Sunday, January 24, 2010

What's Your Passion?

Right now I'm sitting in my car in the church parking lot, waiting for my two middle school kids to come home from a weekend church retreat. My daughter just texted to tell me they left the hotel half an hour late, which means I have an extra half hour to sit in my car and wait for them.

There was a time when this would have been an inconvenience, but not anymore. Now I see it as a blessing - unexpected free time to write. Between kids, their activities, my activities, housework, etc. finding time to write is one of the biggest challenges of my day. Yes, I do still get up early and guzzle coffee by the potful, and I still cherish that morning ritual. But it's not enough. All day long my characters are still with me, telling where they want to go, what they want to do, who they need to talk to. Any time I can spare to get back into their story and move them a little further along on their journeys is a gift. With a busy schedule like mine (and, I'm sure, like most of yours), that spare time is hard to find, so I squeeze it in when I can.

Long, long ago, in another lifetime, I worked as an electrical engineer and then as a computer programmer. It would never have occurred to me back then to bring along a vendor catalog or a bit of code to peruse while waiting in the church parking lot. That's one way I know writing isn't a job (well, that and the fact that I'm unpaid at the moment), but a lifestyle. Writing isn't something I do, it's something I am. There's a world of difference.

So, what are you? And I don't mean your job, I mean your passion. Is there a passion you've been meaning to pursue but haven't found the time? If so, what's stopping you? If you're already pursuing your passion, do you have any words of advice about how you're able to fit it into your schedule?

Until next Sunday, happy writing, and may your coffee pot never run dry.

13 comments:

Tess said...

Things that stop me on occasion:

the telephone
errands ... do they ever end?
feeling lazy
laundry
my day job (medical billing)
a needy neighbor
getting lost in the blogosphere

all important things in their own right. It's a contstant juggle, isn't it?

Paula said...

Oh my goodness, it's like you were reading my mind! I was torn about whether to blog tonight or not, because I got home at 11:30 p.m. after a day of extra-ing on a film set and I'm tired! I'm also envisioning a Monday morning starting off tired, a Monday at work without the benefit of a good night's sleep, etc. etc. etc. But I took the extra gig because I can't resist the lure of being on a film set (trash cans need to be emptied, anyone?) and I will write because I promised myself I would keep my "date with the page". I once heard someone say you should not be come a minister because you want to, but because you have to -- I think when we do the things we love it gets us a little closer to having some kind of alignment in our lives.

Susan Fields said...

Tess - we all get sidetracked, but I think the difference is we can only stay away from our true passion for so long. I do all those things you mentioned (except for the day job :)), but inside something is always itching to get back to my story. You're right, it's a constant juggle, but a true passion cannot be ignored!

Susan Fields said...

Wow, Paula - I'd have to say you're more devoted than I am. I think by 11:30pm, I'd be willing to let the blog wait one more day. I need to remember your example the next time I'm tempted to let something get in the way of my "date with the page." And I love hearing about your adventures on the film set - I guess a true passion is even worth giving up a good night's sleep for (and that's saying something!)

Amy Allgeyer Cook said...

I have so many passions and so little time to really let them be 'mine'. Writing (of course), painting (I never get any better, because I never have time), acting (takes way too much time--I'll have to save my return to the stage until my knees totally give out and soccer/tennins/volleyball are no longer in my itinerary), music (I loved being in band and have always wanted to play the bass guitar), and I think someday I'd like to try ballroom dancing...if only for the sequined dresses.

Sharon Mayhew said...

I wish I had your passion for writing, Susan. I can't think of much that would make me (voluntarily) get out of bed before 6:00, let alone when you get up. Right now, it seems, that the weather and my desire to exercise daily is getting in the way of writing...Katherine only had 2.5 days of school last week and they just announced school is closing early again today....I usually have one really productive day a week. I am fairly faithful about blogging 5 nights a weeks. :)

Susan Fields said...

Amy - I'm impressed! You are extremely multi-talented. Writing, painting, music, sports, acting, and someday ballroom dancing (I can see you in sequins, very becoming!) I'll say it again - I wish I had your energy!

Sharon - Exercise has definitely been falling by the wayside lately for me. It seems so often the choice comes down to the laptop or the treadmill, and usually the laptop wins out. And I can totally relate to the kids never being in school. Even though we don't have that many snow days, they seem to give the kids a full or at least a half day off every week just standard. I know I'm old and my memory's going, but I sure don't remember being off school that much when I was a kid. It does make it hard for us work-at-home moms!

Amy Allgeyer Cook said...

Susan--I said those were passions. I never said I was talented at them. :)

Jim said...

I DO take code with me or an instruction manual to peruse in my little bits of free time.... My passions outside of family and my work, is pretty much anything outside and active, with my friends.

Susan Fields said...

Amy - I think our passions spring from our talents, and I KNOW you're a talented writer, so I was just extrapolating (see, I told you I used to be an engineer.) :)

Jim, that doesn't surprise me a bit, I can totally see you sitting in the church parking lot perusing your instruction manual. And I'm glad, too - I really enjoy having uninterrupted electric service! And I'd say to be a triathlete, definite passion is required.

Velva said...

My passion is cooking. Cooking nourishes me emotionally. Over the years, I have found various outlets to enjoy my passion through participating in cooking clubs, wine clubs and travel. I cook for friends, family and crowds. I love it. Recently, I discovered blogging. I am surrounded in a virtual community of people who are a lot like myself and it is amazing. I meet people who I otherwse would have never met, discover new cooking techniques, food and culture.
This was a wonderful post! Thanks Susan.

Susan Fields said...

Velva, my family is so glad cooking is your passion, because you pass on so many wonderful recipes through your blog - I think we'll be having flan for dessert sometime very soon! :)

chopchop83 said...

sue, this is awful but, i haven't done any artwork in about a year and a half now, coincidentally coinciding with the purchase of the store. painting and drawing does definitely take time, and i feel i just don't have it now...however, i have noticed a desire to get back at it slowly creeping up, and some ideas percolating...now to just get back down there and actually start somethning. i stretched a new canvas back then, and it just stares at me when i go down to my cold basement hovel (studio), well...maybe in the spring when it gets warmer...