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.