This weekend I attended the quarterly meeting of the Ozark Writers League in Branson, Missouri. The theme of the conference was Women in Writing. The keynote speakers were August McLaughlin and Paris Afton Bonds, both very successful and strong women. However, there was a second theme swirling around this meeting as well.
I’m not talking about physical passion between two people but rather passion of the heart; the passion for life, work, family, career, and creativity.
This emotion is the gravy on the potatoes, salt on the carrots, and the icing on the cake. It’s a writer’s secret weapon. Passion keeps us at the computer to wee hours in the morning, back and neck screaming at us to stop. Eyes heavy with sleep. It burns white-hot and is never yielding. Passion to write the story negates the rejection letters. Keeps us hoping and believing in our craft. We’d write even if no one read.
I believe passion is more important than correct formatting, perfect grammar and spelling. More important than story arc, perfected characters, plots and climaxes. For without passion, the story is bland, flat.
The most important advice I can give a beginning writer is to write from the heart. Be not afraid.
When pitching, speaking, or promoting the book, let your passion shine, for true passion is infectious. More addicting than any drug.
Let passion guide your pen. Let editors fix the rest.
I confess, I’ve been hooked on passion for years. I speak from the heart. Read from the heart. Write from the heart. Laugh from the heart. Cry from the heart. Kick your ass from the heart. Passion makes life worth living. Keeps me young. Energizes me. Makes me feel valuable. Gives me a reason to get up in the morning.
I confess, I’m a passion junkie.
And I have no desire to ever kick the habit.