How to find your creative passion


It’s easy to find what you’re most passionate about, if you are willing to spend the time searching for it.

In order to do that, you first have to try new things. From there you look at how you spend your time once your capabilities have grown.

But it starts with trying new things, a lot of them and often. Drawing, painting, dancing, architecture, jewelry making, running, theatre acting, sound production, ceramic making, wine tasting, writing, fencing, cooking, you name it.

Trying new things can be daunting. Where do you start? What if you don’t have a lot of money?

The thing with trying new things is that there is someone, somewhere, who knows how to do it and will be willing to teach you for free or for a small price. Even better: you can do a free, quick search online and find tips, how tos, and dedicated groups for learning those new things as well.

For example, over the weekend I decided to try my hand at fine jewelry making. Somewhat characteristically bizarre for me, the idea of taking precious metals and turning it into a painstakingly detailed accessory is intriguing. I started by doing an online search for how other people make fine jewelry and the results surprised me. In less than an hour I knew what it would take for me to get started. In my case: a few small, simple tools and resources, most of which I was able to pick-up at my local Home Depot in an hour. I expect to create my first piece this week, and I’m excited at the prospect of trying this new process for something I have never done before.

To find what you’re passionate about you must first be willing to try many new things.

Of course, once you start trying new things, keep going. Try even more new things. You’ll find that, after some time, you come back to certain activities. Maybe this week you’re trying your hand at artisan baking, but you wind-up drawing a few sketches one afternoon because last time it was so enjoyable.

Your interests will change as you try new things, but how you find yourself spending your time is going to become your passion, your calling.

One day you may wake up and realize that writing makes you happier than anything else, even on the days you struggle to come up with anything worthwhile.

Another day you might suddenly realize that your love for writing has dwindled, that you instead love to spend your time debating philosophy with acquaintances. That’s good, passions change as we do.

So, then, the way to find what you’re passionate about is to try a lot of things often, then look at how you’re spending your time. What you dedicate yourself to most is your passion. Easy enough, right?

The hard part of finding your passion, I would argue, is getting started. It’s dedicating yourself to trying new things now, then taking the steps required to actually trying them.

Start now, today. Make a list of things you’d like to try, then start with the first one on your list by researching what it would take to make that happen. Then make it happen.


Five stages of finding your passions

What pursuing your creative passion looks like

How to not lose your creative passion

How to not lose your creative passion

This is dangerous. You can be doing a lot of work as a creative and still feel as though you’re not doing much of anything you love.

A long-time friend of mine who experienced this feeling early on in his career described it as: “having an apartment with a lot of things in it, and yet still feeling as though it were completely empty.”

It’s the feeling of losing your creative passion. Extinguitur ignis. The fire of doing what you love extinguished to a small ember. It’s a dangerous place to be for a creative: artist, photographer, dancer, sculpture, writer, or otherwise.

It is, however, natural. A loss of passion in creativity is regularly a result of stress, or a lack of focus, or a fear of risk, or the feeling of doing work that is under appreciated. It’s the photographer who doesn’t feel as though her photos receive any recognition, or the painter who doesn’t know what medium is right for him. Creative passion can go missing, it happens. The dangerous part comes from giving up when you do lose passion; from calling it quits and accepting the fact that you just don’t have it in you.

As Tony Luna so elegantly explains in this article on“One thing we have to embrace is the knowledge that once we have claimed our passion it will not leave us. It may lay dormant while we retool our skills, or we take a break to refresh our abilities so we can recognize the possibilities around us, but our passion never really, totally, abandons us.”

Knowing these things, there are a few ways to hold tight to your passion for creating.

The first way to not lose that passion is to make sure you’re not overly stressed. Find plenty of time to take breaks and get some rest throughout your work day.

Another way is to consistently ask yourself if what you’re working on is a part of your larger goal. Avoid doing any creative work that doesn’t help you move towards your larger life goal (or goals), though recognize that sometimes the smaller goals are merely stepping stones to that bigger stones on your path.

You should also regularly evaluate your creative focus. Ask yourself: “is this the type of creative work I want to be known for?” If not, start making small changes right now to get your focus back on track.

Lastly, embrace the idea that you might fail, and that failure is not the end but merely an experience for growth.

If you’ve recently felt as though you’re losing your passion to create, first ask yourself what might be causing the feeling (is it stress? Feeling unappreciated? A lack of focus? Fear of failure?), then give yourself time to resolve the issue on your own terms.

Photo by D Sharon Pruitt.