Find Your Passion as a Writer: 6 Simple Steps

    passion as a writer

    By definition, writers are passionate creatures. Your days are spent huddled over a keyboard, tap tap tapping out portions of your soul and nuggets of your imagination. If you don’t truly love writing, it is darn near impossible to be a good writer.

    As writers, we are among the fortunate few who are actually doing something we love. Yes there are struggles, both financial and personal. But we have the ability and talent to shape words into tangible expressions that can inspire, educate, and entertain. There is a real fulfillment and joy in that.

    As much as we love the craft, part of our calling as writers should be to stretch ourselves beyond the calling to write. You can be a good writer by tapping into the passion of being a writer.

    You can be an exquisite writer by tapping into the passion of being yourself.

    Writing may define part of you, but it shouldn’t define all of you. You are a complex, multidimensional, ever-evolving individual. You owe it to yourself, to your craft, and to your readers to explore all of the nooks and crannies of who you are.

    Let me present this scenario as an example. My daughter is a ballet dancer, and I have been around student and professional dancers for many years. An extremely talented student dancer is enchanting to watch. She is technically proficient and stunningly fluid and graceful.

    An experienced professional dancer is rapturous and heart-wrenching to watch. Technical abilities and gracefulness are second nature. What shines through so poignantly is her soul.

    You see her life experiences, joys, wounds, loves, and values, all played out before you. You see these emotions in the movements of her body, the myriad of expressions on her face, the subtleties of timing, and her invisible connection with the audience. It is pristine, exquisite, breathtaking.

    Dancers and actors spend a lot of time exploring themselves to perfect their crafts. It is one thing to be a proficient dancer or actor. It is quite another to be an inspired and passionate artist. You must explore what is inside of you, draw it forth, and  infuse it into your role.

    An inspired and passionate writer must do the same, for writing is an art as well.

    Most of us are so busy with the business of writing that we have little time for rummaging around in our own lives to see what’s what.

    However, if you don’t make the space and time to do this valuable work, you are tethering your writing to “just good enough.” You are walking past an untapped goldmine of inspiration that will buff the bright shine of authenticity, humanness, and raw emotion on your work.

    So how does one go about poking around inside to find this passion? It takes a little time and work. It takes stepping away from busyness to look within. The deeper you dig, the greater the reward. In fact, the payoff can be tremendous. Along the way, you might learn things about yourself that will open amazing new doors of possibility and discovery for your work and your life.

    From my own experience, I see this discovery work as a very strategic process. It is not always linear, but by following specific steps, you will leave no stone unturned to evolve into the passionate writer you were meant to be. Here are  five key steps to finding your passion.

    Know Thyself.

    • Understand what makes you tick, what motivates you, where you get your energy, and how you perceive the world. Understanding this about yourself helps you connect with your readers and your characters.
    • Learn more about your personality and why you behave and operate in the world the way you do. How you view the world is reflected in your writing, so pursue awareness around this and use the knowledge to direct your writing decisions.
    • Use this clarity about yourself to help you focus on what is natural and right for who you really are — not who you wish you were or who others want you to be. Your uniqueness should shine through in your writing.
    • Begin this process by taking one or two personality assessments, like the Myers Briggs test. These assessments give you a framework for the process of self-discovery and exploration. They can open your eyes to parts of yourself you haven’t acknowledged before.

    Define Your Qualities.

    • You might have a general idea of your skills, values, and interests, but have you really dug deep to determine which of those are imperative in your life? Are you allowing your writing work to overwhelm other places to explore? These places could ultimately help your writing.
    • Determine the values that define you, the skills that you enjoy (not just those that you are good at), and the interests that are fulfilling and fun, so you to be creative, expansive, and focused in your writing and in life.
    • Commit to finding ways to use these newly defined values, interests, and skills. Explore new options in life so that you can exploit them in your writing. Jodi Picoult is an author who routinely scrutinizes and employs her values and interests in her novels, and she is quite prolific.

    Create A Vision.

    • Once you’ve gotten to know yourself better and defined what is important to you, begin to create a vision for your life and for your writing.
    • By outlining a rough vision based of your personality, values, skills, and interests, you will begin to refine a purpose and mission for your writing and your life. Any passionate endeavor, bolstered by purpose, will have substance and longevity.
    • As you explore the many possible details of this vision, your purpose and mission will become more and more clear to you. It will give you a road map for your writing and what you want to achieve. Use this road map to give direction and meaning to your writing plans.
    • Refer to this vision frequently as you write. Draw from it as from a deep well of inspiration for your work. Allow yourself to absorb the feelings your vision evokes so that authenticity  shines through in your writing.

    Remove the Roadblocks.

    • As you define the elements of your vision and mission, you may encounter emotional roadblocks preventing you from taking the actions you needed to make your vision real.
    • If you don’t address them, limiting beliefs, life imbalances, unresolved issues, and emotional reactions can prevent you from discovering more about yourself and your passions.
    • As you uncover your own roadblocks and work through them, you will uncover more gems of inspiration for your writing. Many people use writing as a way of resolving these issues. When  you are vulnerable in your writing, you are revealing your authentic self. Your readers will resonate with that.  Elizabeth Gilbert’s best selling book, Eat, Pray, Love, is a perfect example of this level of vulnerability.

    Shift Your Mind.

    • As you learn about yourself, you will begin having profound “ah ha” moments. Previous ways of thinking will be challenged. Things that you once accepted will no longer be acceptable.
    • You will want to address unmet needs and remove tolerations from your life that have been sapping your energy and attention. This will open your mind and your time for writing and for other passions you have discovered.
    • Your perspective on what is good and right for you will open up. You sabotage your creativity when you do things you don’t want to do because you feel you “should.” Laser focus on what you want for your life to create the wide open spaces needed for your best writing.

