What drives you? What is your passion? Are you living that passion? Or are working towards achieving it?
For a good number of people on this blog, the dream of being a published author has been achieved. For others, steps are hopefully being taken to achieve those goals. But what happens when you are pursuing a dream that you come to realise is not your passion?
Coming from an African background I remember that as a little girl growing up, and into my early university years my Dad wanted me to be a lawyer. Professions like Medicine and Law are extremely well respected in Nigeria and having a daughter as a lawyer or doctor would have made him puff out his chest and probably be the envy of his friends.
That wasn’t to be though. And even now many, many years later when my Dad complains about the fact that I don’t yet have children, I remind him that everyone has different journeys. Some things happen sooner for some and later for others. Hey, maybe I’m just a late bloomer.
So anyway, back to dreams and passions. I’ve always loved books and I’ve always had a vivid imagination, so the desire to write is only natural. I had an idea for a novel. I developed the characters and began to write. I had so much fun crafting the story and interacting with the characters. I couldn’t wait to finish my day job and rush to my ‘people’. You know what I mean.
I went to my first writers conference a few years ago and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting other writers and aspiring writers. What came as a shock to me was the critique of my work. Not so much for the content, but for some technicalities, like POV, showing and not telling, etc. I was shocked. I was so busy having fun in my relationship with my characters that I totally forgot about the technical side of creative writing! All good though, but what happened a short time later has sometimes made me wonder about this dream of mine.
I got seriously distracted from writing immediately after the conference. I was still writing, but as this was the editing phase, it wasn’t as much fun. Then I relocated to another country for a few months and was involved in a ‘strange’ relationship that sapped my creativity. It took a while to recover, but despite all that, I learnt a lot from the experience and it has worked towards making me the person I am today.
So as I said, it’s taken a while and a lot of that ‘while’ meant forcing myself to develop the discipline to continue writing and editing my work. I thank God that I am back to enjoying writing again.
I have learnt that while I am passionate about writing, it is not my only passion. During the ‘dry’ season I can’t tell you how many people came up to me to ask when I was getting published. If only it was that easy. After trying to explain the process of getting an agent first and then God willing, getting your manuscript sold, I just didn’t bother.
I love writing, and I also love helping people ‘get it.’ Getting it could be learning a new skill or realising their potential, or understanding how something works.
I write, I train, I coach. I know my passions. I am a lot clearer about my purpose. Thank God.
Ufuoma Daniella Ojo is a Senior Technical Author and Software Trainer. She is working on some new stories about relationships and is trusting God for connections leading to publication.