Manifesto #17: Focus Your Writing with Purpose Projects & a Heart List

NOTE: Oops. Not sure how it happened but this part of the Manifesto was scheduled to be posted out of order, but it’s simply too juicy a one to not include, so here it is. Better late than never.)

Elsewhere in the Manifesto I mentioned creating a pet writing Purpose Project that I entitled Project Purpose:

Project Purpose: to write and publish articles about people whose lives are dedicated to a bold and inspiring purpose or vision.

I’d like to elaborate on this a bit more as a super writing technique that will help you focus your writing efforts that might just have unexpected positive results.  I have found over the years that many people have a lot of ‘charge’ or negative feelings about the word, project.  I know when the term first came to me I immediately remembered back to my fifth grade “science project.”  I’d told my teacher that my project would be to build a working model of a volcano.  I’d seen one on some science show and knew it was possible.

Unfortunately, I failed to plan properly, or keep the project in existence until the night before I was due to pass it in. That’s when I reluctantly shared the project with my mom. Needless to say she was none too pleased, but being the every faithful parent, she and I stayed up most of the night building this paper mache volcano.

So, I have my own history around projects.  Here’s the thing to remember: a Purpose Project is unlike any other project you’ve ever taken on.  You see, a Purpose Project is one of the primary ways you get to be, be known, and to express our life purpose into the world.  It’s also a great way to tap into the wellspring of passion that’s often lying just under the surface of your consciousness.

So, for example, let’s just pretend that a part of your life purpose statement is: “A life on purpose is an inspiring life embracing the wonders of nature in all its beauty…”  Can you see that creating a writing project where you explore, examine, and share “the wonders of nature in all its beauty” could be a tremendous way to focus your writing efforts?

Does that mean you can never write about anything else? Of course not.  What it does mean is that you’ll want to have a fair number of environmental types magazines on your “Heart List.”

Whoa! What’s a Heart List?

It’s another great tool for focusing your writing.  You see there’s some good news and bad news when it comes to the magazine marketplace.  In fact, the good news and bad news is compounded when you include online magazines and other forms of writing on the web.  The good news is that this is a huge marketplace, with thousands of different publications.

And you’ve probably guessed the bad news:  The magazine marketplace is huge with thousands of different publications.  It’s so huge that many aspiring writers become frozen in place, like a rabbit caught in the high beams of an automobile.

That’s where a Heart List comes in very handy. It’s a list of magazines where you’d love to see your articles and byline appear.

The point I’m making here is that the combination of a well designed pet writing Purpose Project and a well thought out Heart List will help inspire you into some focused and productive writing.

Your Turn

What pet writing Purpose Project might you create that would empower you in your writing? How about your heart list? What magazines would you want to see your articles in?

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