CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

July 26, 2012

Your Goal and Purpose in Writing


CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

YOUR GOAL AND PURPOSE IN WRITING

How do you view your writing? As a hobby? A career? A job requirement? As writing because someone said you are a good writer?

To accomplish a writing task you must have goals—a major long-term goal, and bite-sized goals.

In this, my eighth life, I consider writing my career. Currently, my major writing goal is to write a credible historic romance novel. Currently my bite-size goal is to work on my novel two hours five days a week, preferably Monday through Friday.

However, are goals sufficient for you, a writer? Do you set goals for your writing but rarely fulfill these goals? Do you sense something missing that makes the task unfulfilling? Do you have to push yourself to write? Do you wonder if your writing can be more meaningful, more appreciated? Do you wonder if or when you can make money writing? Are you writing just to write?

The So what? question seeks out the most important aspect of your writing: it’s purpose. Because, if a writing has no purpose, then it will be bereft of meaning.

Is the so what question, when applied to your writing, unanswerable?

So what?

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My novel began when I realized I had discovered a strong woman whose story hadn’t been told. This gave purpose to my writing: it was no longer a family genealogy story, it was a women’s history story.

As I delved further into her story I uncovered the backside story of a Revolutionary War general. The purpose of my novel evolved into a tale that interweaves the story of a strong woman with the tale of a post Revolutionary War land speculator.

So what?

A current news article reported the bubble of housing speculation burst. All I needed to do was to exchange the term housing speculation to land speculation, and to exchange the names of the leading players in both situations. Ergo, the 21st century story became a 1790s story. History repeats itself. Lessons are never learned.

Therein is the subtle purpose of my novel. The purpose is clear.

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Like you, I want my writing, especially my novel, to be a success.

According to Chief Executive Mark Samuel…making the choice between being purpose driven or goal driven “has the highest correlation to success, indispensability and personal fulfillment.”…if you are purpose driven, you are dedicated and “in that dedication, you will go beyond satisfactory performance or acceptable communication to achieve excellent results.”1

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There’s another aspect to success: personal accountability, which Samuel points out is a life value.1

This is especially true when dealing with real life situations and history.

However, accountability can be frightening.

In writing my novel I’ve uncovered documents that will change the known history of a small New England community. This may not be welcomed, it may be railed at. In fact, it already has faced opposition.

The documents follow the afterlife of my Revolutionary War hero don’t paint him in the same shining armor as he wore militarily. I recognize that people don’t want to hear this part of the hero’s life, yet it is this post-war life that is interwoven with the strong woman’s life. To tell her story demands reporting his story.

I therefore must be accountable for the historical facts I’m relating. I must follow the documentation I have, knowing that some persons will not be happy with the results.

“You don’t cover up. You don’t escape. You don’t pretend. You don’t censure…” Mark Samuel says.

In other words, you meet the highest standards of integrity.

By doing so, you will find fulfillment in your work, and you will hopefully end up with grateful readers who will support your writing, leading you to many more fulfilling days in your career as a writer.

I hope this is true as I complete my novel.

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ADDITIONAL READING:

A Popular Author’s Love Affair With the Word ‘AND’: Part A

Six-Word Stories

Two Haikus: Cardiac Ultrasound Inspired

INTEGRITY: A JOURNALISTIC CODE OF ETHICS REVIEW

THE ART OF THE INTERVIEW: Things Writers Should Know

SOURCES

1http://www.usatoday.com/money/jobcenter/workplace/kay/story/2012-04-14/give-job-sense-of-purpose/54263764/1

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