The PBS Blog Podcast Ep 7 – The Power of Passion and Purpose

Today we’re talking the power of passion and purpose. I believe it is always wise to follow your passions because they are connected to your purpose. Your passions reveal what it is you were put on this Earth to do. When you invest in your passions you invest in your purpose. And this purpose is not just one thing but a combination of things and is revealed to us, I believe, little by little as we grow and develop into who we were meant to be.

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Episode 7 – The Power of Passion and Purpose

 

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Blogging: Establishing Your Fine Print (Blogging with Purpose)

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A couple years ago I wrote a post Does Your Blog Reflect Your Purpose? about how focusing on my purpose helps me to continue to write and also about living in the moment as a catalyst for post ideas. As I sit here, I decided to update my views on this topic with a follow-up: Blogging: Establishing Your Fine Print (Blogging With Purpose).

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Each blog is different because each individual is different. We each have our own set of thought processes and routines that we feel makes our writing better and our blogs overall capable of expansion. As such, I have noticed one thing in common with each blog that I follow, the ones I have come to really enjoy: Purpose. Most of the blogs I follow touch on a variety of topics. Our posts have the potential to scan the horizon. From poetry, to short story, to news articles, to quotes, you name it we’re writing about it. I love this because variety makes it possible to reach  more people than a singular subject ( or niche) and for this I love diving into varying topics.

The Fine Print

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Fineprint – inconspicuous details or conditions printed in an agreement or contract

While my blog, like most, is filled with variety, there is also a primary purpose that remains in the fine print and I have found it in each of the blogs in which I read. That purpose is the inconspicuous detail. It doesn’t matter how many topics the blogger touches on, each person has his own primary purpose for blogging and that is the foundation I think we should each take into account as we build readership. I call this The Fine Print. Everyone has one because we all have a certain set of values that govern how we live. This doesn’t mean we have to shout to the rooftops about it, but it is the underlining foundation to how we live our lives. If we apply this to blogging, I think it will help us to build and maintain focus. By us I mean myself as well. These posts are not professional blog advice, in fact its not really advice at all but thoughts I tell myself to help me to become better that I’d like to share.

Finding Your Fine Print:

1). What are you passionate about?

Think about what matters most to you outside of blogging. Your passion usually will lead to your purpose. Your purpose is then incorporated into your everyday life: including blogging.

2). What is the one thing that motivates you to blog? 

I didn’t ask you what your blog was about because it’s deeper than that. Your reason for creating your blog is also not necessarily that thing that keeps you blogging. Your blog can be about puppies but puppies do not get you up every day to publish posts. I also did not mention why you write because not all bloggers are writers. Some bloggers are photographers, chefs, etc. But I asked you what was the one thing that motivates you to blog because if you can name that thing that insists that you must blog, that thing that tugs at your being and demand that you release words into this public forum, then that is the first step toward finding your Fine Print.

3). Do not Preach Your Fine Print

Your Fine Print is for you. To help to keep you focused. Once you’ve defined your purpose, it’s not going to help you to preach to the choir. The reason this is called a Fine Print is because it’s a foundation to the entire document. You can read through an employee handbook, but the fine print is what sets the document apart as serious business.

A bloggers fine print is their driving force, their purpose, their one motivating factor, their reason for doing. Its not something they have to bring up in every conversation, but it is that thing in which they strategically incorporate into their blog in a way that drives curiosity and helps readers to get to know them better. If you bring your purpose up in every post it will drive people away. No one wants to be preached to or forced to accept anything. Your fine print is to help YOU to stay focused. When people sign a contract they are agreeing both to the contents of the document itself and also to the fine print. Fine Prints are that underlying message. When you follow a blog, you may not know it, but you’re not just supporting that blog, you are also agreeing with that blogs Fine Print, which is the whole point. In other words, that bloggers purpose for writing intrigues you in some way and has prompted you to endorse them.

Does your blog have a Fine Print?

Find out what drives you to blog and keep that as the underlying message to everything that you post. This is your Fine Print. It doesn’t mean bash everyone over the head with your ideas. It is instead using your purpose as a driving force to produce quality material. People follow blogs for so many different reasons that it is possible that your one weekly feature was their sole purpose for following you. In this way, you have reached them. Though your Fine Print is inspiring people, your weekly feature became the catalyst for which this was done, the method that has proven effective in a way that will continue to drive traffic.

4). Stay Focused

Purpose – the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.

Don’t get so caught up in the purpose of someone else that you subtly make their purpose your purpose. Your fine print is not really for them, it’s to help YOU to stay focused. Blogging is a communal activity. This means that one thing we all have in common is that we want our blogs seen by the online public for whatever reason (< your fine print). Otherwise we would all just keep. private journals, diaries, notebooks, whatever but we would not be writing so openly on the Internet. For whatever reason (fine print, purpose) we are writing online. No, we are not just writing for ourselves. I do not believe that. To publish material as openly as the internet has to be for a reason deeper than personal gratification. For whatever reason, we are blogging. We serve this community by interacting with one another. In essence we serve one another. But what I think keeps a good blog going is the individual’s  focus on their fine print once they’ve found it. It is not something they are willing to compromise and it is not something they will allow others to take away.

