I’ve been in business for almost twenty years now, and in that time, I’ve seen many small businesses come and go. One of the biggest predictors I’ve noticed in the success of a business is the passion of the business owner. Are they driven to put in the extra work? To do what it takes to make it succeed? I believe the same holds true for writing.
As a fiction writer, you have to be driven to keep going. Driven to make it the best you can. Writing a book is a huge project, way too big to be guilted into finishing it, or to do it so you can make some money. It has to be for you. You have to want to write it so bad you regularly stay up half the night because you have to finish a thought. So bad that the next day as you’re a walking zombie, trying to do what ever you do to pay your bills, you’re semi-functioning brain continues to think about your book, looking forward to writing again. So bad, you’ll keep writing, even standing out in the snow, waiting for your dog to pee. Writers who are driven by the passion to write will find the time, will find the help needed, will find ways to improve their craft, will find a way to make it happen.
I’ve also wondered how many finished books are out there…books where the writer lost steam before getting it published. When a writer finishes ‘writing’ a book, they still have to make it into an actual book, and whether paper or digital, it takes a lot of work to finish it off. Even when that’s all done, there’s self-publishing and marketing, or approaching publishers.
Music has a way of turning up emotions. Much like a book, it can allow us to escape the world around us, to forget our problems, and give in to the writer and follow down the path they are leading us. Here are a few great examples passion in music. The first is, When your Mind’s Made Up, by Glen Hansard. When I used to play guitar at open mics a few years ago, this was a favourite for me. It’s hard to listen to it without really getting the feeling of what was written. I’ve ripped more thumbnails on this song than any other. I’d get so into the song, when I was done and out of breath, I’d have blood splatters on my guitar from catching a nail on a string…even while playing with a pic.
The second and third pieces I’d like to share are from one of my favourite performers, Jesse Cook. Although totally different from the first song, Jesse brings forward a feel from his music that makes it hard to sit still. I’ve seen him twice now and his shows are phenomenal. Usually by the halfway mark everyone is on their feet moving to the music. If you ever get the chance to see him, go. In the first one, Dance of Spring, he’s sporting his custom hand made William Laskin guitar. The second one, Tempest, is just seriously cool to watch.
If we strive to put as much into our writing as these two do while writing and playing their music, it will most definitely be evident to our readers.
If you have any other examples of passion in music please share in the comments.