A couple weeks back, I went back to my old high school (10 years since graduation? Really? When did that happen?) and gave a talk to several middle school classes about why I chose to pursue writing. I wasn’t there to try and convince them that writing is the highest pursuit of art possible. I wasn’t there to beat them over the head about how amazing reading books is, or that science fiction and fantasy are the most literary genres around, or anything of that sort.
I was there to share a passion, and hopefully inspire a few of the kids to connect with their own.
Here’s a video of about 2/3rds of the talk for anyone who might want a peek of me trying not to trip over the mic stand on stage:
For those who would prefer to skip that, here’s the overview. I listed 5 reasons why I became a writer, and with each, asked the students 5 questions that I believe would help them (or anyone, for that matter) hone in on potential passions in life and help them discover ways to pursue those dreams.
These questions include:
1. What is something you want to experience (and help others experience) for the rest of your life?
2. What is an aspect of yourself (personality, talent, etc.) that you never want to lose?
3. What is a way you can continue to grow as a person?
4. What’s something you believe you can contribute to better than anyone else?
5. How do you best express yourself?
Writing answers all those for me. It’s my passion. I want to constantly experience the wonder of discovering new worlds and characters. It strengthens my imagination and creativity while making me learn and grow through research. It’s a lot of hard work, too, but underneath it remains the original joy that spurred me to pursue writing in the first place.
Maybe some of those kids will share in the same dream. My guess is the majority of them won’t, but that they’ll discover a strong connection in another area–be it science, art, business, ministry, etc.
Have you asked yourself these sorts of questions before? What are your answers? Do they take you down the same paths, or are you still wandering, trying to discover what truly calls to you?