Pseudo Passions Harms Kids

Growing up, I was lucky to have never experienced, a college requirement that is a passion for something. But maybe it was unfortunate because I grew up with so much passion on writing and singing. With all the passions, I have I’m grateful to my parents for paying for it and somehow nourishing it in their tough love ways.

I grew up with skills in playing the piano by taking piano lessons for five years. It’s not my passion. It’s a pseudo passion. What I want is to learn the violin.

So why did I study the piano? Because my grandmother wants it and in her mind, if I don’t study the piano, I don’t have ambitions. She told me that after giving up ballet, because my parents at home and the ballet dos and don ts are suffocating. The truth is when she was little, she loved to study playing the piano, but her family can’t afford it, so she never got the chance. I feel bad for her. So I did it for her.

So what is a Pseudo Passion?

It is a passion pushed by our parents or anyone around us to pursue due to different reasons such as to enter a prestigious school, to stand out from the crowd, to succeed, to be more popular, and to compete with other family’s daughter or son accomplishments, and more.

Why does it hurt kids? 

It hurts us because we pursue something out of obligation or duty, but we’re not interested in it, we are wasting our time, energy and effort on something we are not passionate. During that time, we also fail to realize or find our real calling as a person.

Another example is I took Nursing as a pre-medical course. I badly wanted to become a doctor, that was my third passion. I remember when I was having hospital shifts, my only motivation at that time is I was helping people, and I’m earning more experience as a person, to become a compassionate doctor. Since we can’t afford medical school, I push forth being a nurse. I am a licensed registered nurse.Working as a nurse is a pseudo passion.

Aside from dreaming to become a doctor, I have another option, which is to become a Psychologist. My Aunt opposed it so I didn’t pursue it. It was my fourth passion.

I used to hate piano and at that time, I can only rebel by playing sad and depressive songs, and I was. Now, I don’t hate playing the piano and also being a nurse, but when my parents act as if I don’t have any other choice but to forget my passion, and pursue playing the piano, and working as a nurse instead. It just makes my blood boil. I just want to die.

I found my real passion in life only when I was 24 years old back in November 2011. It was one of the most heartbreaking experience that led to a realization of what I’m going to do with my life. It was at that time when my parents made me gave up Nanowrimo to help my cousin in her thesis. There’s nothing wrong with me helping her like I said, I could always go back to the story and finish it. What made me angry is because of the way my mom and my Aunt disregarded my writing. I got the message, my writing is not important, and my cousin’s thesis is important. To me, my writing is important, but my cousin’s thesis is more important because she needs it to graduate. I’m willing to help her. I just wish they didn’t disregard my writing just like that.

So if parents, want children to have passion, and ambition, let them explore different things in their life, don’t get ahead of them, and push their dreams for them to pursue because they never got it. I know that children should make their parents happy by becoming a responsible, disciplined, sensible, successful, happy, and healthy adult, but it’s not the children’s job to pursue missed opportunities and dreams of their parents, unless their children had the same dreams with their parents.

Have patience, if a child is not finding his passion soon enough. It will come at the right place and time. Let them explore different things, to find what they like and dislike, what they are good at, and what they are not. And when they finally find their real calling, they won’t be wasting their time, effort and energy, and you won’t be wasting your money, and expectations for them to succeed.

The likely result is some of them will become like me. They will feel lost and confuse because most of the time his mom and dad are pulling him in different directions or to pursue something. They won’t know what to do with their life, because they spent the rest of their life, being obedient or following or doing, whatever their parents tell them what to do. That was a very sad realization on my part, and I only realized it during my exit interview from my first job. I tried to act the way they want me and applied for a job, I swore I’ll never do and in the end, I hated the job so much. As for the others I don’t know, let’s hope they have a better and happier life than mine since I can’t speak for all of us.

The other worst fact is that all those five years I spent studying ballet, another five years taking piano lessons and studying nursing for almost five years, I’ll never get them back. I’m close to my thirties, and I’m still starting to establish myself. I’m not the only one paying for my delayed success, my parents are paying for it too.

Dreaming and wishing are free. I used to say I don’t have regrets, but if I can go back to the past and change things, I will not agree to the ballet lessons and piano lessons and force them instead to enroll me to violin lessons and voice lessons. You probably think that was selfish of me, considering what she’d gone through. I have another three cousins she also enrolled in piano lessons. One of them loved it, so there’s my cousin vindicating her because she loved playing the piano, and she continued to learn up to now. Studying nursing is my decision, I wasn’t forced on it. I only wish my parents will stop forcing me to work as a nurse, and support me instead on working as a counselor or psychotherapist.

If parents can’t support the children financially, at least support them emotionally. That is more important. Children can pursue their passions in different ways. Children who have supportive parents when it comes to realistic passions or passion they could pursue within their means, they realize their dreams much faster than people like me, and those children have better relationships with their parents.

For example, since I love to sing, I joined my high school, and college choir in the past. Now, I’m a member of my community church choir. As for being a counselor or a psychotherapist, I am at least trained as a psychiatric nurse to counsel patients and different mental illnesses or conditions. I found a way to pursue what I want, by my promise is when I get the chance to study again, I will study to become a Psychologist. I will make it happen.

Another example is a friend I met in College. She gave me her words of wisdom which is to live my life and stop following their orders because she did the same thing with her mom. She patterned her life to what her mother wants, now that her mother is gone. She doesn’t know what she’s going to do with her life, and how to start a new life. It never occurred to me that she lived that way because I’ve always thought that her mom was supportive. Yes, she is supportive, protective, and nurturing mother to her and her siblings, and I admire her for that, but I remembered that my friend also gave up her dreams for her  and her other family members.

