Monica Valentinelli, a fellow contributor to Flames Rising, posted a contest on her blog asking people to post about their passions, and I immediately thought of the first time I'd really tried to pin mine down. When I attended the Denver Publishing Institute back in 2000, jeff_duntemann was one of our guest faculty members. He talked about a number of issues in publishing (things he's still discussing over at ContraPositive), but the thing I remember the most wasn't really about publishing at all. Jeff talked to us about finding your passion and living it. As a young college grad, I remember writing to him afterwards about not being able to narrow down my passion any further than stories -- I wasn't completely enamored of any one type of publishing, necessarily, and not being passionate about a very narrow field made me nervous. But the idea of being passionate about stories made sense, and it's something that remains true for me.
Fast forward eleven years later and the same thing is, roughly, true. I have my fingers dipped in various types of publishing -- and while they're not all story related, most of them are. Writing obituaries ends up being about telling the story of someone's life, capturing all the bits that will be important to readers. Writing about history for "The Town with Five Main Streets" has a whole range of types of stories -- all of them that somehow impact the current landscape of the town where I live. Writing for Dragon ties in with helping other people tell stories. Heck, even teaching Mom-Baby Fitness has an element of sharing stories and experiences with other moms.
Monica's contest runs through midnight tonight, so write about your own passions and go over to her blog and leave a comment!