Monday, August 10, 2009

Pursuing Your Passion

I recently had a friend ask me for some advice on writing. One question in particular really caught my attention. She basically asked, "What does it feel like to pursue your passion?"

In one word: joyous.

My life has been defined by my writing since the 6th grade. Everyone who knows me knows that I am a writer. It's who I am. If I didn't write...well, I wouldn't be me.

If I didn't pursue my passion of writing, I would be denying one of my most basic components.

And then, I thought of those people who ARE denying themselves their passions. Whether it's drawing or writing or painting a picture, becoming a cake decorator or building a house, or taking photographs or planting a gorgeous garden, for some reason or another, they're not pursuing those passions.

If you're one of those people, I want to tell you something. If it is possible for you to pursue your passion, if you are saying, "Oh, when the kids are grown, I'll (paint the picture, write the story, draw the children's book)" or "I don't have time" or "I'm too old and set in my ways" or whatever excuse you're using, stop right now. You're denying yourself an immense amount of happiness. Life is far too short to put your dreams on the backburner.

This is not to say you should run off to an isolated log cabin and create your next masterpiece, leaving your responsibilities behind. Far from it. Instead, find a balance in your life. My daughter is my number one priority. She has an intense passion for drawing and I encourage it. But I also want her to see me pursuing my passion of writing. This will help her to see that mommy is not just her mother, but she is also a writer, and she will see that it is possible to be many things in this life. The key is balance.

From this moment, start thinking how you can start pursuing your passion. If you have to, start small. Or jump in with both feet first. It doesn't matter. Just start.


  1. I am one of those people who has been putting it off. And often, I tell myself that I will be dead before I actually pursue what I want to do. But I also feel like I have so many passions that I just can't figure out which one to choose. What then?

  2. Love love love LOVE this post. In fact I'm going to keep going with this subject over on mine, because I feel so strongly about this.

    I agree 1 million percent with pursuing your dreams. Great post!

  3. Heather - At this point, I would "be still" and "listen" to what direction God would have you go and listen to which particular passion is calling your name the loudest. :-)

    Sharla- Thanks! Glad you liked it. I think it's so important to do what you love, even if it's not full-time. Our lives are made all the more richer and fuller because of it!

  4. Great post, Melissa, and a beautiful blog you've got here! I found you via the lovely Sharla. I'm with you 100%. Thanks for putting it so eloquently. I'll be following you from here on out. Stop by my place if you get the chance.;-)

  5. Wonderful post, Melissa! It is the passion I feel for my writing that gets me through, sometimes. You're right, it is JOYOUS! TO find that center of me and act on it, it's just joyous. =]

  6. I think you are absolutely correct.

    We were watching "City Slickers" last night and Billy Crystal was whining about how he had nothing in his life and at 39 felt like the best years were over. I really wanted to smack him. His character was so self-involved, so intent on failure rather than what makes life great. I just wanted to scream "find something." Write, paint, knit, do something extra with your kids. Find something to be passionate about rather than wait for it to jump in your lap.

  7. Oh you sound like me! I tell everyone I know to find their passion and find a way to pursue it! That's where we can find so much of our joy:))

  8. You nailed it, Melissa!

    Quitting a full-time job to write my first novel felt exactly like jumping off a cliff. Scary. No idea what would happen.

    Turned out to be the best decision I ever made. I'd do it again in a New York minute...except maybe sooner.

  9. Excellent post! *high five*

  10. Hi Debra! Glad to see you here!

    L.T. - I know exactly what you mean. Sometimes, when I'm facing a bad situation or a bad day at work, just thinking about my writing gets me through.

    Rene - Well said. We can't wait for it to find us sometimes. We have to go find IT.

    Rebecca - Thanks!

    Terri - I knew we were on the save wave length! ;-)

    Christine - You were so incredibly brave to quit your full-time job to write - I salute you! And I'm so glad it was the right decision for you. I hope I can do that someday!

    Janna - Right back at ya! ;-)


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