For those of you who are just starting out as writers, “Have you lost the love?” might seem like a ridiculous question. How could you fall out of love with something so fun and creative? How could you possibly lose passion for an activity that makes you feel so alive? Others of you (and I predict there may be a bit more water under the bridge here) might say, “Oh yeah, it’s just a job now.” Or, “I’m burnt out on it.” Or, “It’s just a hobby.”
The spark is gone.
A friend recently recommended a CD called Celebrating Love, with Alison Armstrong. I thought it was just going to be about romantic love, but her talk was about all kinds of love, including that for activities, like writing.
Armstrong spoke about things that we used to love, but no longer feel a spark for. And how this love gets lost.
She said that somehow, in the pursuit of this thing we love, we experience a failure. A moment where we didn’t get what we needed. For some people it might be several “failures” (i.e. multiple rejection letters from agents) and for others it might just be a single “no.”
What happens after not getting our needs met, is that we experience resignation. And this resignation imprisons our love. (Armstrong asked the listener to imagine his or her heart, surrounded by a steel cage.) Because our heart is imprisoned, we can no longer express our love. Instead of feeling heartfelt love for our writing, we simply make “gestures” to indicate that we still love it (like submitting to a writing contest when we haven’t made the revisions we know will make our story better.) We take actions that make it “look” like we still love our writing, without really feeling it.
Because we can’t express our love, we become less potent and powerful. We lose our WILL. She said that Commitment and Creativity are expressions of will, and will is enabled by love.
So if you’ve imprisoned your love through resignation, and lost your will, what can you do about it?
Turns out, the Hero of Love is HOPE. Hope frees love. Hope does battle with resignation and where once there was only the expectation of failure, now there is the anticipation of success and this enables your will.
Resignation (the steel cage) crumbles and your love is set free again.
Take Action! Could you believe (once again) that anything is possible? Could you imagine your future success and allow this Hope to enable your creativity and will? Could you again look at your writing as something beautiful that must be shared with the world, instead of something that carries the whiff of ‘rejection’? Could you crack open the protective resignation you’ve built around your passion and say about your writing project, “This just might work!”
Don’t kid yourself. When you give up on love, it’s felt in your pages.
Everyone knows the difference between a “gesture” and real deal love-inspired writing.
Are you willing to believe again?
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