German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel said, “Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion.”
I have a handful of critique partners. A few, key people who find things in my work that I’m too blind to see. One of these readers—the first reader of my work, actually—has been a friend since the fourth grade. She’s not a writer, but an avid reader who is blunt, harsh, and will tell it like it is. (The best reader to have, if your poor writing ego can stand it!)
Anyhow, she loves horses. She’s owned a few and still boards one not far out of the town where we live. A few weeks back I took my seven year old princess out to the ranch where she keeps her horse. As she was saddling up, we got to talking. She rides every week. She suits up, drives twenty minutes out, preps the horse, rides it, feeds it, cleans the stall if it calls for it, drives twenty minutes back, etc, etc.
The more she talked about her horse and the ordeal it takes to get out and ride, the more I realized I would never, ever dream of having a horse. (My little princess on the other hand LOVED it. I’m in trouble…) It takes serious passion for horses to put up with the crap it takes to own one.
I realized that writing fits in the same category.
There’s a ton of crap you have to deal with if you want to make it in this business. Hours in the computer chair disappear. (Should I mention your ass could expand if you don’t rev your metabolism?) Muses shrivel up and die. (I’ve shot mine. Twice.) Rejections flood in. (Don’t get me started.) Egos sour. Writer’s block smacks you upside the head, stunning you into stupidity. You inevitably compare you writing to others and think yours is the cream of the crap. (Man, how many times have I used crap in this post…)
My point is that passion drives us. It gives us energy, motivates us to push farther and do great things. Whether that passion is writing, horseback riding, drawing, running, fostering children, politics, nursing, teaching, it doesn’t matter. They’re all the same.
As long as you have passion in your life—for something, anything—you’ll do great things.
What are you passionate about?