Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Write With Passion

I don't have anything witty or profound to share with you today.

I apologize for sounding a little bit like a Sacrament Meeting Speaker who opens with a similar "I woke up this morning and remembered my talk," or "When Bro. Soandso called me to speak three days ago," or "I'm just going to read this General Authority's talk because he said it so much better than I could." I cringe when I hear these kind of statements even though I know it's simply an attempt to lower audience expectations in an effort to stave off criticism and disappointment. Unlike a church meeting where decorum is expected and rotton tomatos rarely fly, you are welcome to take your best shots.

I recently finished a sequel to my first book Defensive Tactics and I found myself considering which writing project I should tackle next. I'm fortunate to have a couple of wonderful projects I'm eager to pursue, so how do I choose? Maybe I should focus on the sequel to my Crater Lake book that comes out in March? (click here to view 2 very cool potential covers) It's a great story, the project is interesting and I expect to have two more books in the series so writing the next book sounds like the responsible thing to do, right?

Or should I start a new project I've been itching to write all year? It's high concept with broad market apeal but has the potential to be a little bit of a lightening rod. Maybe my inner rebel is trying to get out and I'm anticipating the excitement of some controversy. Maybe. I don't know. In any case, I'm excited about it.

So what should I do? Some friends have suggested I write both simultaneously. I've got to be honest, the last time I tried writing two at the same time was more than I could handle so I think I'm going to stick with one. Other friends have suggested that I should write what I'm most passionate about at the moment. They argue that if I don't feel the passion in my writing why even bother? They remind me that my writing's not likely to make me rich (darn it) and I'm not going to become some international sensation (yay!). So I should remember why I'm writing in the first place. Why am I writing in the first place? I write to enjoy myself as I tell an exciting story. It's that simple.

I've decided I'm going to write with passion. That means I'm going to focus first on the project I feel most passionate about right now and then I will still have time to refocus on my original passion when I'm finished. What do you think? Is this wise or naive?

In closing, if I'm not excited about the Sacrament Meeting talk I'm giving I will inevitably fail to make others excited. Likewise, if I'm not passionate about my writing project, the reader won't be either.


Michael Offutt said...

Best of luck to you. It's important for a man to identify his passion because without that, one's efforts are just a limp noodle.

Tracy Krauss said...

Good advice - go with your passion. :) For me this is often why I do tend to have more than one project on the go at once. If and when I tire of one and the spark has faded, I switch it up. Kaboom - instant flame again.

Steve Westover said...

Thanks Michael.
Tracy- I'm glad that works for you. It makes perfect sense but for some reason I can't wrap my head around multiple projects and when I don't see substantial progress on either project, I get discouraged.
I'm still experimenting a bit with different methods to find what really works best for me. Right now, its full steam ahead. Get the story on paper and then move on to the next while the first sits, then I'll go back to read and revise.