Once upon a time, I thought, If only I could just have the time to write, I would start a book and complete it in my spare time. Of course, that book remains unwritten. The spare time remains unused. Something always manages to fill the gaps of time. Next, I thought, If only I could get a job as a junior writer somewhere I could work my way up to the big leagues. That was before I realized there are no big leagues.
Sure, there are lots of people making great money and getting great exposure, but most of them did so by writing on topics I have no interest in. People writing advertisements for IBM, Apple, Frito Lay, Microsoft, General Motors, Toshiba, and Dr. Pepper (my personal favorite). People writing legal suspense, murder mystery, romance, and horror novels. People writing academic texts which challenge the current state of belief and understanding. People writing self-help books which, oddly, should remain very few and far between if they indeed were such a great self-help tool. People writing Christian Inspirational literature, who, pardon my saying so, are either severely deceived into believing that this is what Christians need or are the bottom feeders of the industry. There are news reporters and editorial writers. Apples and oranges, man… apples and oranges.
There are so many different things a person could write about. So many ideas floating about in space, awaiting someone to capture them and flesh them out on paper. So many jobs for so many writers in so many industries. How is a writer to know where to tread and where not? At the heart of it all lies a question. It is the same question each person must answer, regardless of profession, but I shall put it into terms a writer will understand.
The question is: What is inside of me that demands release? How do I express it? Do I dedicate my life to locating, clarifying, and expressing this one thing, or do I use my talent for other purposes along the way? Would I be soiling the gift which God gave me, or would I be praised as a good steward for developing the gift? Okay, perhaps a few questions must be answered. But they all revolve around a central question: What is my purpose?
Answering that question leads to the next question: How do I fulfill my purpose? Answering those two questions may take an entire lifetime. They are questions worth asking. They are questions worth answering. Too often, we rush off into the world and bump into each decision accidentally. We have somehow decided life consist of a series of coincidences and accidents, when really we have simply missed the opportunity to ask the right questions and wait for the answers. Some people live their whole lives refusing to even ask the first question. Something deep down tells them that open that can of worms would only mean a lifetime of misery and disappointment. I am a writer. I write. Again and again, I ask these questions, and I must have my answers.