Passion gets you to the starting blocks.

Image by  Matt Lee

Image by Matt Lee

Passion has a way of making you deaf to the reasons why you shouldn't do something. It will push you to pursue a goal others would never even attempt. Passion lights a fire in your belly, it spurs you on with urgency. 

But passion will only get you so far. Passion will get you to the starting blocks, but you'll need more than that to cross the finish line. 

You'll need perseverance, tenacity, grit. It's the combination of courage and determination that will keep that fire of passion burning. You're going to need it.

Passion might temporarily blind you to the hurdles up ahead, but they'll be there. Without grit, you'll never get over that first one. And there will be many.

I'm passionate about writing. I intend to publish my first novel this year. It's been a long race and I'm still making my way around the track, facing the hurdles as they appear. 

There have been many, here are just a few: 

The day I realized I had to let someone else read my writing. With my first manuscript behind my back, I approached my next-door neighbor when she was doing yard work. My voice was quivering, my face red. I struggled to ask her a simple question. Would she read it? Later she confessed, my nervousness, so out of character, the interaction so awkward, she thought I was making an indecent proposal. 

The day I realized that I needed to hear criticism. I was elated when my neighbor agreed to read my manuscript then almost immediately worried. What would she say about it? I avoided her for weeks, afraid and embarrassed of what she thought of the book, what she thought about me. She heard me in my backyard and yelled at me over the privacy fence. She was excited to talk to me about it, and best of all, she asked me what happened next. That gave me the boost I needed to continue. 

The day I realized I needed to let my first two manuscripts go. I had spent so much time working on them, it was hard to let go. But I understood that they were a necessary step in the journey. They're what got me to where I am today. 

I'm in the middle of a major rewrite of my novel Seeing Red. Every time I get notes from my editor, my grit is tested. I take it one step at a time, jumping over the hurdles as they appear. I know I will get to the finish line - I may be crawling on my hands and knees those last 10 yards, but I will get there. 

It's not the easy things that you accomplish that are memorable. It's the hard ones. The ones that took everything you had, and then some. Those are the ones that you'll celebrate, the ones that you'll remember. 

Let your passion start you on your journey, but rely on your grit to get you to the finish line.