Today the post will be about purpose. Specifically, the purpose of writing.
Everything we do has a purpose, a motivation, a reason to be made or done. In the writing world, the purpose is very important. You can even say it’s the essential part of all the process. Without it, you have no sense of direction, no soul, no life.
Well then, what is purpose for a writer?
The purpose is the why you write. When you write, your piece has two functions, to comunicate with your audience and to present an issue, a problem that needs to be solved. This problem is the what of your piece. Some writers takle this first, others do it later on as they write.
Take in mind that these questions need to be together, hand in hand, in order to get your purpose. One cannot work without the other as they give sense mutually. You need to know what you write to give energy to the why you write, and you need to know why you write in order to choose the what.
Confused? It happens. 😀
Let me give you an example. First, you can fill out the why. Why do you write? Is it to inform? To entertain? For fun? To argue or persuade? I write to entertain and to pass my ideals forward.
Now, fill out the what. What are you writing? A novel? A story? Poetry? An essay? If it’s an essay, what type of essay? Narrative? Argumentative? Compare and contrast? I chose the novel, story, short story and flash fiction.
There a lot of literary genres to explore, and each one has a unique role in comunication. Every one of them has a variety of tools to satisfy your purpose as a writer. Later on, I’ll do a post on the literary genres, but for now, back to the topic at hand.
You can do these steps (what and why) viceversa of course. There’s no specific order to do it. You do it the way you feel more comfortable.
Once you have both, then you have your purpose. It may tip off more to the why, but to answer the big question you need both why and what.
For instance, if you tell someone you’re a writer, chances are they’re gonna ask the following:
“What do you write about? Do you write professionally, or do you do it for fun? Do you plan on doing something big?”
Your answer, if you have a purpose, should be something like this (hypothetically):
“Well, I’m writing a novel to let the world know that a broken heart is dangerous. It can a man or a woman to madness.”
It may look simple, yet it is in these questions that we demonstrate our writing purpose. It is in these that we see our audience for the first time and how well our ideas are received by the audience.
Remember, if there is no writing purpose, then our works are useless. A purpose gives sense and meaning. A purpose is the first breath of our piece. It is a part of who we are, and we must treasure it in order to write.
So go figure out your purpose, then start your masterpiece.
Good luck and have fun writing!