Passion Doesn’t Keep Me Going Anymore
“It’s complicated” — more than once I’ve used those words to describe how I felt about a relationship, but I never thought they’d ever apply to how I felt about writing.
“Months ago, it would’ve been much easier to answer this”, I began. Then, commence the trying-hard-to-be-profound-and-noble explanation:
I wrote because I love it, but also because I wanted another income stream and a shot at virality and some level of readership. A part of me still wants these things, and I think I always will, but the incentive to hustle just isn’t as strong anymore.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’ve been finding it harder to convince myself why I should keep writing when I really don’t need to.
After stripping off all those tangible goals and motivations, here’s what I’m left with (it’s cheesy but I think I really do mean it):
I want to write because I truly believe it’s my gift. And you don’t waste your gift. You’re supposed to use it. And you use it up until you can’t anymore.
The open thread highlights came out a few weeks later, and I was happy to see that my response was featured. Editor Amy Shearn provided a subheader to summarize each answer. And mine was, well, facepalmingly spot on. Why do I write, in a nutshell? “It’s complicated.”
Unfortunately, there has not been much character development in this department. Every morning, I open my laptop to write (a sign that I’ve at least successfully instilled the habit) but the same monologue runs through my head:
There’s so much to write about! But… I don’t really need to do it today. It’s not like anyone’s gonna fire me. I don’t have to meet these self-imposed deadlines or goals. Heck, I don’t even need to create them!
The struggle is real.
Looking back at my response, however, I can find some redemption. A crucial tidbit that has heightened and become crystal clear to me. And that is: I write because I truly love it.