i’ll try and dig out its pdf
I dont think I have ever questioned why I write. I guess because the “why” hasn’t mattered as much as the result. I simply feel better after writing, whether it be because of the art, or the longing to be heard or wanting th o get to a place to where I have followers and receive my first email or whatever else, in the end I always do feel better. Maybe the fact I don’t care to figure out the reasoning behind it means it’s not a real passion?
if you’re feeling good at the end of your task, then yes, it is a passion. but don’t take me wrong, “feeling good” can be quite misleading at times. people feel good about a lot of things, doesn’t mean its their passion. a few stuff, especially writing, seems merry at the start. but if you’re able to withstand the pressure that comes along with it during the hard times, then you can say it’s your passion.
but the best way is to examine your intentions…finding your why…sometimes we don’t want to face the why because finding your why is not easy…it’s tough and sometimes scary…
so, this is it..thx so much for sharing your thoughts here…pls note, what i said isn’t particularly about you…i’ve seen people running away from the WHY and so i mentioned it…i do not know you or your complete conditions, and thus i cud be wrong…thx, once again!
I like writing it’s relaxing. Like it’s some sort of therapy. It’s also partially because I feel like I communicate better with written words. I have these thoughts and ideas in my mind, but I can’t quite tell it verbally. It’s often a mess and shorter than what I initially planned.
If I want my work to seen, I feel like writing is one of the easiest way to reach people. Thanks to technology for that too. But I mostly write… Just for the sake of writing what I have in mind. I do want to turn this into a career, however. But where I live, writing is highly underappreciated because apparently “writing is easy and everyone can do it”
first of all, writing is not easy and not everyone can do it. the one who writes everyday knows how hard it is to be a writer…for me, it was easy, it didn’t feel much…but in general, staying consistent isn’t easy…so let the others say whatever they want to…you have to be clear about your point…do u want to write or not? despite the ups and downs and social thrashing, will u keep writing? after you’re confident on ur side, people will respond accordingly…thus, it is important to be bold about what we do!
thanks for sharing your thoughts here…i love meaningful conversations!
This is awesome, and very insightful.
thank you very much!
Yes, I love to play around with words and phrasing, and conveying an idea in just the right way. I recognize good writing when I read it, and even when I write it (strong self-criticism helps). When I write a piece that I know is good, criticism or rejection don’t matter so much. It’s nice to get praise, but most important is to pass my own test of excellence. Otherwise, I’m disappointed in my less-than-excellent work, even if it gets published. Write to produce something excellent and you will receive your own inner reward every time.
I’ve always enjoyed writing, even as a kid, and it never left me. While there were times in my life when I got away from it, about 20 years ago I realized that working a 9-5 job was making my mind dull. My vocabulary and ability to express myself were dwindling. I returned to writing then to bring that back. No matter how mindless work might be, writing requires thought and effort, and often extensive research.
My ‘published’ work is in fan fiction, and the stories are written for my own amusement though I am happy to share them with others interested in reading them. But in that arena, you see a lot of people who call themselves writers but who really are there for some of the reasons you describe above. They start stories, and post them online to get validation, but then fizzle out and never finish writing the story. They quickly scribble something down without bothering to clean up the errors, misspellings, etc. before putting it out in the world (I’m not talking an occasional typo, either). They are writing words, but they are not truly writers invested in the process of learning and growing with it. Many don’t even seem to think much about what they write – they just want others to laud them for their effort.
I don’t think those who don’t truly have a passion for writing will last long at it, unless by some fluke they obtain whatever validation they seek (fame, fortune, etc.). Those who do have a passion for it will write no matter what. They will write even if no one sees it but themself. They will write even if no publisher ever wants it. They will write even if they post it online and no one swoons over it. They will write because the thoughts and feelings and ideas inside them must come out and that is their chosen form of expression (as opposed to music or art).
True words. Th definition of a true and passionate writer has been beautifully described in the last paragraph. Thanks for sharing your invaluable experience and opinion.
Reblogged this on Shreyosi's blog.
I write because I’ve always written. Since I was a kid, writing was something I was good at. Mostly, I enjoy writing for word play. I love playing with the English language. However, now that I’m entering my career life as a writer, I really hope the passion of writing for my own enjoyment doesnt change.
Reblogged this on Kate the Writer and commented:
On Writing: Questions to ask yourself.
Very intellectual and inspiring.