Thursday, February 20, 2014

Finding Your Purpose


      We all have purposes -- things we believe in and things we want to change.  We all have things that we want to tell the world.  But maybe you haven't thought about it before.  Maybe you don't know what your purpose is.  If so, how do you find it?

Developed Like a Character
     Purpose is developed much like a character is.  I develop my characters by studying them.  I ask them questions.  I put them in scenarios.  I watch how they act in their scenes in the book.  This is how I make them into real people, and I can then carry those "real people" through the rest of the book.
     You can do that same thing with yourself.  Ask yourself questions.  What matters to you?  What do you want to say?  What do you believe in?  What is wrong with the world (or a community or a person)?  What would you change?  Look at how you write; learn from what have you already written.  Look at your life.  What moves you to action?  These are ways to find purposes for your stories.

No Stealing...
     It's not fair to steal someone else's purpose.  For example, let's say we read a book about a slave fighting for his freedom, and we are moved to hate slavery.  This book's purpose now matters to us so we write about slavery.  But if we have only copied another's purpose, then our book will not have the same success because ours is second-hand.
...Go Get Your Own!
     But is there slavery today?  Have you seen it?  Have you seen the same spirit of slavery...even if it was not as overt as it was in another time or place?  Now you have something to write.  You have first-hand experience with the some of the evils of slavery; and though you may place your characters in any place or time-period, you are writing based on something you have seen and something that matters to you.

A Worthy Cause
     Finding purpose makes you do more than just write.  It makes you stop and examine yourself.  It makes you think about why you write.  It's hard if you haven't done it before.  Sometimes it's hard anyway.  But it is so worth it.

The Humble Servant
     Some of you already have a purpose.  Your purpose is to glorify God in everything you do.  Like a servant or a scribe, you do not write for your own purposes but you write under the direction of One who is greater and wiser than any earthly author.  When you look for a purpose for your project, all you need do is say, "Lord, what would you have me write."  In that case, you let Him be the mastermind.

     Either way, I encourage you to take some time to seek your purpose for your stories.  And don't give up!

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