Find your purpose in life by writing your story
Can you find your purpose in life by writing your life story?
That’s certainly a big question, but I think there is a possibility that you could certainly get some direction through the process of writing.
Firstly, ask yourself, who is it that you are writing this book for? And if the answer is yourself, that is probably not going to be a very inspiring book for other people to read. It would be very healing for your own journey, but it’s not going to be necessarily very inspiring for other people just to hear your story.
The most important thing to ask yourself is how can I help other people by sharing my story?
You need to ask yourself these questions:
- How can I inspire people?
- How can I motivate people?
- How can I be of service to people?
- What wisdom, knowledge or experience can I share?
It is all about the reader. It is all about the other person. Notice I am not saying anything about yourself.
That is the biggest mistake that everybody makes when it comes to writing a book is, they want to talk about themselves and that is fine. We all want to talk about ourselves and there is nothing wrong with that. And we all have remarkably interesting stories, but you need to tell them from the perspective of how can I help you, Mr. Reader?
What can I give you that will help you overcome some of those challenges that I’ve just got through?
You can read my story. You can be inspired; you can be motivated. You can take some of my tips, some of my tools, some of the things that helped me move along to a better place. And then you can bring that into your own life.
That is the number one key to get you started.
How are you going to tell your story in a way that will inspire and motivate?
Often the story can be very traumatic and very painful, and you don’t want to trigger the reader with traumatic emotions as a result of reading your story. You could feel very vulnerable sharing some of your secrets. And so, if you think of it from the perspective of the healing journey of where I am now, you are starting where you are now, and then you are helping people to understand how you got there? You don’t even have to know all the answers or be at the “end” of your journey. It might be the writing of the book that helps you get there.
Writing your story can help you find your purpose.
I think there are still a lot of people that are saying, “but I do not know what my purpose is. I do not know what my calling in life is”. And this is where the book comes into a much more important role in your life, which is helping you to follow all those little breadcrumb pieces and figure out and discover what your calling in life actually is.
It is such an interesting process, and that is why I say to people, you know, even if you are not going to publish a book, you should still go through this exercise because it will give you so much information, about your life and all the things that you have done, which perhaps you did not realize were related. And perhaps you did not quite realize that you went through those steps to discover what your purpose is.
Your story points to your purpose – eventually!
To give you a good example of that, I went traveling around the world for seven years, and when I reflect on that, it was writing the book called “Around the world in seven years” that helped me to find my calling, which is now helping other people write and publish books. My breadcrumbs were linking together my previous career in product marketing and realizing that “a book” is a product! If I simply applied the same process that I used to bring a fast-moving bath product to market, to creating a book, I would be bringing a unique approach to writing a book!
As I started to work on the book, I realized it was not the seven-year journey of traveling around that led to my purpose, but the recalling of that journey! Now the process I use to help other people write their books, often “accidentally” points to their calling and their purpose in life. That was more than 15 years ago and now I’ve realized after publishing almost 300 authors, that the book is certainly a life-changing moment, and often, it gives real clarity about the author’s true calling in life.
The best advice I can give is to keep writing, even if it is just journal writing. Get started by joining a collaborative book and get started on the process by just writing a chapter. Once you start writing, you will get more clarity the more you reflect on your life.
This will be a weekly column where we will be inspiring writers and featuring local authors that live in Puerto Vallarta. We will be giving you an inside look at the purpose of their writing and how they crafted their story to have an impact on their readers.
Julie Ann is the founder of Influence Publishing Inc, corporation from Vancouver, Canada. She has lived in Puerto Vallarta for 5 years and is the owner of the Mexican Corporation, Casa de Influencia S.A. de C.V. which is a retreat and event center based in Old Town, Puerto Vallarta. She hosts writing retreats and writing classes at the center. Opportunities to be a contributing author in one of the many Anthology book projects she is publishing can be found at www.casadeinfluencia.com