Click here for the Passion Police Exercise

The Spark of Passion

Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a purposeful, published and profitable writer?  To not only to be able to express your true self and purpose through your writing but to share it with others while also making a good living from your efforts. Then read on as I explore the role that purpose and passion plays.
Why so much emphasis on passion as a writer? There are several reasons. Writing about subjects that interest you and ignite your passion is a whole lot more fun, not to mention that the articles are easier to write. Besides, the final product is likely to be much better because you’re writing something that you find interesting and/or that you’re curious to learn about.
Several years ago I discovered that I’m passionate about writing profiles, interviews, and other kinds of articles about people who are committed to making a difference in the world. I had also determined by that time that the whole subject of purpose was part of my life purpose, so in an effort to bring more purpose and meaning to my writing career, I created Project Purpose:

To write and publish articles about people and institutions whose lives and missions are dedicated to a bold and inspired purpose or vision.

I started to focus my efforts on getting assignments that would fit Project Purpose.  About three months after creating the project, I received my first official Project Purpose assignment to write a profile of Bo Lozoff of The Human Kindness Foundation in Carrboro, North Carolina. The assignment came from New Age Journal  (since re-named Body and Soul). At the time, it was the largest assignment I’d received, both in the prestige of the magazine and the size of the paycheck. In fact, the check was close to double what I had so far received for any other single article.
Perhaps the most interesting phenomenon was that receiving the payment was the proverbial icing on the cake. I loved doing the research for the article, which involved traveling to Carrboro to interview Bo, his wife, Sita, and other people whose lives had been touched by this incredible couple.
The writing was a joy, both challenging and fun. Even the revision process was virtually painless because I was doing something close to my heart. Then the check arrived— the icing on an already delectable dessert, and I knew I had hit upon something really important.  As Greg Braendel of Career Dreams, Inc. and another Project Purpose profile subject says, “Passion always sells, obsession never does.”
The other reason I encourage aspiring writers to tap into their passions is because the profession of freelance writing is a tough one. There’s a lot of competition. Busy, often over-worked editors are not always as nice as they could be. And the pay . . . well, there are easier ways to make money. I’ve seen and talked to too many freelancers, both part-timers and those doing it for a living, who have become jaded about their work. In many cases, that happens because they sell out by writing too many articles that they find boring and uninteresting just to pay the rent. They find subjects they can write about that, even though uninspiring, still bring in the bacon. But years of writing just for the money can desiccate the staunchest soul. Don’t let it happen to you.
Tapping Into Your Passion
What stirs your passion? The question isn’t as silly as you may think. Many people have lost touch with their passion, the inner spark that ignites them into inspired action. The best they can muster is a mild curiosity or a passing interest.
The following exercise will help you get in touch with your passion and help determine what’s really important to you. I recommend that you take out your notebook and find a nice quiet place to go through this exercise. Find a place where you can be sure you won’t be disturbed during the short time the exercise will take. Many experienced as well as aspiring writers have found the Passion Police Exercise both entertaining and insightful. Here’s how it goes.
The Passion Police are on the way to your home. In just a few minutes, they’ll knock on your door. Their mission is to take away everything you’re passionate about. Your only hope is to write down those things in life that are really important to you. If it’s not written down, the Passion Police will take it away, never to be in your world again.
You must be as precise as possible about what you write. For instance, if relationships are important to you, write down which relationships are important. If you’re passionate about nature, write down the specific aspects of nature that matter the most to you. If you love animals, which ones do you love most? Describe the specific details of your passion. What do you want to have in your world after the Passion Police leave? It must be written down or, after they’ve left, it won’t exist in your world.
They’re almost at your door. You now have five minutes to record in your notebook everything that you’re passionate about. Check your watch and start writing. Remember—five minutes of writing as much and as fast and as precisely as you can. BEGIN!
How did you do?
It’s likely that as you look over your list you’ll realized you missed some important things that you want in your world. Okay, take one minute and add those to your list. The passion police were a little slow today. Once you’ve made those additions, look over the list again. While you may not have listed everything you’re passionate about, it’s a great place to start getting ideas you could write about.
Add Purpose & Passion to Your Writing
Have you ever wondered what it takes to see your writing in print? (And be paid and paid well for it?) If you’re interested in becoming a more purposeful, published and profitable writer, you owe it to yourself to check out the From Spark to Flame Online Writer’s Course. And during the our September’s Special Launch, you can save $100 when you invest in this proven, systematic writing process that I’ve used for the past twenty years to publish well over 350 articles, earned thousands of dollars while also making a difference with tens of thousands of readers. Complete information including a sample of the course is here.