Discover more from Sweetbitter
SWEETBITTER: THE SOUL OF PASSION
"You need to reach down and touch the thing that’s boiling inside of you and make it somehow useful." - Audre Lorde
Passion has ruled my life since I was a girl. I found writing young and clung to it. I read every book I could get my hands on and I wrote feverishly any idea that came into my head. Stories were truly my first love. As I grew up, my passion for writing stayed. I’ve put my heart and soul into my writing, however it’s manifested and changed over the years. I’m pickier about what I write (and thank God I write better now than I did at 11). I think longer about the big picture, about the intersection of passion and logic, about how to make something sustainable for a life out of art.
I’m not naive. I see the statistics, I hear the news about the state of publishing constantly. I don’t make a choice without analyzing it first. To follow writing as a career is something I’ve heard contrasting opinions on. “Writing is a waste of time.” “It’s not reliable.” “Publishing is too hard to succeed in.” And, sure, depending on your perspective, there’s partial truths in every statement. The humanities have always been fickle as far as career and financial reliability go. But is writing a waste of time? No. It brings me the greatest joy (and sometimes the greatest frustration). If I’m not passionate about my work, then how can I put my heart into it? And if my heart isn’t in my work, then what are the implications of that? Passion doesn’t have to seep into every aspect of life, sure. But if I’m going to spend a life working, let me at least find a way to enjoy it. I admit, though, I don’t have all the answers for how to be successful or how to be happy or anything else that might be on your mind when you think of your own career or passion. Life is fickle, too.
I’ve had these three songs on repeat for the last week or so. I’ve always adored Maggie Rogers (Dog Years is one of my all-time favorite songs) and I’ve just recently discovered Zach Bryan. Something about angsty, contemplative music is just calling to me. If you haven’t listened to any of these, remedy that ASAP! (These songs have nothing to do with passion, I suppose. But nonetheless, I thought I would share them with you.)
“I am but a verse inspired by your chorus, and I will follow you until the end, when the isle takes my bones and my name is nothing more than a remembrance on a headstone, next to yours.” ― Rebecca Ross, A River Enchanted
Rebecca Ross is one of the authors that will be in attendance at the Conyers Book Festival. She’ll be on a fantasy panel alongside Kaylie Smith (A Ruinous Fate) and Melissa Mitchell (Lady Witch Series)! I first met Rebecca in January of 2020 when she visited The Story Shop with Isabel Ibanez. Rebecca and Isabel were both so kind, and I’ve been fans of their works since. Rebecca’s latest novel DIVINE RIVALS just released and Isabel’s next novel WHAT THE RIVER KNOWS comes out later this year.
I am OBSESSED with A RIVER ENCHANTED. The world-building, the multiple POVs, the mythology, the Scotland-inspired backdrop—all of it. It has (so far) weaved together into a fantastical tale. It’s the perfect story to escape into that I needed during this busy month. I’m eager to read the sequel A FIRE ENDLESS next!
Speaking of busy…April’s schedule is both busy and exciting! Here’s just a few things on the calendar:
1. I’m wrapping up the last weeks of my Classics degree in preparation for graduation in May.
2. Attending V.E. Schwab’s Georgia stop of the Addie LaRue tour.
3. Going to Taylor’s Eras concert!
4. And the time has come to officially pick a graduate school program.
So with all of that, there hasn’t been much time in the way of writing or revising which means no snippet this month. But be assured that my passion for writing is still there, and I’m slowly inching my way toward the next step in this journey. It’s a precious time to be so busy and also so anxious about the future. Things are finally in motion (RE: Graduation! Graduate school!) and that’s all I’ve wanted for a while now. I’m grateful and anxious and excited and guarded all at the same time. But the future doesn’t wait. I’ll see how things turn out soon enough.
A FINAL NOTE ON PASSION:
The Ancient Greeks believed that no thing can move without a soul. That is, having a soul is what puts things in motion. It is why humans and animals alike have movement, because we have souls, and objects do not. I liken passion to soul-movement: it is what sets things in motion. I wouldn’t be writing if I wasn’t passionate about it, and that passion for writing set my life in motion. So much of who I am, the experiences I’ve had, is because I’m a writer.
Whatever makes you passionate, follow it. Whether it be writing, cooking, teaching—whatever it is so long as it doesn’t bring harm—let it guide you. Listen to it, and find your reason it’s there.