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Write to Your Passion – Like Tennessee Williams

06 Aug

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What is Passion?
A great example of a writer who was successful because he wrote with passion and authenticity is Tennessee Williams. It is said that his play, The Glass Menagerie, is somewhat autobiographical. For those familiar with this play, it’s obvious that the playwright had strong feelings about his characters and the society in which they lived. Successful writers will follow Tennessee Williams’ example of identifying what they care about and writing on those subjects. It’s also important to show heartfelt emotion without going into unnecessary detail.

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What is heartfelt emotion, or passion?
A Wikipedia article explains that passion is an intense emotion, such as; enthusiasm, desire, or a positive affinity or love towards a subject. Passion also has a dark side. It can be linked to intense negative emotion, such as hate.
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Why is it Important That Our Writing be Passionate?
We need to write about that which we have strong emotions, positive or negative. Simply put, we need to write about what we care about. Why is this important? Writing is like acting. People can tell if you’re emotionally connected. The most respected actors are the actors who are not “acting” a certain role; they are “being” a certain role. For example, if we see someone like Meryl Streep in a movie, we don’t think that she’s portraying the character in a skilled manner. Instead, we feel that she has actually become the character. She is not divisible from the character. In the same way, writers want their material to flow smoothly. Writers cannot write material that flows smoothly unless they care about the subject of their writing.

  • Suzanne Fetting, Confidence Coach, defines passion as energy in her blog. She says that passion fuels the fires of inspiration and that it motivates us. It’s hard to write about that which doesn’t engage us emotionally. How Do We Find Our Passion.
  • Mary DeMuth, guest blogger on Michael Hyatt’s blog, says that one of the best ways to find our passion is to find where need and joy collide. A good example of this would be a job that contributes to society in a positive manner while it utilizes our unique talents. Another way that she suggests that we find our passion is to ask our friends to identify what is our main personality characteristic. For instance, our friends may define us as “artsy”, “intelligent”, “athletic”, and so on.

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How Do We Balance Our Passion in Our Writing?
It’s important not to be too emotional in our writing. When I was using some of my own life experiences while writing my first book, I spent a lot of time editing them because I was too emotional about those experiences. I edited certain passages fifteen times, and I still found that too much strong emotion came out in my words. In the end, I believe that I made my point clear with less emotion and fewer words. Readers don’t need a lot of details to understand a particular emotion that is being portrayed. In fact, too many details may be distracting. So, we want to keep details to a minimum.
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Traci Lawrence writes about her passion: communication, relationships, the value of individuals and rising above verbal bullying, or trash talk. She lives in the Northern Virginia area of the United States and teaches English, among other subjects. Please find more on her blog, and read her book: Accept No Trash Talk.

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Posted by on August 6, 2014 in Guest Blogs, Writing

 

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