Thoughts on John U. Bacon’s Talk

First of all, let me say this: I loved listening to John U. Bacon talk about why he writes last week.  I’ve always enjoyed his books and writing style, but hearing about what drives him as a writer was a great experience.

His stories about waking up early in the morning and writing in a freezing cold building or coming home late from a party and cranking out a ten page story were inspiring anecdotes that showed me what “following your passion” really means.  It’s a phrase we hear a lot, especially looking forward to our future jobs.  The question, “I don’t know what to do!” is almost always answered with another question, “Well, what do you love to do?”  While this never actually helps me out (I don’t know what to do because I’m not sure what I love to do), it’s still an important topic to think about.  John U. Bacon was inspiring because he knew what he loved to do, and he followed it.

But here’s the thing: Bacon didn’t inspire me to write more.  In fact, he made me realize that I’m NOT a writer. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I realized that I don’t have that need to write that Bacon advocated for.  Sure, I enjoy writing, and I think it’s interesting what I can create with words, but really, I typically write for an agenda.  I write to influence people or to have some kind of impact.  I’m not destined to be a writer.

Still, he inspired me to look for what I do love to do.  What do I NEED to do?  What makes me as satisfied as writing makes Bacon?  I’m not sure yet, but I’m excited to search for it.

One thought to “Thoughts on John U. Bacon’s Talk”

  1. I felt the exact same way as you did when I heard Bacon talking about his “need” to write. I immediately began asking myself, well do I need to write? The answer was very similar to what you came up with, no I really don’t need to write, ever. But, for some reason this wasn’t discouraging to me, in fact, I would argue that I completely blew his comment off. The majority of the time I write it is also for an agenda, and I enjoy completing these tasks. I would almost argue that his point exists solely for people who are completing individualized writing, where they have to motivate themselves at every moment, whilst simultaneously realizing that there is a possibility that nobody else will ever read their work.

    I haven’t found any one specific activity that I crave constantly, where I feel incomplete without partaking in. However, this, in my opinion, is the beauty of a liberal arts education. I am constantly engaged in a multitude of academic areas that I enjoy, and maybe one day I will long for more of a specific area. Who knows, all I understand is that life is too short to be worrying about the future. Things often have a tendency to work themselves out, quite similar to Bacon’s story.

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