Is writing without passion worth the effort?


Her Shiny New Idea died an early death. In explaining why, my DD Shari Green said, “How do I know I’m not destined to write this story? Lack of passion. I just can’t see myself spending a year or two of my life completely wrapped up in this story.”

I was sorry to hear about the demise of her SNI. Lack of passion kills all sorts of my potentials, too. There’s never a lack of ideas flopping around in my mind. They materialize and multiply like guppies in a wading pool. They fascinate at first glance, but then I think, “meh” and move on.

That’s what’s happening now as I attempt to settle on a particular contest entry. I could work up any number of articles or short stories. I could. But when I hold them up to the light they don’t sparkle much. There’s nothing to ignite my passion.

Remember these rain-weary daisies from last week? Even when they dried out and lifted their heads so I could have a second look, they didn’t really glow. They were lovely, just not special.

(Yes, these are the exact same two flowers.)

And that’s how I’m feeling about all these ideas. ::sigh:: The deadline is still a distance away so there’s no pressure, but I want to be working on my entry… to feel the urgency that propels words out ahead of me, accumulating almost faster than I can keep up. I yearn to fling words onto a page and see them explode, let my fingertips experience the raw bits embedded like Braille on glass.

It’ll come, but oh, I wish it would hurry! Without passion there are no words worth writing.

What makes the difference between good ideas and great ideas for you? Can you take a mediocre one and work it into something special?

~  ~  ~

My Philosophy of Writing… or, Am I a Fraud?

For my previous post I really had to think hard to define my blogging philosophy. While I was thinking it occurred to me that I’d be equally hard-pressed to say something about my general writing philosophy. Isn’t that a shameful revelation? Should I be embarrassed?

As a novelist I give lots of thought to story ideas, plot development, setting, description and conflict. I’ve occasionally answered the question of why I write. But my philosophy of writing? The attitude, viewpoint, values, and beliefs behind my writing?  Should there be some kind of concise statement that can be whipped out of my wallet or tacked up above my desk? If the answer is yes, I’m in big trouble!

I don’t think much about such abstracts. I just write. Whoever coined the phrase, analysis paralysis understood the devastation of thinking too much. Wikipedia suggests “the sheer quantity of analysis overwhelms the decision-making process itself, thus preventing a decision.” (It’s the opposite of extinct by instinct, “making a fatal decision based on hasty judgment or a gut-reaction.”)

Picture me slumped into my chair, fingers lingering passively on the computer keys. I can’t begin writing until I can identify my philosophy of writing. My mind is twisted into an agony of indecision. The monitor remains blank.

Am I a fraud if I can’t define my philosophy of writing? Without one am I not a real writer at all? Oh, dear! This is becoming too complicated. I’m heading off to contemplate the severity of the situation. I may have to re-think the day’s plan to work on my current novel.

Am I alone in my dilemma? Do you have a philosophy of writing? (Yes or no doesn’t work here. If you have one please reveal it. I need inspiration.)