I watched Frontline on PBS (LOVE PBS, btw) several months back, and discovered a fascinating artist from China named Ai Weiwei. Here’s one of his pieces:
His art blends the past and present of China. The Chinese government doesn’t like some of the themes in Ai’s art, which focus on what he calls fakery versus authenticity:
Ai also had a blog where he shared some of his thoughts. Then he moved to Twitter when his internet voice was censored. Ai has paid the price for his art and writings:
Ai didn’t have to do this. He had a comfortable life in New York City, but chose to go back to China.
Links to more info about Ai Weiwei:
PBS Frontline, Who’s Afraid of Ai Weiwei?
Follow Ai Weiwei on Twitter here
Ai Weiwei has passion for his art. But he has something extra. He is COMMITTED.
Passion = enthusiasm, emotional response, desire, zeal, eagerness, fervor
Commitment = dedication, responsibility, faithfulness, unwavering, loyal, hard-core
I think sometimes we use these terms interchangeably with writing. Passion is more of the feelings side of writing. It feels great to create, get a good idea, come up with a clever twist, have others tell us how good our writing is, etc.
Commitment is a decision. Emotions don’t get to vote there. You do it when there’s no lightning strike, when there’s no parade of inspiration or admirers, when it’s not going well, it’s unprofitable, or even downright dangerous.
It’s possible to have passion without commitment with your writing, and that’s when you can flounder. We may have warm fuzzies and write as the muse strikes us, but when you don’t FEEL like it, are you going to write anyway?
How committed are you to your writing? Yes, you’re passionate. You’re excited about opportunities to create, to share your journey with other writers, to learn more about the craft. But are you committed?
Need to up your commitment quotient? Check out these links:
- How To Make Commitments You Will Actually Keep by Scott H Young
- Steven Pressfield with What The Muse Wants and Resistance Tomorrow
- The irrepressible Chuck Wendig and The Secret Menu of Writing Advice (warning: offensive language)
Check out this short video Write, Even When You Don’t Feel Like It: