Why Writers Need a Bit of Passion in Their Lives


Passion. It’s a great word, isn’t it? It conjures up images of Mills and Boon-type heroes with bare, oiled chests; flame haired women in Gone With the Wind ball dresses . . . or maybe that’s just me.

The paranormal romances riding high in the current books charts are all about swoon and passion. In fact, the latest Lauren Kate novel in her bestselling Fallen series is called just that, Passion.

I was at one of Lauren’s talks in Eason, O’Connell Street, Dublin recently and she certainly spoke with passion about her characters and her plots. She based one of the love interests on her own husband, she admitted with a shy smile. And she wants Ed Westwick (Gossip Girls) to play the character in the movie version. I hear you, Kate!

But today I’m talking about passion for your subject, for your writing, for your characters, not romantic passion. It’s so important to write with passion, every day. To approach the page with all the energy, and enthusiasm and sheer ferocity that you can muster. And believe me, I know it isn’t always easy, especially if you’re tired, or feeling a bit glandy, or are in a dark mood. I’ve been there, trust me! But here’s the thing, if you want to finish your book, you have to work through that.

And I can genuinely say that in nearly nine years of writing full time, I’ve never once sat down to write and not managed at least 500 words. Usually I aim to write 2,000 words a day; often I don’t achieve it, but that’s the goal. I have a little notebook beside my desk and I jot down my word count every day. It’s one way of keeping myself motivated. (It probably sounds very stressy and controlling– and yep, it certainly is, but whatever gets you through, right?!)

In Friday’s Irish Times there was an interesting piece on social networking, Facebook in particular. The journalist, Karlin Lillington interviewed Carol Rozwell, an expert in these matters and Carol said (about Facebook): “It ain’t about the brand. It’s passion about an issue or a topic.” She (Carol) gives Adidas and Nike as good examples of companies using social media tools such as Facebook. “People are not going there because the companies have introduced a new sneaker. They’re going there because of their own passion about fitness and running and so on. So, via social media, the companies are taking what was a transaction and turning it into a relationship.”

Again, it’s all about passion. That’s why I think writers love Facebook and Twitter so much, they love sharing their passions with other people. And they love hearing about other peoples’ passions too. Writers are big passion fans! And that’s how it should be.

What are YOU passionate about? If you want to be a published writer, you need to put writing top of that list. And you need to make sure it stays there!

Yours in writing,

Sarah XXX