In 2010 I stepped off the air force cargo plane into the blistering Baghdad sun. This would be my home for the next ten months. I had volunteered to go on this deployment with the US army, and I had made peace with the thought that I might not be coming home.
I have two sons and at the time they were eight and three, much too young to know me really. My fear was that if I didn’t come back they’d never have a chance to learn from my mistakes (I’d made a lot in 34 short years). To overcome this fear, I wrote them a book about my life. The whole unvarnished truth of who I was, why I’d made the choices I had and most importantly how much I loved them and wanted the best for their lives. The day before that plane touched down in Baghdad I had emailed the book home.
That simple act to leave a roadmap of my life behind sparked passion for writing that I’d forgotten. Instead of spending my downtime watching movies or playing video games, I wrote. It became my perfect outlet for talking through the experiences I was having each day.
My daily writing over there would become the basis for my spy novel, Another Day Another Name. Set in the near future where corporations hold the power, the story centers around a female assassin who finally lets her guard down and opens her life up. I had assumed that the story would play itself out in normal thriller fashion but soon it took on a heat more scorching than the Baghdad sun.
Like the passion my characters were discovering, I too had discovered my life’s passion, writing and helping others learn to express themselves through writing.
It’s funny how easily we give up what we want in life do to fear and conformity. I had pushed writing out of my life years before to find a “regular” job, my character Mabel had pushed the thought of love away in order to avoid risk. But why?
I’d given into following the path others wanted me to take, and Mabel was scared of what might happen. But those choices neither lead to happiness or fulfillment. Both of us found a more full life by allowing passion in and chasing what we always knew we wanted.
As we approach the New Year take stock in your life. Don’t just make an empty resolution turn your back on fear and give yourself the passion your life is missing. It can be scary and might not be easy, but life absent of passion is just living.
Have a happy holiday and a passionate New Year,
About the author
Clark Chamberlain is a true son of the west. Born in northern Idaho during the nation’s bicentennial, Clark has always been a man on the move. By the age of 20, he had already lived in five states, been homeless, broken his heart, and tore his lunch cooler from the mouth of a bear.
Clark’s service in the army took him through five countries, introduced him to people participating in the world of high-risk politics, and placed him in the center of the Arab Spring in Baghdad.
Although he never set out to become a publisher, through a huge turn of events he now heads Raven International Publishing where he helps new authors connect with the right editors, and learn how to make their passion a full time business.
Clark is currently living in Idaho Falls with his wife, two sons, an old dog, and one mean cat. He enjoys traveling, meeting fantastic people, and sharing in new experiences; all of which gives him the ability to write about the world he sees.
Another Day Another Name: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LBGEYNG
Thank you, Clark, for this very inspiring account of how you found your passion again. It reminded me how writing is born of wanting to give, as you wanted to give something to your family.
It makes me think today of what I would like to give and what I’ve been meaning to write for a long time!