For years, as a writer, I have been lost in a jungle of my own making – thoughts that juggled a hundred ideas but took me nowhere, among other things.
In January 2014, I told myself firmly, “That won’t do. You will sit down and write.” The moment I became firm, I began to write. Not at the pace that I want to. Still, I can honestly say that a majority of the stumbling blocks have been overcome.
Then I read this thought provoking post by Jane Friedman who argues that one must answer this question to grow as a writer: “Do you know what you want from your writing?”
Jane Friedman cites broad and general examples that enthusiastic writers tend to cite. “Fame,” “Livelihood” and “I want to be heard” are among them. I began to feel dejected. These are not my reasons. Does that make a non-serious writer? Maybe I should just write instead of getting into a philosophical rut about why I want to write in the first place.
But let me not jump the gun. We are talking about THE Jane Friedman here and you simply can’t take her words lightly! So, lets go back to it, shall we? You can also follow Jane Friedman on Twitter.
The essential part of Jane Friedman’s argument is this: Why you write is always the key to what you want from your writing.
Then she makes some pertinent points for us to consider: [Please note that the following are points that Jane Friedman has cited in the article highlighted above. You can read all her writings on Jane Friedman's website here]
1. Imagine what it would be like if you achieved your goal.
Often, the very fact that you can do this easily, or the trouble you find with such visualization, can be a clue as to whether or not this is actually what you want.
2. Difficulty in visualizing what life would be like if you achieved your goal may mean that goal is still a little too general.
3. You should have a single, specific thing, the thing you really want from your writing, the thing for the sake of which you want everything else.
4. Express that goal in a single sentence.
5. Remember: It’s the single most important sentence you will ever write. It is your crie de coeur, your battle cry. It will sustain you and provide a compass for your entire writing journey.
6. This is your definition of success, the only definition that matters to you from this moment on.
Now after reading this, I sit down to answer this question. I realize that it isn't as easy as it sounds. There are lots of reasons why I want to write. For example: Stories to share, Secrets to reveal, Dreams to unveil, Learning to let go by writing in words.
The more I think about it, I ask myself: does any of this define why I want to really write? Nope. I need to figure it out. Boil and simmer it down to one sentence. The sentence that can chart my journey ahead as a writer. Get off to a good start.
Yet this is a question I haven’t thought about seriously. But now I feel the need to do it and to find my battle cry.
See it this way. As a writer, I am now focused on my own way to define my success.
Will you join me and share what your definition of success is? Waiting to hear from you.
I thank you with all my heart for reading this post. Please Share this article on your favorite social networks. Every share, like or tweet makes me reach out to more people in a positive way. I am grateful and I appreciate you for doing so. ♥♥
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