Have you ever read a book that was so good in the beginning but towards the end it fell short? That can happen with our blogs. We must remember that the fine print is not so much for readership as it is for our own individual marker to help keep us focused. This naturally makes it easier to produce material without compromising the integrity of the blog.

And that’s it for me. I hope these tips are helpful to each of you as you continue your blogging journey.

When Did You Fall in Love with Writing?

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No. Not when you started writing, but when you fell in love with it. I’ll go first.

Freshman year, High School, Survey Literature. Mr. Clark didn’t know it, but his vocabulary list had me open. He thought I’d look up definitions. He was wrong. I devoured them. I tried using every new word in a sentence and like most people in love for the first time, I sounded like an idiot.

I became obsessed with their meanings, their pronunciations, how they looked on the page and, most importantly, how they made me feel.  Seduced by the euphoria of getting words off my chest, letting the emotions ooze from my heart and out of my flesh; stitching my soul into the page one heartbeat at a time, and riding the wave of stillness while traveling through books. I fantasized about how words would pair; how they would rhyme, mix and match. The smells of metaphor, and the taste of simile calling out to me from the words of healing written in a language I didn’t quite understand and yet, knew it was a necessary part of my sanity. For if I could not depend on writing to be my stepping stone to mental clarity, then I was truly lost. Forgotten in a world without meaning. No explanation for the question mark of our existence. No saving grace. No salvation to play just the right scripture to guide us back to the music sheet. Writing. It was my music sheet and goodness, how I loved him.

What about you? Are you in love with writing? When did you fall for it?

Not in love yet? Here’s a post about how to get there! 6 Ways to Fall in Love with Writing

Ink Pen

Writing-freelancer

Dear Ink Pen,

No, just listen.

I want your lips

nestled

against the collar bone

Of this page

I don’t care that people do not hand-write anymore

I need you

nibbling at history

and touching passions

I desire your soul

pressed hard against my fingers

I need you

touching minds

and resurrecting souls

In private places

Let your hands roam their computer screens

Kissing the interior of their hearts

Freeing the thoughts of men

Leave us naked with hope

Vulnerable

And open with the desire

For your nose against the nape of our necks

Let us drink of the truth dripping from your mouth

The taste of light lingering on your breath

But first I need you

Your lips

Nestled

Ball pointed

Against the collar bone

Of this page.

Yes, that’s it.

Now

touch them.

Are You Just Seeing Your Writing on The Side?

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“Is your writing going to be a lover in the center of your life? The thing you pulse toward, the fever in your soul? Or is your writing life more of a casual crush, something you think about, but don’t do much about? You know how when you are in love, lying with your lover, time stops–goes so fast and doesn’t move at all? You feel mushy and goopy, and you are wet and hot and cool and loved and lovely, all at the same time?

Here’s the thing, there is one way to make time stop. And only one way: Fall in Love.

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When you have a lover or a baby, you fall out of time, and into the beloved. Love is the only time in our lives when we are out of time. To create a writing life, you will need to fall in love–deeply, seductively, passionately–with your writing life. It will become not a habit or a job, but a lover. If you keep it a second-string lover, your back-up lover, your Tuesday night sex-as-friends kind of lover, it might always be cranky with you. But if you make your writing life so lovely you can’t take your eyes off it, you will space out during meetings, and dream about it as you go through the day, just like when you’re in love. – Heather Sellers, Page After Page, Chapter 3

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Heather Sellers is an Award winning writer and professor who has taught writing workshops for twenty years, has a Ph.D. in writing and is an associate professor of English. Her book, Page after Page, is a great resource for writers looking to jump-start, begin, or keep the writing juices flowing. She presents great advice on how to dedicate yourself to writing, enjoying the process, and writing exercises to help keep you passionately, seductively, and totally in loooovveee with writing.

You Don’t Have to Do What Everyone Else is Doing

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that your words flutter nervously across the page in anxious anticipation of acceptance. I can see the dilating pupil of uncertainty starring back at me, for you have let others define you. It’s not enough that you wear societies clothing, listen to its music, read its books and regurgitate its ignorance, but you even let it define who you are. When you do gather the courage to be yourself it is not long before you are already planning on how to take your words back, erase them into the dungeon of nothingness. Some of you climb inside of yourself and turn off the lights, over there praying for invisibility and trying not to be you. Why do you cloak yourself in darkness? Always skating timidly through life as if the next step will be the one to shatter the ground. Always apologetic for the way in which you see the world as if your purpose in life is one big mistake. If you have passion, stand by it. You owe no one an explanation. It doesn’t matter what we struggle with on a daily, it always helps when we are ourselves. Despite the mistakes we make being transparent is the only way to transcend and to overcome. In that process, remind yourself that you don’t have to do what everyone else is doing. Besides, “if you don’t define yourself for yourself you’ll be crushed into other people’s fantasies of you and eaten alive.” – Andre Lorde