Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Passion vs. Obsession

Passion is universal humanity. Without it religion, history, romance and art would be useless. ~Honoré de Balzac

'Mad' is a term we use to describe a man who is obsessed with one idea and nothing else. ~Ugo Betti

When I think of obsession, I imagine Glenn Close boiling a bunny on the stove. She thinks of Michael Douglas every waking moment, and her life has lost all joy.

It's safe to say that most of us don't write for the money. We write because we love it and we're passionate about it. Sometimes I feel myself slipping from passionate to obsessive.

For me, it's important to remember why I write. When slipping from passion to obsession, it's important to hang on to the joy.

What's your opinion on passion vs. obsession?

Follow your passion, and success will follow you. ~Terri Guillemets

29 comments:

  1. I'm all about the passion. I tend to look at my writing as a one-step-at-a-time process. If I look too far ahead I get overwhelmed - so I try to stick with the passion :)

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  2. Jemi, that's a great way of looking at it. It can definitely be overwhelming!

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  3. I'm with you. Sometimes it's all I think about. It's all I dream about. It's like I'm thirteen and infatuated with a boy.

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  4. Palindrome, I hear you! I have a one-track mind, for sure.

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  5. I think you nailed it. I would also say my addictive personality has an easy tendency to slip from passion to obsession for ANYthing I enjoy.

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  6. What a perfect thing to remember. Especially when we're pulling our hair out over queries, submissions and rejections *looks around sheepishly* Hope your week is awesome:-)

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  7. I think you said it perfectly. I love to write, but sometiems it can slip into obsession. Here is to holding on to the joy. :)

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  8. funny, this was on my mind this week as well....

    your words in this post are well said - enjoyed my visit to your blog.

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  9. It's so easy to get caught up and get obsessed with writing, getting an agent, and getting published, blah, blah, etc.

    Although I haven't boiled a bunny (yet), I do have to remind myself the reason I want to write.

    It's really isn't about those obsessive things at all.

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  10. For me, the lines are blurry. (This is from the voice of Mrs. OCD.)

    =)

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  11. I think it's also hard, at certain points in the process, to become obsessed with querying, or checking email responses, or surfing all those great blogs. Keeping the passion to the actual writing is hard sometimes for me. I'm easily distracted! :)

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  12. It's a fine line sometimes, isn't it? When I start pushing away all the important stuff--like my family or dinner :), I know it's time to step back and reevaluate. Nice post!

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  13. Julie,

    I love the "Fatal Attraction" analogy. I've seen this flick many times. I'm not sure whether I'm just passionate or obsessive when it comes to writing.

    But either way, for certain, it's healthier than a chocolate addiction, or addiction to the wrong man--like Glenn Close.:-)

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  14. Hi Julie..for me writing is an obsession which I am extremely passionate about.

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  15. thanks for this reminder! i find myself obsessed with the road to publication more than the writing itself - that is still a passion. but the obsession with publication can steal my joy of writing. thanks for helping me put this in perspective.

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  16. Obsessive? Who are you calling obsessive? What are you trying to say? Just because I ignore my family and my house is a shambles and - wait a sec I have to check my email - Okay, where was I? Oh yeah. I'm totally not obsessed. :D

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  17. Hey Julie!! Missed you...Congrats on always getting your brilliant posts recommended at Adventures in Children's Publishing!! I'm impressed and since I've been away I've been missing out.

    Here's how I see it...I'm passionate when the words flowing into my WIP are wonderfully effortless and obsessive when the words stop flowing...drives me cahrazee!!

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  18. I know it's my passion but not my obession as I think of that in more a negative sense.

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  19. Passion is healthy, obsession is unhealthy. :)Thanks for commenting on my blog today!

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  20. I read such an interesting article on this topic - obsessing can be... good! I was so intrigued, I blogged about it.

    If you are so inclined, here's the link: http://smilefeelgood.blogspot.com/2010/06/upside-of-obsession.html

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  21. Thanks for your thought son passion vs. obsession. Nice to know I'm not the only one who slips once in awhile.

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  22. I would have to echo Vicki's thoughts on obsession over passion. Although I try my very best to mainly just focus on the latter, sometimes due to my personality type, it can slip into obsession too.

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  23. These comments are great! I had no idea we had so many Alex Forrest's among us. ;)

    I guess balance is the key, just like it is with everything else in life. It's great to be passionate about our writing, but when it's all we can think about, we might want to pull back a bit...

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  24. Balance...yes, I think that sums it up pretty well.

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  25. I agree with Laura when she says that passion is healthy and obsession is unhealthy.

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  26. Sometimes when I don't want to stop writing to hear my child tell about his/her day or chat with my husband when he comes home from work, I know I'm verging on obsession and it's time to pull back. :)

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  27. Melissa and Susan, I totally agree. Being too obsessive isn't good at all!

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