One of the big things that we are often told as writers is “know your audience” and it’s true when you’re writing you need to know who you’re speaking to. Another thing we need to think about is why we’re writing. For that matter it’s a good idea to keep track of why we’re doing anything we’re doing as writers.
Case and point…
The post you’re reading right now (the one I’m writing at the moment…) should have been done already. It should have been in my computer and ready to be reviewed and then posted before lunch today. But then life happened…
Shortly after I got into my office today I had the side thought “Hey, let’s try one more time to see if we can get that computer to boot from the optical drive”…
Well, it did! And then I spent the rest of the morning messing with installing the OS, and getting it into the right position on my desk so that I could connect the network cable, and downloading software (actually that last one is still going on…).
Yes, I’m still installing software as I’m writing this… So, how am I doing that and writing this?
Simple… I’m writing this on my other computer (you know the one that was already set up and running that I should have been working on…).
I should have been done with this post hours ago, but I let myself get sidetracked by other things that I ‘should’ (read that as ‘other things that I want to do’…).
Now don’t get me wrong. Getting the other computer working is a good thing. It helps me get more stuff done and will be better for some of the video work I need to do. But, futzing around with it when I should be writing kind of put me behind schedule and means my whole day is off.
The schedule problem is fixable (I found a couple of work arounds during lunch), but what if it had been something worse? What if I missed the old income tax deadline because I was futzing? What if I was working on an educational piece and skewed more into entertainment territory. What if I was intending to write something entertaining and skewed off into arcane detail that might be educational but nobody really cares about?
When you forget your purpose, why you’re doing what you’re doing, it can easily land you in trouble.
Micro and macro levels…
And while we’re at it you have to remember your purpose on a couple of levels. In the case of my pc I knew exactly why I was doing some of that futzing. I wanted the %#@$##$# program to work the way I’m used to! Unfortunately I was losing sight of the bigger purpose of being a writer/publisher who provides interesting and informative content to my readers.
In the heat of the moment working on my other PC I got wrapped up in the minutia of what I was doing and forgot to think about why I was doing it. If I had remembered that I might have moved on to other programs instead of fighting with the one that was being troublesome. Or better yet I might have quit mucking around and got some writing done!
It honestly works both ways. You have to keep your eye on the big picture, on why you’re doing what you’re doing. And you also have to keep your eye on the details of what you’re doing at the moment.
Ever gotten an email, text, whatever that made reference to an attachment or link and then found that there was no attachment or link to use? Yeah, that person should have paid more attention to the details…
Forgetting the ‘minor’ details for the ‘greater’ purpose can be just as bad as getting lost in the minutia. We really have to remember what our purposes are and keep an eye on both levels if we really want to get anywhere.
This isn’t just a ‘writing thing’
It really isn’t dear reader. Keeping an eye on our purpose is a life thing not just a writing thing.
As business persons we need to keep in mind that writing is a business and keep our purposes for the writing project, or whatever we’re doing, in mind.
As human beings need to keep an eye on why we’re doing any of this. If our real goals center around our family and being there for them, then why are we stuck in the office so much? If our real goal is to tell the story we’ve always wanted to tell, then why are we wasting our time downloading grocery apps?
I love writing.
I encourage others to be writers too.
But we really need to keep our focus on why we’re doing what we’re doing. We need to remember our objectives and purposes and make sure that what we are doing is supporting them.
That’s it for this one dear reader. See you next week.