Whether you’re an aspiring writer (meaning you haven’t written a word yet) or you have a couple books under your belt, you will begin to question why you are writing or what you should write about.
It happens to everyone.
Recently I had this same uncertainty. “Should I write something different?” I wondered. “What’s all this for?” another voice in my head echoed. I wasn’t questioning my talent or ability to tell a story, but instead I was worried about telling the wrong stories. What if I kept writing in one genre and then found out later that another one is more appropriate for my abilities and preferences?
What if I end up wasting my time?
Whether you know it or not, many times when we talk ourselves out of something, it’s in the name of not wasting our time. “That’s just not for me,” or “I just need to find my purpose,” are different ways of phrasing the deep desire to make the most of the time we have in this life.Here’s the secret:
As long as you are doing something, creating with the mind and tools that God provided to you, it’s impossible to waste your time. Writing this dispatch for instance doesn’t necessarily fit into anything else I am doing, but it’s productive. I’m creating. And that is good.
The only way to waste your time is to think too much. If you try to reason out the perfect purpose, to the detriment of actually producing anything, then you really have wasted your precious time. Fantasizing about perfection, and not working towards perfection, is a recipe for heartache and pain. You will never get ahead, you will always feel behind because you are 1) not creating, which is what your heart needs, and 2) trying to reason out a perfect passion for yourself, which is impossible. In the end you are doing nothing and warping your soul through impossibilities.
Stop, right now. Go write something, anything. Whatever is in your heart and with the best talent of your mind, and bring it to life. If you keep this up, constantly striving to make something new, maybe not better, but that doesn’t matter. The effort matters. Eventually that effort will be rewarded with a clear purpose.
If you must think about your purpose, think deeply after you write. Do the work first and then reflect. Only then will you have something to reflect on. Then stop thinking so much and write some more.
This is really not as complicated as we feel we need to make it.
So stop wasting your time and go write now.