There was a period in my professional career where I heard almost every other applicant bounce into my office and tell me she was “passionate” about beauty therapy. It drove me absolutely stark-raving bonkers because how could so many people be so “passionate” about the same thing?
(As an aside, as I type this blog, I figured out that, yes, working in a beauty therapy school will tend to bring a higher ratio of people “passionate” about beauty therapy through the front door to study, well, beauty therapy, so “duh” to me being oblivious to that humdinger of a fact. As another aside, the cynic in me wants to share that some of these applicants became students to only find that they were not, in fact, “passionate” about beauty therapy, and maybe this is why that word has become tarnished in my book.)
Yesterday, my new colleague Paula and I were discussing several different things in an informal and impromptu meeting in my office. (Paula is off on vacation in Rarotonga for a week, lucky woman. So, with yesterday being her last day in the office before vacation, I thought I would try and give her a pretty cruisy day, especially since she has been working very hard since she started with us a few months ago.) Paula is really into songwriting, and I, obviously, am into writing, so we started discussing this.
She said something that reminded me of a story I read on Scribophile on Thursday, one I felt was so very good — and it is excellent — that all I could do was not waste the author’s time by offering a short critique — it ticks me off to no end when someone offers the critique on my work of, “Oh, this is great!” Ka-ching, 2 karma points to that critique for offering no critical insight whatsoever. Instead, I left a comment about how good the piece was. Yes, it was that good. So that led into my writing, which Paula and I have never really talked about before.
One major subject we spoke about related to my writing was the novel I started back in 2014. Being enrolled in the Advanced Fiction Writing course at Massey and then developing depersonalization kinda put the kibosh on that, even after I wrote around 30,000 words in the first draft. As I explained the concept to her and some of the characters, Paula kinda kept asking why I wasn’t continuing with writing the novel. She claimed it sounded really interesting, and I appeared to still really like the idea behind it.
I discovered something about myself in that conversation. I am passionate about my ideas and my writing. The excitement and drive and enthusiasm flowing through my body during the conversation made me feel alive again, like the old Scott pre-depersonalization.
One part of me was thrilled, especially since I’ve only discussed my battle between depersonalization and creativity over the last two days in my posts “Depersonalization and Creativity” and “Depersonalization and Creativity: An Afterthought“. Here it was, that field of creativity coming alive again, thousands of flowers blooming.
Another part of me grew weary and a little cynical. Yeah, it’s great to feel energized and pumped up about the general idea of creativity and imagination, but it’s another (very tiring and very daunting) beast entirely to put pen to paper and translate that into the written word.
Baby steps. That’s what I need to take. Baby steps. And by blogging as I have been regularly over the last week, and dipping my toe back into critiquing on Scribophile, I think I’m taking some of those baby steps.
Overall, it was exciting and refreshing to rediscover that passion inside me. For a long while, it felt very dead and like it would never come back. Is it there as I type this? Not as much as yesterday. But yesterday was a case-in-point that it still exists and it is buried somewhere deep inside me. And that’s a good thing. It’s something on working on tapping into once again.