    Create Your Plan.

    • The final part of the process of discovering yourself and your passion is creating an action plan based on all you have learned. You may find there are many passions and options for your life in addition to writing.
    • Remember, you may have to do this work several times over the course of your writing career as you continue to evolve as a person.
    • Use everything you have learned about yourself to infuse your writing with dimension, substance, and presence. Armed with new self awareness and growth, you will find passion in your writing and in your life beyond your wildest expectations.
    About the author

      Barrie Davenport

      This is a guest post written by Barrie Davenport, a life and career coach and founder of Live Bold and Bloom, a blog about fearless living.

    • Jock says:

      There is a critical shortage of ifnoarmtvie articles like this.

    • Marie-Eve says:

      Very inspiring and I love of you detailled the process. It’s important for me to grow as a writer, be myself, and always keep in mind my mission and passion, so it helps me a lot. Thanks!

    • Miss GOP says:

      Love this article! I just came across your blog and now I can’t wait to read more. I’ll echo what everyone else has said about the importance of finding passion as a writer. I especially love the comparision to dancing–so true!


    • Thanks so much for this wonderful article Barrie! It’s just what I need. For the past few months I have been taking solid steps forward to balance my life out, and continue towards my writing career. The one thing that has always kept me going is my passion for writing–when I had to take a hiatus from writing for personal reasons, I was amazed by how much of a negative impact it made on my identity.

      Your article is now going to be my “life checklist” as I refine my craft. 🙂

    • Barrie,

      What a wonderful article. I agree with you wholeheartedly. If you aren’t feeling what you are writing there is no way the readers will. The only way to really feel it is to dig deep within. Sometimes it’s a scary thing to do. We all have things we would rather not focus on, things we don’t want to admit. I believe you have to be in a good place with yourself spiritually before truly moving creativity will come. You can’t do that without being open and honest about yourself and who you are as a person.


    • So right on, Barrie! I appreciate your wisdom. Reminds me of a “hobby” I used to foster as a photographer, but let it go because being behind the camera all the time means I’m simply recording life instead of living it.

      That said, I do still enjoy taking nature pics, because it allows me to create art out of what is already there. But being “that person” who snaps pictures at every event then forgets to have a good time loving it in the process, those days are done!

    • Writing from my life and from my passion is new to me, but so freeing and energizing. It is so different from writing from what I think about others or from what I read in a book. Live first, write later.

      • Hi Marci,
        I love that — “Live first, write later.” That is a very succinct way to put it. I agree that it is freeing and energizing. No more hiding behind our words!

        • Reminiscent of one of my favorites from Thoreau: “How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to Live…”

    • This is a great list, but I already received value from this post with this line: “You can be an exquisite writer by tapping into the passion of being yourself.”

      As a former journalist now focused on creative writing, I’ve struggled with the fact that I love learning about other people and telling their stories, but I’ve been trained not to allow myself to be in the story. What I’ve been learning in a creative writing class is that even when we write about others, the subjects we choose and the details we provide come from us as writers. So if we embrace our own passions, if we allow those to become a part of our writing, we can be, as you put it, “exquisite.”

      Thank you for sharing.

      • Hi Patrick,
        Maybe I should have just stopped there! 🙂
        I think writers are artists and should use their own lives as a platform for expression. Many of us who love learning about other people often neglect ourselves — but we are full of great writing material!

    • Here I was, thinking that one has to have talent to become a writer. Ha, was i wrong.

      I only have to dig deep enough in myself, remove the roadblocks, and I will become a ‘good’ writer.
      So if i read correctly the labour is not in the writing but during the travel on that long windy road to selfknowlegde.

      Removing the roadblocks will take awhile.
      Cross fingers and hope to write,

      • Hi Johan,
        Yes, you have to have the talent and skills to be a writer, but passion and self knowledge give depth and substance to your writing. It is a continuous long and winding road! 🙂

    • I love your blog and writing style. I think writers are readers, and readers are writers. The creative part is in all of us.

      • Hi Jackie,
        Thank you so much for your kind comments. Yes, the creative part is in all of us. And we have so much more creativity than we apply in our lives. I think that’s why it is so important to “go within” at times and learn more about ourselves.

    • Jia Jun says:

      Whenever there’re people interact with my posts, this will motivates me too to keep writing. By providing great values and content to people that people will really benefits from it. That inspire me to keep going. And everything in our life, there sure be many roadblocks that slow and drag us down, in which we need to cope with it all the time and keep growing.
      It’s a learning process while building up ourself to be a writer, a great writer that people love.
      Thanks for the post Barrie Davenport for the post. Find it useful as a guideline to be a better writer. 🙂

      • Hi Jia,
        I agree, interacting with readers is part of the passion of writing. It is so rewarding to get feedback from people who enjoy your writing. I am so glad you found my post useful for you. Best wishes on your writing journey!

    • Joe D. says:

      We all have our roadblocks, and I think the biggest one is putting limits on one’s own potential. This post is a great map for removing the roadblock, whatever it may be.

      Nice article, Barrie.

      • Hi Joe,
        You are absolutely right. We are using such a small portion of our potential. I wonder what we all would be doing if fear didn’t exist? What a thought, right? Thank you for commenting.

        • Thank you for this, Barrie. Poignant, encouraging, nostalgic –some of my favorite things.
          (Pathos/Logos/Ethos). Recently joined the blogging community, and have been overwhelmed by the doors it continues to open. Look forward to being in touch on here

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