Wednesday, March 11, 2015

How To Write Your Passion

Today guest blogger Pat Tanumihardja encourages you to follow your passion!

When I was a little girl, there was nothing I loved more than sitting in a corner of my room curled up with a good book. Well, actually there was—hanging out in the kitchen with my mom.

As I got older, my love of reading morphed into a love of writing. Stringing words together to make beautiful sentences was pure joy! Along the way, I was helping my mom roll spring rolls and I watched diligently as she cooked my favorite childhood dishes. My biggest triumph came when I baked my first cake solo at 11-years-old.

I knew I wanted to be a writer and I knew I loved food and cooking.

Although I didn’t travel a straight path, I’ve finally found a way to combine my two passions, in essence, a way to write my passion.

Finding Your Passion

For me, finding a passion to write about came very naturally. For others, it may take some soul searching. If you land in the latter camp, here are some ideas to define your passion:

  • Think back to your childhood and make a list of your favorite activities and interests. Revisit some of them, including foods and events. The things we loved as a child are probably still the things we love today.
  •  Connect the dots. Search for clues that might help you discover a long running thread that has been connecting everything in your life: your habits, the games you played, the books you read.
  •   Examine your life and see if you’re already doing something that you love. Think about the things you do that make you happy. Talk to friends about what you’re good at.
  •    Explore new avenues of creativity—pick up a new hobby like pottery or tennis. They just might ignite a newfound passion.

Channeling your Passion
People write for many reasons—to make money, to keep a record of their lives (journaling), as  a form of catharsis, self-satisfaction, etc.  

Twelve years ago, after almost a decade working in the arts, I started writing picture books. Two years and a dozen manuscripts later, and without a contract in sight, I switched gears and started freelancing for magazines. It was a hard decision to make but I had to earn a living.

That’s how I ended up writing about food for print and online publications. Immersing myself in the cross-section of food and writing eventually led to a cookbook and a blog, which I still keep up today.

When my son was born, I felt drawn to children’s writing again and I’ve picked it up again seriously in the last year or so. And for some strange reason, all the stories that I’ve been cooking up seem to have a food-related theme! Like writing, it’s become a part of me.

It could happen with just about any passion whether you love dogs, astronomy, or knitting. Writers today have never been so lucky -- there are so many outlets to choose from if you want to write about your passion.

Let’s take the topic of knitting for example.

  • Blog post: Review a new knitting book that features unique, trendy designs that you never thought you’d be able to knit yourself.
  •  Non-fiction article: Profile the owner of a new knitting store in your town that’s cultivating a new generation of knitters.
  • Children’s picture book: A girl has magic knitting needles that allow her to “knit” anything her heart desires.
  •   Novel: Create a main character who’s so shy and timid and she only finds solace in knitting. 

You get what I mean.

You don’t have to stick to only one platform. Pick two or three or more! The possibilities are endless. For me, my writing portfolio evolved quite naturally and food and cooking remained at the very center of it. And it happened over a decade.

My advice is to just take the plunge without any expectations. Above all, do it for yourself and start writing because you want to share your passion with others. When you write about what you’re passionate about, it shows, and your audience will eventually follow.  

Pat Tanumihardja considers herself lucky to be able to write her passion—as a freelance writer, cookbook author and now, a children’s writer. Pat blogs about food and life at and can be found on Twitter: @ediblewords.


  1. Awesome, Pat. Great advice. Wish I could see you all this Saturday, but have fun!

  2. Thank you for sharing words of wisdom, Pat. Follow your bliss, wherever it goes.


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