EarthI recently came across this via Facebook:

“That thing you do, after your day job, in your free time, too early in the morning, too late at night.  That thing you read about, write about, think about, in fact fantasize about.  That thing you do when you’re all alone and there’s no one to impress, nothing to prove, no money to be made, simply a passion to pursue. That’s it.  That’s your thing.  That’s your heart, your guide.  That’s the thing you must, must do.” –author unknown

Being that it had not been commented on when I discovered it, and being the person I am, I immediately had to come up with the most flip thing I could think of as a comment. My response was this:

“I should build my porn collection?”

(The response I received was equally apt: “Apparently so.”)

I honestly did spend a bit of time thinking about the question afterward, and trying to decide whether my writing counted as “the thing I do.”  I also wondered, since these days I spend more time thinking about book promotion rather than actually writing, if that is my “thing.”  (I sure hoped not, considering how much of a total failure I am at promotion.)

But eventually, I had to rule both of these out.  I write because I enjoy it, but also because I want to make money at it; and I don’t spend all my time thinking about writing.  I promote because it’s the only way to sell, and I think about it constantly now, but considering the fruit of my efforts it’s clearly not my forte.

And anyway, both of these take a back seat to the thing that I really spend most of my time thinking about, writing about, fantasizing about, and always seeking new ways to pursue.  Yes, even my writing and promotion are done in pursuit of this.

My real passion is to make the world better.  Everything I do is intended, to some extent or another, to help in accomplishing this.  My desired reward is not money, impression, pride or proof; it’s the improvement of the world around me.  That’s my thing.

What’s yours?