Following your passion should never be a tortuous affair, but those three words – ‘Follow Your Passion’ – can either be extremely liberating or will leave you stricken with terror.
What does it mean to follow your passion and more importantly, how do you start? Human beings are multifaceted and not just defined by one thing, so the first hurdle to overcome is to recognise that you can have more than one ‘passion’. The second hurdle is realising that a ‘passion’ doesn’t have to be an elaborate thing that causes your family and friends to sit back in bewildered shock. Your passion can be as small as going on guided tours around a new town every weekend or as grand as attempting to build a time machine in your garage.
When we’re young, we pursue our passions with wild abandonment but as we march on towards adulthood and taking on responsibilities, we allow our passions to become no more than pipe dreams. At a young age I knew that I had a multiple of passions. I had a passion for books, history, and law. I have no idea where my interest in law came from, but I would happily watch legal tv shows and read a legal thriller. It was no surprise to anyone that I would eventually qualify as a lawyer. However, as a lawyer, I recognised that I was also passionate about mentoring my youth clients and showing them an alternative life path. Whenever, a youth client would tell me, “I don’t know what to do. There’s nothing out there for me.” I would always say to them, “Forget about the big picture, let’s start with the small things. What do you like to do? What interests you? What excites you.” There was always an answer, followed by surprise and then the sparks of excitement in their eyes.
There really is nothing from stopping you from pursuing your passions. As much I enjoyed my job as a lawyer, which opened to the door to another passion of mine which is teaching, I also knew that I needed to pursue my other passion which is books. As I studied and trained to be a lawyer, I never stopped pursuing my love of the written word. I wrote bad short stories and screenplays. I think the most important thing is that I wrote stories for myself, and each story was another step in developing my craft. I wasn’t thinking about fame and glory when I wrote my first book, which by the way is still stashed away in a cupboard in my office. I wrote the stories that excited me and there came I point where I began to share my stories, found other writers who became part of my tribe and eventually the pursuit of my passion resulted in me becoming a published author.
About the author
Nadine Matheson lives in London and is a criminal solicitor. In 2016, she won the City University Crime Writing Competition and completed the Creative Writing (Crime/Thrillers Novels) Master’s Degree with distinction in 2018. IN 2019, Nadine signed with A.M. Heath Literary Agents and her debut crime fiction novel, The Jigsaw Man, was won by HQ (HarperCollins) in a six-publisher auction. The best-selling ‘The Jigsaw Man’ was published in 2021, has been translated into fifteen languages and has been optioned for television. In March 2022, HQ acquired UK and Commonwealth Rights, in another two-book deal, and Hanover Square Press acquired North American Rights. Nadine’s second novel, The Binding Room, featuring D.I. Henley and the Serial Crimes Unit was published in July 2022. Her novels have been described as “gripping, tension filled and breath-taking”. The Jigsaw Man was described as “One of the best crime novels to read in 2022” by the London Evening Standard.
Nadine is a regular, popular, and enthusiastic speaker at events and regularly engages with schools and libraries. She also uses her platform to support writers via her coaching programmes