A couple of months ago I wrote a confession to myself about one of my deeper insecurities: that I’m a blank one-dimensional person and perhaps I am this way because I reject therapeutic practices. To me a complete person has a passion and a drive. When someone asks me what my passion is, I take a deep breath and search inside me for this all encompassing desire that gives me a reason to get out of bed everyday. I do not admit to finding anything and then muddle in my pity party, wondering if I would have a passion if I didn’t have depression. Writing is the only thing I can picture myself going back to forever. But is writing my passion? For a long time I wasn’t sure. I acknowledged that writing is this sublime compulsion that I have been doing since I learned the alphabet– but I refused to call it my passion. Passion seemed more routine and I didn’t have a writing routine yet.
Last May I graduated college. I have started two projects. Job searching (most certainty not a passion) and writing. I started writing my first novel on June 18th 2012. I didn’t mean to finish it in a month however the novel consumed me and I became addicted to the intoxicating mania of creative writing. To the left there is a quick chart that exemplifies what I’m talking about. My average was 1500 words. I finished it in 27 days. And it ended up being 39,867 words which Scrivener translates to being a 115 page paperback novel.
From the start it was an obsessive, dependent, highly narcissistic, and emotional relationship. The theme of this summer became obvious. It is the time for me to enjoy being unemployed and fanatically write beautifully awful things. Being surrounded by pages of pages of shit that I have created is what makes me feel alive. My favorite book is my own. The rough draft to my novel is a rough smudge. It is awkward and incomplete and doesn’t make any sense but I love it. I love it more than any other book that could ever exist.
Wikipedia uses the following to describe passion: Passion is an intense emotion compelling feeling, enthusiasm, or desire for something. The term is also often applied to a lively or eager interest in or admiration for a proposal, cause, or activity or love – to a feeling of unusual excitement, enthusiasm or compelling emotion, a positive affinity or love, towards a subject.
If writing and art are the shadows of my soul then I suppose I do have a passion after all, huh? There is a kind of denial that builds up for some artists. Growing up in a capitalistic world you want your passions to be giant money-making ideas and interests. My passion is arranging words so in a desperate attempt for survival I stifled that passion. I told myself that it doesn’t count. Many people start an endless search for another more productive passion after rejecting arts and live bleak lives. I’m not letting myself become this.
My denial started to crumble before I started my novel, when I went on a trip to Europe with two very politically and financially intelligent adults who understood order and organization, however were completely lost in terms of artistic intelligence. They didn’t completely disregard art. They enjoyed traditional pieces that focused on realism before anything else. Art to them was a skill that they wished they learned not a passion that they were void from. I’m willing to bet that they themselves could not even recall the last time they created art. This is because when I showed them pictures of drawings that I have created in the past couple of months they winced and told me that I have a lot of time– I had a very busy senior year but you make the time for art when it is breathing. And one ridiculed me for writing a poem while I was on the trip because they thought it wasn’t very good– I’m not trying to be good, I’m trying to breathe. And the whole thing made me realize that though I probably could and might have to learn how to create financial plans involving the stock market, and national banks, and such, in the end all of this knowledge will always be secondary and not as important as my intelligence and passion for art. A life without art is honestly meaningless to me.