Yes, The Red Room is at it again - asking us to blog on a specific topic, a challenging topic.
I think my passion is pretty obvious: speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves. It has manifested itself in my books, articles, lectures, etc. on making life better for dogs and cats and strengthening the human-animal bond.
I had, at one time, been pretty well known in some circles for my celebrity profiles. I've done some travel writing, I've written about women's issues. It wasn't until I realized that I could, in my own way, make life a little better for those who can't speak for themselves that I found a special niche. I write to make a difference.
I'm often surprised by my friends/colleagues who write because they must. They have a million things they want to write and don't feel fulfilled unless they are writing, whatever the topic. For me, the passion kicks in when I'm using my skill to make a difference, even if I reach only one owner and make life better for one animal.
And those celebrity profiles? It would be so easy to write the same old, same old. That was never my style. I would carefully read the prepared bio and wait for something to jump out at me. Almost without exception I managed to hit on the one thing no one ever asked about and everyone walked away happy. I bridged the gap between fan and celebrity, I wrote about that person's special passion or interest and never once did I stoop to gossip or trash. Life is tough enough without making it more difficult for anyone. I never saw that as my job. I wasn't there to trash someone's personal life or expose it but to let people see a different side of that individual, a new facet that they might find interesting.
Passion can figure into non-fiction writing in different ways, for the writer and for the subject of the piece.
I think it's purely personal for each of us.
Causes Darlene Arden Supports
The Marcia Polimer Abrams Fund for Canine Behavior Studies at the AKC Canine Health Foundation