“Ikigai is a Japanese word whose meaning translates roughly to a reason for being, encompassing joy, a sense of purpose and meaning and a feeling of well-being.” [Whatis.com]
Do you lack purpose?
You may be looking at me, lowering your imaginary glasses, wondering what I am talking about.
Of course, we write with a purpose — we are writers.
Yet, so often, I still find most pieces of writing lack of aforementioned purpose. Just like clients I help selling digital products and market their brands, readers read your stories because of one of three reasons.
They either find your writing inspiring, motivating, educating, or entertaining. Most times, in total fairness, it’s a mix of all four.
Yes, it’s incredibly fascinating to see how often we forget to bring our writing back to its purpose. Its purpose is to inspire readers and take them on a journey.
Nowadays, however, our readers are hella busy. I, for one, am incredibly so.
Therefore, I can only say most of my readers are incredibly busy beings too. Their journey has to have an outcome that is clear enough for you to give them what they need: purpose.
What is purpose anyway?
Purpose is an outcome that makes your reader feel they can act on your story. They can learn something that can positively affect their lives.
As simple as it sounds, purpose can be a very basic lesson from a wrong decision, or inspiration to take action via practical examples — or a long string of inspiring quotes.
The truth is, purpose does not have to be spelled in big, bold shiny letters.
Great writers can craft purpose from every story because they refined storytelling through consistency, that old friend.
If you still feel like you’re a long way from understanding how to deliver the right message to your audience, come back to the three ways you can tap into your readers’ interest.
Those are inspiration, motivation, and education.
I believe entertainment is also significant. However, it is more about recreation and escapism rather than anything else. Like the cherry on top, so to speak.
If telling stories is still a craft that you’re trying to master, always ask yourself:
What is the purpose of this piece of writing? If my reader got one thing from this piece of writing, what would that be?
Not to be meta, but in this case, it would be finding your purpose as a writer. Even my heading is hinting at that.
I am a massive believer in being as clear as possible about my purpose. That’s how I try to simplify and streamline all of my efforts — not just as a writer.
I believe that being a better storyteller and a writer can help you with so many things in life.
Now, I’m not asking you to go through all of your old posts and try and find their purpose. If you want to — be my guest, but you don’t have to.
Start from today and make it part of your writing toolkit, just like good ol’ Stephen King would say. Everything else will follow.
I help people grow their online audience and monetise their content — sounds like you? Check my top 50 content marketing hacks with my free cheatsheet.