Friday, August 31, 2007

The Definition

When one experiences changes in their lives I guess it's normal to question the meaning of life.
I've been having such questions run through my head, particularly with my business.
These days I'm writing a lot for pay, rather than writing my passion - the things that really get my blood flowing, the ideas that keeps a writer at the computer until the wee hours.
I began thinking, what is the point of it all anyway?
And while I wasn't to the point of doing the unthinkable and applying for a full-time job to find my inner-writer again (although I did see an ad for a full-time reporter at my new hometown paper), I felt lost.
Then, a writer asked on a professional forum yesterday, "How do you define success?" This is the question I've been asking myself for a few months, so I decided yesterday was going to be the day I answered.
Is it paying the bills? If so, why isn't the money enough to motivate me now? Is it bylines in "big" publications? Is that why I don't feel the 'umph' I used to when I sit at the computer, because I'm not striving for the byline anymore?
And then the answers came to me - via my email box.
I had sent a friend a job listing I found yesterday morning because I thought it might interest her. She wrote me back and told me that she had met someone who sits on the board of a large animal shelter in Kansas City. My friend's first clip was the result of my urging her to send it in when she was a student of mine at the community college and somehow, my name came up in the conversation with this animal lover. The woman told my friend that she got involved with this shelter as a result of a story I had written on abuse some years ago following the "Scruffy" trial (See my website http://www.writeforyou.biz/ and look for the article, "Disposable Pets).
It's always good to know your articles touch people, but when you know it's made an impact, not just in their life, but for them to help others, that's an overwhelming tribute.
Later in the evening, I received another big surprise. Tina, an exchange student who lived with my sister's family 20 years ago emailed me. She said she had been googling all of us, trying to re-establish contact, when she came across my Daughter Track blog about my last months with Mom. Tina had been close to my mother during her year here and was quite saddened to read her American grandmother had passed. She said she spent the entire day reading my entries and while English is not her first language, my writings made the memories come flooding back and she was so touched, it brought her to tears. She thanked me for the experience.
Now I start this beautiful day in the Ozark Mountains with a new sense of purpose. I realize everything I write serves someone. The projects I complete to pay the bills makes my editors happy and in turn, maybe makes the day for a subject of a story...as a result, they might be reconnected with lost friends and loved ones who read about them or maybe it will bring them the new business they needed to help them achieve their dreams.
I may not be able to write the things I "love" to write everyday, but the things I write to pay the bills serves a purpose for me too - it allows me to spend the rest of the time writing my passions, and when we're given a chance to do that, we're always serving the greater good.

1 Comments:

Blogger Irreverent Freelancer said...

You're not alone. I've spent the past year+ contemplating my life purpose and the meaning of life. I still don't think I have it figured out, so I'm glad you do!

9:22 AM CDT  

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