By: Marilyn L. Davis
“I began to realize how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. He taught me that if you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it at full speed ahead. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good. Hot is no good either. White hot and passionate is the only thing to be.” ― Roald Dahl, My Uncle Oswald
A Broader Concept of Passionate Writing
What does it mean if you’re passionate in your writing? We all use words to convey our intent, but passion will just evoke hot and steamy romantic scenes for some, so let’s broaden the concept of passion. It can mean:
- The premise captivates you
- A particular theme delights you
- You’re enthusiastic about the topic
- You feel genuine excitement when you write about the topic
- The subject intrigues you
- Your focus stimulates you
- There’s zest and energy when you write
So how do you convey in mere words the feelings that you have when writing? How do you energize your topic to let others know how much you enjoy that subject? First, you have to interject yourself into the piece. It’s difficult to write with passion until you tap into your own. And to do that effectively, you have to know yourself.
- What motivates you?
- What makes you mad, sad, glad, and scared?
- What lessons have you learned in life that are universal?
- What one message do you want to echo down the ages after you’re gone?
All of us who write have what I call the outer and inner writing voice. The external voice has us checking for spelling errors, grammar, split infinitives and such. That outer voice is concerned and focused on the polished product.
Then there’s the inner voice. The one who clicks away writing down the deepest thoughts and feelings and that is where we find the passion. It is raw, it is often not refined, it’s intense, and it’s truth for us.
You’re probably thinking, “Well passionate writing might work if you’re writing about religion, politics or puppies”, but I write about widgets.
Even when you write about technology or everyday objects, you know if they enriched, modified, simplified, or enhanced your life. Now, you’ve got four words that convey the passion you feel about that widget. And that will come across to the reader.
Another way of conveying that passion is to give your life examples. People relate to the stories. So, even if you’re writing about the widget; when you show people how much better your life is since you started using the widget, we can all relate to improvement, saving time, or getting more productive.
Still think the topic is fundamentally dull or too serious? Then interject some humor, or find a gentler way of conveying the information. I write about addiction and recovery for my other blog. While there is nothing funny about addiction per se, there are inspiring metaphors, similes, and analogies that work to educate the population on the subject. With these examples, I’ve tapped into my passion for recovery and this approach helps readers understand addiction, but more importantly, find encouragement and motivation for their struggles.
The Inner Writer is Vulnerable
Because the inner writer is authentic and original, it is the most vulnerable. And frankly, most people do not like to feel vulnerable. It opens us up to criticism, pain, and embarrassment.
But it also opens us up to having others relate, support and encourage us. I’d rather have someone like my personal approach to writing than to tell me how much they like a quote I included in the post. Even if the quote is accurate for the piece, I might be hiding behind someone else’s words. The same is true for images. Yes, we have to have them for today’s readers. But again, we don’t usually create them. However, that visual representation of our passion reinforces the energy of the post.
When you find your passion, you find your voice. That simple and that hard. And you only find these within yourself.
Spend some time free writing about what excites you. Take that topic and explore several components. It’s often a particular aspect of the subject that provides you with a way to write from authority and demonstrate your passion for the theme.
Next, you can decide whether to write from the perspective of depth or breadth of your subject. There are subtle truths that you can discover when you write from the perspective of depth that you might gloss over if you’re writing from breadth. Learn about powerful, vigorous and lively words that energize your writing.
Passion is not conveyed well in passive sentences.
How do you tap into your passion? We just have to review the first bullet points to find the keywords that will convey passion to the reader. Ask yourself which topics, ideas and subjects generated the following feelings in you.
- Zest and energy
When you know what topics generate those responses in you, it is easy to write. When you see and feel your passion, it will come through in your writing. It’s contagious, also. I’ll start seeing the topic from your perspective and understand your passion.
Next, as with any profession, make the effort to write better; check for typos, correct your grammar and get better at stringing those words together. Learn to generate a natural flow from one word to one sentence to one paragraph to a final post.
Then your passion comes through to the reader, and your outer voice feels pride.
And last? Enjoy your writing.
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