Join Nanowrimo For The Right Reasons and Goals

51711The first week of April is long gone. Some people had spent the first week with their families in participating in the Holy Week. Some writers at this time are busy because they are included at the Camp Nanowrimo April.


Nanowrimo stands for National November Writing Month. It came from Scott McCloud’s idea that anyone can write a comic for 24 hours if he put his mind on it because he was complaining that his friend is working too slow.

I have two experiences with Nanowrimo and I never won, the first time was in November 2011, I had stopped because my cousin needed my help with her thesis so she could graduate.

She’s an animator and she needed someone to do some of her work in Photoshop. She will draw on the paper, scan them in the computer, and I’ll colour each page of her moving drawings. You could just imagine us losing sleep for days and all l I did was colour. It was tiring but that’s the time where I learned a lot in using Photoshop.

The second time was in April 2013, I gave up because something important and personal came up.

With both experiences, here’s what I can say.

Nanowrimo is not for everyone.

If you want to get published, don’t join Nanowrimo the month before and don’t join when you’re not well prepared.

When I joined Nanowrimo the first time, I started preparing in January. I outlined my chapters, I wrote the list of characters’ personality, and back story and had done all the research I needed for my plot to work, and everything to cover and back-up my story. I just need to write it. Would I have won the competition?

After all, you just need to write 50,000 words. To be honest, maybe yes, since I got to 30,000 plus words, but my work won’t be published. I may have those outlines, but the story was all over the place and I had very poor grammar skills then.

Even if I don’t plan on ever joining again, I still can’t stop myself from reading the details about the competition. If you’re a member, they still send you updates for the upcoming events.

Nanowrimo is a waste of time for people who wants an easy way to publish and earn money.

I’m sorry to break it to you, but once you finish your novel, you still need to revise, edit and you will find it hard to do that with the content for several issues such as:

  • Scattered plots and subplots
  • Inconsistent tenses
  • Poor characterizations and descriptions
  • Grammar and punctuation mistakes
  • Ineffective setting, pacing, and dialogues.

Unlike those other posts, saying Nanowrimo is a waste of time.

It’s not a waste of time at all, Nanowrimo will show you:

  • If you can work under pressure,
  • If you can write fast,
  • If you can surpass your 500 words/day tasks,
  • If you can discipline yourself to write 1,667 words/day,
  • If you can avoid procrastination
  • And if you can write even when you’re not in the mood.

In my opinion, people who should join Nanowrimo are:

  • Published authors of stories, short stories, and novels
  • Writers who are not aiming to get published
  • Unconsciously competent professional authors who’s been published several times and who’s been writing for a long time.

If you want to get win the competition and get published, you should:

  • Be fluent in English grammar and punctuation.
  • Have a well-thought plots and subplots
  • Well-rounded characters
  • Be familiar in writing stories
  • Be knowledgeable about the writing process

My take on writing a novel that is going to be published successfully is, it is a work of art and it should create a long-lasting impression for a long time to the readers.

It’s about storytelling that touches hearts and move mountains. It has meaning, context, subtext, and more. Moreover, it’s writing stories about a character’s life, showing their desires, conflicts, dreams and how a person could reach it. It’s not a marathon.

Going back to Scott McCloud’s proposition. Maybe it’s doable to a professional writer who’s been writing comics for years. He is already unconsciously competent. So you could expect a well-thought and executed product with effort, content, and meaning, but to expect that from newbies. That is unlikely to some. There are specific personalities that will do everything to publish a successful novel.

So beginning writers or newbies, if you’re joining Nanowrimo to win and get published, I wouldn’t advise it. If you’re going to join to determine your strengths as a writer and to challenge yourself, then go for it.

My message to the Nanowrimo staff:

  • Stop inviting writers who are not ready to join the competition unless the goal of writing is just to experience it and self-discovery.
  • Don’t give the new writers false hopes.
  • Don’t set them up to fail at publishing their work.
  • Make Nanowrimo as a way of squeezing the creativity of the writers, discovery of truly writing a story, and it shouldn’t be about winning.
  • It should be about creating stories, while preserving the heart and soul of the story intact.
  • It should be about discovering your strengths and capabilities as a writer.
  • Explain to winners to don’t pass their manuscript on December or May after the competition to editors and agents unless it was revised and edited for fifty times or more.

I have no hard feelings for Nanowrimo at all, and I don’t believe that all writers who join Nanowrimo actually send their work to people without revising and editing, but I know that a number of people had done it.

Anyway, Nanowrimo had taught me some lessons in writing, but I have to insist that I learned more about writing when I joined a writing group.

My articles and story got published because I took the time to learn slowly and with the one-on-one feedbacks I got from other writers.

As a reader, I want to complain about novels that aren’t revised and edited properly. Remembering those books that were published, it looked like the authors haven’t even taken the time to rewrite.

It’s hilarious you could read the poor plots and subplots, characterization, pacing, description, dialogues and worst part are the back stories and resolutions that are not good enough, don’t connect the dots, and don’t make sense. Stories with no deep meaning or content at all. I demand quality on stories, and novels I read.


I love reading novels, especially those books where it obviously shows that the authors took their time in doing what was needed to be done in able to write a successful story. Examples of novels I love are works of Sidney Sheldon, Chelsea Cain, Nicolas Sparks, Keith Ablow, Tess Gerritsen, and Constance M. Burge.