Is Your Passion for Writing Petering Out?

Do you find your passion for writing has taken a nosedive? Is that burning, all-consuming desire to succeed not as strong as it once was? If so, here’s why you shouldn’t give up just yet. 

A few days ago, I came across an article in Bloomberg Businessweek entitled “The Psychological Formula for Success After Age 50” by Arianne Cohen. It stated that even though passion dwindles with time, it is offset by perseverance and determination which both increase in middle age and peak in our 70s. 

As soon as I finished reading the article, I rushed to the kitchen to share this wonderful discovery with my partner of 31 years. As he listened to me, his hands froze in mid-chop, the partially-sliced red pepper on the cutting board forgotten. His whole body went rigid before he bellowed: “Are you serious?”

Surprised at his angry outburst, my mind quickly sorted through the most likely reasons. “I’m not talking about sex,” I replied. “I’m talking about work and hobbies, you know, getting stuff done!”

My words instantly reassured him—and thankfully saved lunch! 

For a while now, I had been wondering why I was having more and more trouble getting myself to do any writing. After some deep thinking, I realized that my passion for writing basically was not what it used to be. I then started asking myself some hard questions. Was it time to do something else? Had I fallen out of love with writing? No, I didn’t think so. After 20 years, I still enjoyed the process of turning the germ of an idea into a finished story, the thrill of seeing my work in print. But the eagerness to grab a notebook or run to my computer to get the words down simply was not there.

Things finally clicked into place after reading Cohen’s article. Just like my partner, I felt instant relief. It was all right not to have passion anymore because frankly, I have bucketloads of perseverance and determination to spare. Even though I don’t have the drive and desire I used to, I can still keep going until the work gets done. To me, that’s way more important than relying on something as fleeting as passion. And just in case my partner should be reading this: No, I’m not talking about sex!