Writing isn’t generally a lucrative source of income; only a few, exceptional writers reach the income levels associated with the best-sellers. Rather, most of us write because we can make a modest living, or even supplement our day jobs, doing something about which we feel passionately. Even at the worst of times, when nothing goes right, when the prose is clumsy and the ideas feel stale, at least we’re doing something that we genuinely love. There’s no other reason to work this hard, except that love. —Melissa Scott
Two years ago, my son introduced me to the guitarist and composer Eric Johnson. Over the winter holiday, I watched my 15-year-old son practice Eric Johnson’s piece, Cliffs of Dover, on his electric guitar. Mornings, afternoons and evenings, he’d rehearse the piece, working through the difficult passages until he got them down.
Watching my son practice, I was impressed by the passion he brought to his music. Several years ago, when I was overwhelmed by work and not feeling terribly excited by any of it, my coach Carol Gerrish asked me, “If your business was destroyed by fire, what pieces of it would you want to include when you rebuilt it?” That question has inspired me for years.
In this New Year, I am asking myself a similar question: “If a fire destroyed all of your writing and you had to start over, what would you write?” This year, dear readers, I am working hard to reconnect with some of the writing I am most passionate about but have had little time to do. For me, that means working on my book projects for children.
What about you? What projects are you passionate enough to give up a holiday vacation to work on? What project wakes you up in the morning and keeps you up at night? What project excites you so much that you can hardly help but talk about it? Put your energy behind your passion—and it will keep you going amid difficult times!