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Why Are You Writing Anyway?
Do you know why you write? What is it that drives you? What is your ulterior motive or goal? 

Let’s look at three words that need to be dissected to help us come to a better understanding of why we do what we do, where we are going with it and what the desired outcome is. Those words are transactional; transformational and altruistic. All three are adjectives but what do they really mean and how do they influence us as authors?

The word transactional relates to an exchange or interaction, whether it be in business or writing. Usually, it is between two or more people as you share ideas, concepts and maybe a story. For some of us, when we consider our venture into the writing arena, we are doing it with the hopes of making money – lots of money – or recognition, or a legacy for our family, or other reasons. Sometimes our writing is for a grade in high school or college, or a job assignment that we are compelled to do. There is nothing wrong with any of these reasons for writing but it is important that we understand why we are writing. The why we write will define the amount of effort we put into the project.

What about transformational writing? Transformational is defined as relating to or involving a transformation in one’s life. For instance, something life threatening or stressful has happened to you or someone you love and you write as a catharsis to help you deal with it and get beyond it. The ‘it’ can be a search for inner peace and healing. 

Transformational writing is used in many of the inspirational books that we read where the author tells a story of cause and effect. It helps us to identify with others in the sense that you relate to the story and feel that you’ve been there and done that. It can be so driving that it will cause you to jump up and get busy with a determination to ‘do it’, knowing that writing it will help you as well as your reader.
Altruistic writing, on the other hand, is a form of selfless writing. The writer’s reason for telling the story isn’t about making money, becoming famous or lifting self-up; the reason for writing is because you know it will help others. The telling of your story may be life-changing in a way that will have a positive impact on your reader, maybe even spiritual. It is almost magical. There is no competition, no need to tear others down, but a willingness to cooperate with that which drives you, your reader, and their world. A true altruistic author will write whether there is a financial gain to be realized or not. They write because lives will be changed by what they have written. They write out of a passion and obedience that demands the story be told. 

In defining these reasons for writing, we aren’t pointing fingers or judging but we are asking you “Why Are You Writing?” Do you know why you write? Do you know what it is that drives you? Have you figured out what your goal is in writing?

When we hit a ‘block’ we may need to sit down with a pen and paper – or a computer – and list the reasons we write. Once we understand what it is that is driving us, then we will better understand the goal of the writing that we do. For those of us who are faith writers, we may soon be facing pressure that we quit writing either through censorship or other means. When, and if, that day comes we will be better able to face our decision when we understand what it is that drives us. 

A poignant scripture says, “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” If you are faced with tremendous pressure to stop writing or to change your genre, how do you visualize your reaction to that demand? There is no right or wrong answer, just an understanding of what drives you and makes you the writer that you are. Remember, we are here to help you and we make publishing easy!

About the Authors: Daniel J. Mawhinney & Darlene Shortridge

Dan & Darlene have a passion and a heart for helping independent authors to successfully publish and market their stories worth telling and messages worth sharing.
40 Day Media LLC, PO Box 950794, Oklahoma City, OK 73195
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