On not following your passion
There has long been the idea of following your passion or your bliss will lead you to your vocation, your truth…
I’ve always struggled with it, I want to do so many things!
More recently Elizabeth Gilbert talks about following your curiousity as being a much more gentle way of working.
Whatever your passion turns out to be is a combination of what you’re into, your circumstances, and what happens to fall across your path, added to what you decide to spend your time on, and what you’re willing to take risks to do more of, with just a tiny dash of natural talent.
For a long time now I have been struggling with wanting to be a fiction writer. With a capital W. Yet, actually doing the writing has been painful, I angst about it, sit down to write and then journal pages about what system I should use to write, worrying that I am not a weird female Gaiman/Pratchett hybrid and therefore not worthy of writing, write the outline on index cards, on bits of paper, start typing it, write it up in Scrivener, write it on notepaper in a fountain pen. Ridiculous.
And all this time I have been quietly getting on with my music, working up to grade 7 in flute (well the exam is in November) and playing the piano each day, not to mention time moodling on my ukulele.
For some reason this hasn’t been acknowledged in either my energy expenditure for the day, nor working towards my creative life. WHY? Surely this is where I spend a lot of energy so it counts?
Ha ha ha, all this time I think I’ve wanted to be a writer and I’m actually a musician! Oh how I laughed when I realised that.
My novel is a case of Idea Debt (another Jessica Abel concept) I had invested a lot of time on it – I wrote the first shitty draft during a NaNoWriMo a whole 50,000 words! Almost exactly three years ago….This weekend I put all of my notes and a print out of it in a box, taped it up and shoved it in the loft. Last week I bought my violin and started my lessons this week.
I will still write, I love writing here, and occasionally on my work blog too. I still harbour a secret desire to be an online Granny Weatherwax of sorts and writing here helps me to think through my ongoing seeking journey of faith.
But – my creative work is that of musician. It’s only been allowed to come to the forefront because I gave it space to flow and to breathe!