I guess this could be one of those misleading hooks, but I'm not talking about steamy love scenes. :)
I had planned on going to the chapter retreat this past weekend. I had my manuscripts all printed out and waiting for edits. I had some sketchy ideas for a series of what is now nine books tucked in a folder waiting for a brainstorming session.
Then my dog sitting arrangement fell through. (Back to that in a bit.)
I sniveled and resented and hit a few other emotions. Then I looked for the lessons in the situation, as I have learned to do the last few years. The biggest lesson I came up with: being passionate. Huh? you may ask as you scratch your head.
Back to my dog sitting situation. Some of you may know that I'm setting up a dog rescue/sanctuary. Though I don't have property yet, I do have a number of doggies waiting for a bigger place to run and sniff and dig and climb. To be exact, I have eight dogs. Finding someone to care for eight dogs is a challenge in itself. Toss into the mix that these dogs have quirks and "special needs" -- well, you can imagine this might be a bit of a challenge.
What does this have to do with being passionate? In the time I've worked at the animal shelter, I'm still amazed at the "reasons" why people surrender their dogs. When these dogs end up with three paws in the euthanasia room, my passion to save them kicks in big time. So I have eight dogs.
Passions don't have to be world-changing. They can be as pure as Lisa's enthusiasm about a favorite actor. As a matter of fact, the romance in my first release begins with a teenager's crush on a rock star and shows how these two people grow to be passionate about disadvantaged children as well as their emotional and physical passion for each other. (Aha! I did sneak a reference to love scenes in here!)
Many writers are totally passionate about writing. They write when the kids nap or on lunch breaks at work. Or they give up an hour of sleep to write. I used to envy people who were totally focused on one passion rather than spreading their energy to several as I do. Then I realized it doesn't matter. It's the experience of being driven by deep, urgent passion that gives people sparkle. Sometimes falling in love is that passion. Sometimes it's writing about falling in love. Sometimes it's saving a dog who still has love to give.
Sometimes our passions have a price. I've realized I'd better not schedule overnight trips out of town. And that's OK. Because the rewards are worth it. I have a 12-year-old dog written off as dying who trots -- trots, mind you -- down the sidewalk when we take our walks. I have a "biter" who sleeps on my pillow. And guess what? I never lack for a guy to sleep with -- even if he does have fur that tickles my nose and doggie breath!
So what's your passion? Have you given up anything to pursue this passion? And what are the rewards of this passion?