Is Your Purpose for Writing Strong Enough for the Pursuit?

Is Your Purpose for Writing Strong Enough for the Pursuit?

Is Your Purpose for Writing Strong Enough for the Pursuit?
Photo by Greg Westfall

Is Your Purpose for Writing Strong Enough for the Pursuit?

When we have a desire to do something but we set that dream aside, perhaps it's because we haven't realized the bigger purpose behind it.

In my earlier days, I wanted to write. That was the only thing I wanted to do. But yet I neglected that dream. I didn't write. I didn't make time for it. I didn't make it a priority. Distractions took precedence. And so did the goal to make money. In the beginning, I was led to write because I believed I could write a better story than one I had just read or watched. Not surprisingly, that wasn't a big enough reason to write, at least for me.

Over the years, I've had a lot of time to think about why I want to write. It's a compulsion. And the desire strengthens when I read books and watch movies. This time, it isn't because I feel I could do it better. Now, I want to write because I want to be a part of something big.

If we lack that big purpose behind why we want to do something, we're less likely to see it through. If we're only writing because we want to write and become bestselling authors, we're missing a big part of what writing is all about.

Storytelling is about so much more than sharing a good story. It's a medium through which readers can learn and grow. To expand their horizons. To really feel an emotion.

We crave stories. While we read to be entertained, we often get pulled into a story. We feel something, whether it's heartache or hope. We feel for the characters, for their goals and motivations, and they help us to feel connected. We're not alone. We're not the only ones with messed up lives or broken pasts or whatever we're going through. And sometimes stories help us work through our struggles and give us insight into how we're supposed to behave and how we're not supposed to behave.

Writing and storytelling isn't about the writer. It's about the reader. What does the reader feel while reading the story? How does the reader feel afterwards? Does the reader feel inspired, even if it's in some small way? Does the reader feel hope?

A delay in working toward our goals doesn't necessarily mean we're not interested in the pursuit. Perhaps our delay is actually a necessary part in our self-discovery. If we don't have the action, if we're not taking it seriously enough, perhaps it's because we haven't realized how big the purpose is. The big purpose is the driving force behind our pursuit. Once we acknowledge that it isn't about us, we open ourselves up to a whole world of possibilities and reasons.

Jody Calkins
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