Others have said: Writing takes passion.


Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depth of your heart; confess to yourself you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. 

Rainer Maria Rilke

There are few things that I consider to be rules in writing. As far as I can see, any method goes, as long as one gets the work written. And that’s why I consider this to be a rule, because without it, I don’t think someone can finish a project.

My rule: One must have passion for writing.

I’m sure that a lot of non-writers will look at the rule and think that I’m stupid. After all, anyone can write anything down. At any moment. That’s probably why so few people understand the challenges involved in writing a story. So many people write (correspondence, statements, reports etc.) that they think that all writing is as easy. It isn’t.

On the contrary, it’s damnably hard more often than not. And NOTHING prepares you for the challenges of writing a novel, except for writing a novel. Because, while most people write more than 50k words in e-mails etc. in (say) a few months, it isn’t meant to be read as a single understandable story. There’s no need to develop a thrilling plot, there’s no need to create and get to know characters. There’s no need to stick with the exact same story for as long as it takes to finish it.

Writing is full of challenges, rejections and other obstacles. It takes sacrifice. Especially of time. Writing isn’t something to do in a few weeks without noticing. It’s something that needs to be prioritized.

So many people say that they want to write but don’t have time… Well, I can safely say that none of us writers have time. We make it. We put writing way up there on our lists of priorities, with family, God and breathing.

If it wasn’t for that commitment, no story would ever be finished.

Anyone disagree with me? Why or why not? How high is writing on your list of priorities? Do you find that a shift or writing up or down your priority list influences your writing?

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23 thoughts on “Others have said: Writing takes passion.

  1. This is a brilliant essay. Passion has always been responsible for great works; whether it be chefs creating great dishes or writers creating great stories.
    I was reminded of passion the other day when I saw a film called “Multiplicity” (Michael Keaton and Andie Macdowell). The husband was getting too busy because his wife took a job. He meets a geneticist who makes him a clone to help work. Well, the clone makes a clone to help himself. That clone makes a clone and you know what happens when you make too many copies, the last copy gets real distorted. It was a terrific story and I thought about the writer and the plot. You gotta have passion to write like that.
    Sorry to take up too much of your time I just had to illustrate how good your essay was. Take care.

  2. I do have a burning passion to write. Its what I do and who I am. I squeeze in writing throughout the day. A little here. A little there. By the end of the day I usually accomplish something significant.

  3. You have to have a passion for it, or else you would quit. I have to say my passion ebbs and flows. Sometimes it's all I think about while other times, it's my sworn enemy.

  4. Absolutely, one-hundred percent agreed! If I'm not passionate about it, why am I doing it? There's too much work and heartache involved for me to keep writing if I don't love it!

  5. You're right. It takes passion to go on writing when you haven't been published, when you aren't sure you even know what you're doing, and when you don't have a contract for that next book. We keep going because it's what we love doing and we're determined to be the best writers we can be.

  6. Without passion, whoever would spend hours of potentially unpaid time doing something that will probably just have to be redone, at least once, most likely numerous times, and even then you're not sure it's any good.

  7. I totally agree with you. Writing is a priority for sure. Most writers have to work another job to support themselves and thier families. And no, it's not easy to fine tune our novels, the writing process is, however.

  8. Great post, Misha. Non-writers do not understand the challenges and hard work of writing creatively. They believe it is about inspiration or something similar. I also agree that passion is what rules our writing. I would not be able to write anything without the passion to express something meaningful. Passion is attached to persistence, discipline, imagination and so much more.

  9. Writing is hard. Especially crafting a story from start to finish. Novels are even harder. You're right, there has to be passion. I don't know how I'd get through the 2nd draft otherwise. Or the 3rd, & 4th.

  10. It definitely takes a passion because for so long, you get nothing. What keeps you going through the doldrum? Probably the fact that some of what you write has the same effect on your mind as pornography does, stimulating and firing certain neurons that give you pleasure. That in itself is passion, is it not?

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