Maybe it’s the fact that a big box of my newly published book arrived this morning, or maybe it was when tidying up my home office on the weekend, I discovered some old short stories I’d written, or maybe it’s just that I’m turning 40 this year, but in the past 24 hours I’ve discovered something important about myself – I am a writer.
Why is this important?
To me it’s essential for all of us to work out what our primary purpose is as we live out our lives. I’ve dabbled in films, television, radio, public speaking, training, teaching, acting, directing, painting, worked as a laborer, in call centers and even installed CCTV security cameras for several years. I’ve had a very varied work life.
But as I emptied boxes full of old folders, loose papers and journals on the weekend, I discovered one thing that was constant – I’ve always loved writing. Perusing my old writing boxes, I found a vast collection of writing I had once done, but since forgotten all about. There were stage-play scripts, songs, poems, short stories, the first couple chapters of a novel, screenplays, magazine articles, interviews, and various notebooks filled with ideas. I even found old screenwriting readings from University courses, and a very old writing course I had done on freelance magazine journalism.
But they had all been packed away, long ago, and placed into a dark storage area in my attic. However despite getting distracted by other life factors, I found that I continued to write. I even wrote an e-book on choosing a CCTV security system, while working my trade. In fact over the past several years I have developed my writing extensively, both at University level study, to reading books like Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting by Robert McKee, to learning how to write fundraising letters which get results, to writing grant applications.
So what dawned on me in the past 24 hours is not only that ‘I am a writer’, but that ‘I’ve always been a writer’ too.
In the book One Big Thing: Discovering What You Were Born to Do , by Phil Cooke, he challenges us to identify and pursue the one thing that we were born to do.
Or in other words, what is the one thing that you think you could be the very best at in the whole world?
1. Identify the one thing you are best at.
2. Pursue that one thing your whole life.
3. Don’t get distracted along the way.
In the book You Are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One) ,by Jeff Goins, he talks about his journey in overcoming personal and mental obstacles in his journey towards becoming a writer as a profession. I could relate a lot to his journey, particularly as I’ve been recalling my own journey to becoming a writer over the past 24 hours.
It’s always hard to get others to take you seriously about your passion. But it’s a whole lot easier when you finally discover what you were born to do – and then do it. Do it. Do it everyday. Pursue your purpose. Don’t get distracted.
I wonder what talents and desires that you once pursued but have since packed away in boxes, storing them in a dark room? And I also wonder if you’ve found that those things that you packed away in the attic still find a way of seeping out in various aspects of your life?
Maybe it’s time to unpack your boxes? I am a Writer. What is your One Big Thing?