How to Find Your Purpose for Writing

Many people, think that you need to be a professional creative writer to be a writer. In university I certainly thought so; blogging has turned that idea on its head. Writing has been a passion of mine since I was able to put pen to paper. In the past I have written short stories and published both articles and poetry. A phone call between my mother and me in 1998 was pivotal. Distraught and disheartened, I called her asking if I should switch my major to creative writing because an anatomy class Teacher’s Assistant suggested that perhaps her field of study was not for me.

My mother retorted:

Every field needs excellent writers

In retrospect my mother was right! It was the style of learning, rote memory work and rapid fire timed quizzes that made anatomy class difficult for me. With a renewed sense enthusiasm and knowledge that I could still write no matter what my profession was. I finished my degree in June 1999. The ability to empower people to lead more active and healthier lives as a kinesiologist is something I am proud of. My business and personal blogs are outlets for my creativity and my thoughts.

Finding a Sense of Purpose in Writing

Looking back I have been blogging since 2009. My first website was written in the mid-90s using HTML, slightly simpler than CSS or Javascript! These last four weeks have been a journey of exploration and rediscovery.

It started with attending my first blogger workshop. The purpose of attending was two-fold. Firstly to connect with liked-minded people in Vancouver and secondly to find ways to improve my own websites to increase their readership and my income.

The full day workshop hosted by YVR Bloggers, a group of Vancouver bloggers organized by
Ricky Shetty (Daddyblogger.com) covered Facebook ads, courses, memberships sites, videos and how to monetize your site. Wow! It was very interactive; we even had live critique of our own work. This session prompted me to finally take this blog to its own domain and start to delve more deeply into the vision for this blog. For my business my next quest is to figure out how to share what I do working one-on-one in the clinic but instead in person online.

Meeting people who share the blogosphere, but are passionate about different topics reignited my own desire to write. My motivation had been lacking for several weeks.

How to Publish a Book Backwards

Publishing a book has been a goal for many, many years; whether it be fiction or non-fiction doing so has become much easier. Do you quickly write several short books, self-publish on Amazon or Kobo for $2.99 each and wait for the money? Or do you write something more substantial that also has meaning to you then seek out an agent and/or publisher?

Since maintaining an excellent reputation is of concern, my preference is the latter. Exploring this issue further I looked into a local press which has been around for one hundred years. They have a self-publishing/print-on-demand department which has a lot of support. They have published a couple of books I nearly bought. You do pay around $5000 to get editorial, design and marketing support which sounds excellent and produces a professional product that doesn’t look “shoddy.” These publications have the possibility of being carried in libraries and major bookstores.

Alternatively what would it be like to write and then seek a publisher? It turns out I know a couple of authors who have gone the agent route. During my first interview I discovered that the process can take 3-5 years. Do I have the patience? Probably not!

Her advice:

Seek the support of a writers’ group. Do not write to what is current today, because that can change three years from now. Instead write what you enjoy, what you know, what you are passionate about and be vulnerable in your writing.

Maybe seeking a publisher first isn’t such a good idea? The hesitation surrounding a non-fiction book is the struggle to find my own voice and own take on fitness, rehabilitation and wellness instead of regurgitating the previous body-ball workout, but in a slightly different format.

Take the Ego Out of Writing

In her 2014 Ted Talk Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert talks about finding the will to continue to write following up her own success.

Every time I write I want to feel as though there is a spark inside me that wants to burst out. I want the words to flow on to the page. Each piece is not meant to please everyone, it won’t. My sense of self used to be tied to people liking me and what I do. Less so today. There are spiteful people out there who say mean things to try to hurt people. Most likely due to their own insecurities. Letting go of the ego has eased a very large burden and made me happier.

My purpose to write is so that readers gain something meaningful from each piece which enriches their lives or the lives of others. If you do, please take the time to share with friends and family. What do you write? What is your purpose?

Stay Inspired by the Red Dragon

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Alfred Ball
 

Alfred is a Practicing Kinesiologist who started his own business, Lifemoves Health and Rehabilitation in 2007. He has been writing since a very young age. He enjoys writing about the challenges of entrepreneurship and growing a business while maintaining an active lifestyle.

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