Thursday, September 21, 2006


I posted to one of my favorite writing groups today. What is your inspiration, given that Steinbeck--or was it Hemingway?--said that a writer can't be married to his/her inspiration?The writer's mate is the one who keeps the writer's feet on the ground. The passion of a writer's life keeps them writing, creating.

I've been thinking about that some, of late. Does a soulmate have to be the person you love and to whom you are married? Or can you have soulmates who share common interests with you? I don't know.

Does my mate keep my feet on the ground? Oh, yes. Is he my soulmate? As far as my children are concerned, yes. As far as my writing is concerned? Oh, no. He isn't interested in my writing at all. His interests end where the incoming checks are concerned, and he's not seen a lot of that.

My passion? Now, that's something I won't divulge. I have one. And when I think of that passion, my creative juices start flowing and I write well.

What is "passion"? Mr. Webster, if you please?

PASSION: n. 1. orig., a) suffering or agony, as of a martyr b) an account of this. 2 a) any of the Gospel narratives of Jesus' Passion and and of accompanying events. b) an artistic work, as an oratorio or a play, based on these narratives 3. a) any one of the emotions, as hate, grief, love, fear, joy, etc. b) [pl] all such emotions collectively; 4. extreme, compelling emotion; intense emotional drive or excitement; specif., a.) great anger, rage; fury b.) enthusiasm or fondness [a passion for music] c) strong love or affection d) sexual drive or desire; lust 5. the object of any strong desire or fondness 6 [Obs] the condition of being acted upon, esp. by outside influences...

SYN: passion usually implies a strong emotion that has an overpowering or compelling effect.

Is a writer's passion something with guilt attached because the writer's passion is being spent somewhere beyond the people (s)he loves? Can a mate be jealous of the writer's passion? Is that why so many famous writers marry and divorce? Is that why those of us who are writers who set aside our writing for the people we love are less famous? Because we prioritize differently, family first?

What is regret? Not realizing our full potential, our dreams, because we spent a lifetime living for those we love instead of living our lives for ourselves. Is that selfishness? I didn't postulate that there is no room for compassion. Or perhaps my problem is that I've only just been able to break the apron strings that held my children to me and I no longer feel guilty about writing or spending time with the passions of my mind that urge on my desires to write and write and write. And the final question: am I making any sense?

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