What Happened to Passion?

As I was reading the required pieces for this week, I found myself rather intrigued by Deborah Brandt’s “How Writing is Remaking Reading”, because it is true for all of us. At least in my case, reading the work of other authors, without a doubt, has contributed significantly to my writing process and overall style of writing. Without a prior set of exemplary academic writing, it would be difficult for me to grasp what I ought to write about and how I ought to go about doing so.  This is not to say that I am incapable of coming up with my own ideas, but rather that these previous academic essays have allowed me to further develop my own writing skills. Thus as Brandt hypothesizes, when I write academically, I try to emulate or remake readings that I have read in the past with the addition of my own ideas and my own voice.

Although I agree with Brandt in some respects, I found a singular quote rather from the reading rather disturbing. Brandt explains that, “…writing has always been for work, for production, for output, earning, profit, publicity, practicality, record keeping, buying and selling…” (Brandt 164). However, in my “Why I Write” essay, I firmly deny each and every single one of these claims. While many authors write for an audience, to be heard, or create change, I simply do not. I write for me. And as selfish as that may be, I have to say that it is much less corrupt and selfish than writing simply for monetary gain or fame. To me it seems the freedom and art of writing in novels, blogs, tabloids, and even academic essays has become damaged by the façade of becoming rich and famous.

Almost every time I discuss my desire to attend medical school, it seems as though people always question my motives, some variation of “You shouldn’t become a doctor just because you want to make a lot of money.” Although monetary gain isn’t remotely close to the reasons I am interested in pursing a career in the medical field, I cannot say the same for others. However, if becoming a doctor to become rich is so frowned upon in our society, how come becoming a writer to become rich or famous isn’t? What happened to the desire to write for passion, or the desire to become a doctor to help people? It seems like our society has really lost touch with what is important, and although I can’t say I disagree with Brandt’s entire piece, I firmly disagree with the fact that writing is about fame, money, and work in the same way that I disagree with the fact that being a doctor is about money, and being respected.

In all honesty, as much as people disrespect Eminem for his vulgarity, I think he is one of the few people out there who has it right. Unlike the majority of musicians and other famous people in general, he doesn’t enjoy or desire fame, h simply loved writing and manipulating language, and this skill would eventually propel him to the highest level of fame. Here’s a great example of his skill when it comes to language. Take a second before you watch the clip and think of a word that rhymes with orange…I bet you can’t, but Eminem can!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFyFY9oe2Ig

In a recent interview, Eminem said “I would take it back to where I made a comfortable living. I would just make music, have people appreciate it, even if it’s a few people that like it, and be able to walk to a mall, walk to a store.” His only desire has been to make music, because it is something he is passionate about, not to make money or be famous. This is further demonstrated by the fact that he only performs at a select few locations each year, is rarely seem at any celebrity awards ceremonies or in tabloids, and still lives in Michigan! More or less, my point is that passion should be the driving force behind any type of career choice, be it writing, acting, singing, or becoming a doctor. This is not to say that ALL authors or ALL doctors do this, but I feel like it is a rising theme in our society today that is more than preventable if we chose to take action. What do you guys think?

2 thoughts to “What Happened to Passion?”

  1. I really love how you question why people critique people who desire to be doctors for having wrong motives, but not other professions like writing. I think it is really frustrating when I know people that are pursuing careers for money reasons because I’m also pretty passionate about doing work that I will love, not work that will get me the best paying job. I think this makes a pretty good counter-argument to Brandt’s ideas, but I don’t think she has missed the target either. I think the action of writing can quite often be motivated by the need to produce something, even if it isn’t for money. Not that I believe all people write only for these reasons. I now plenty of people who would agree with you in saying they write for themselves.

    Also, I liked the Eminem video! I’m pretty impressed with his on the spot rhyming.

  2. I love that you challenge the societal notion that writing should be and is expected to be done for the monetary gain of the author while, at the same time, those who want to become doctors or lawyers are frowned upon for having the same intentions. Like you said, there are people out there, like yourself, who write for themselves—for personal satisfaction rather than the satisfaction of others. I think that we as a society need to embrace writing as a form of leisure activity and not just something done for a paycheck.

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