Passions

colourful book spines on book shelves

Every once in a while, when I’m scratching around for something new to write, I make a list of the things I obsess about.  Thankfully, some of them change over time, but there are always new ones to fill the gap.

It’s true that writers write about what they think about most of the time.  Things they can’t let go: things that plague them; stories they carry around in their heads waiting to be heard.

Sometimes I get my creative writing groups to make a list of the topics they obsess about so they can see what occupies their thoughts during their waking hours.  After you write them down, you can use them for spontaneous writing before crafting them into stories.  They have much power.  This is where the juice is for writing.  They are probably driving your life, whether you realise it or not, so you may as well use them rather than waste your energy trying to push them away.  And you can come back to them repeatedly.

One of the things I’m always obsessing about is relationships:  relationships in families, relationships with friends, relationships with lovers.  That’s what I tend to write about.  I think to myself, Why not?  Rather than repress my obsessions, explore them, go with the flow.  And life is always changing, so new material keeps presenting  itself.

We are driven by our passions.  Am I the only one who thinks this?  For me these compulsions contain the life force energy.  We can exploit that energy.  The same with writing itself.  I’m always thinking and worrying about my writing, even when I’m on holidays.  I’m driven.

blue quote about writing on yellow background

But not all compulsions are a bad thing.  Get involved with your passions, read about them, talk to other people about them and then they will naturally become ‘grist for the mill’.

 

What about you?  Do you find yourself writing about the same situations over and over again?

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12 thoughts on “Passions

  1. I’m obsessed about being an introvert. I may sound like a narcissist but this new found discovery has been quite liberating for me. Not until recently, I can explain why always shut people down or badly need to get away and be alone. I thought I was a loner, an insensitive person and too emotional. I was all that because I belong in a spectrum of personalities where my need to express is somewhat different from the usual sociable society. I do not consider myself as a writer but this is the only way I could create meaning to the thoughts inside my head like, as you said, a compulsion and a passion that we need to get involved with. So I started a blog where I can create from that energy and it has been wonderfully life giving. I am loving this journey so far.

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    1. that’s wonderful that blogging has been such a positive experience for you and that writing is giving meaning to the thoughts inside your head. fabulous. i feel the same. i only started blogging a few months ago, but am finding the whole experience to be life giving. validating. thanks for your comment.

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  2. A number of years ago I did what you suggest – I made a list of things I felt strongly about for the express purpose of having a resource to fall back upon when I couldn’t think what to write. But it never got further than being a list. On the other hand, when I start writing a story, and allow my mind to plot its own course, I find myself coming back again and again to the same few themes. Right at this moment, however, I am stuck. I know what I want to write about but I haven’t been able to figure out how to approach the subject in a way that would entertain a reader (rather than appear self-indulgent on the part of the writer).

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    1. my suggestion is to stay in the right side of the brain when creating new material (leaving that nasty left-side critic out in the cold). the list can be used for ‘spontaneous writing’ rather than crafting a story. the same few themes are fine. they can be approached from so many different angles. fresh angles. like from the side, instead of head-on. it’s hard to judge what would entertain a reader. that’s why i’m a great advocate of writing groups. you take along a couple of pages and give and receive feedback. takes courage though, and a hardened skin.

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      1. Thanks, Libby. I guess what I meant was that I have a subject that I want to write about but I still haven’t found a story I want to tell; but I’ll try to stay on the right side until inspiration takes me by the hand and leads me where I ought to go. 🙂

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  3. Yes, I do find myself writing about the same dynamics repeatedly. I have been able to successfully complete four manuscripts and of the four, three have a heavy focus on mother daughter relationships. I guess it always lingers in the back of my mind.

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    1. yes, mother daughter relationships is an endless topic. i heard someone say that sometimes we do not get the mother that we would want and that mothers don’t get the kind of daughter that they would want. my debut novel, ‘My Year With Sammy’ explores some of this territory. congratulations on completing four manuscripts. such a long journey.

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