039_The importance of purpose

13 May 2021

Yesterday I started my daily writing for AAC (my writer’s group) without a clear purpose.  I wrote for about 20 min to post it to WITWIA and ended up just stopping instead of making it coherent and “readable”. It became clear to me (as I increasingly floundered about) that I’d lost sight of “to what end” – the question that should be asked before starting any project of any size.

A long-time friend who is also a writer and a professional film director told me a while back that one of the very few “rules” (more like useful techniques) to writing is to be clear on your purpose before you start. I gained a visceral sense of how important that was in yesterday’s aborted attempt to write a WITWIA article. I share this now because I’m committed to writing every day, improving my writing skills, and “put it out there”. After all, that’s what I need to do to get better at it. As a reader of my blog, you are going to be “treated” to experience my learning curve since you are my audience. Sorry about that!

Fiction writing is not my forte. I’ve tried it off and on over many decades, and I think I get boring quickly. Some authors are exceptionally good at it, of course: for years, I’ve enjoyed the work of Orson Scott Card, for example, who can create entire worlds. Isaac Asimov is remembered among numerous other things for the “Foundation” series, where he also makes a fictional world and social society. The list goes on, of course. The point being, I’m NOT good at that.

Telling a story about something real comes much more easily to me than creating the details out of thin air to make a fictional story more realistic. My attempts at fiction aren’t published – and won’t be any time soon because they are lousy, and they are really short. I mean REALLY short – like getting lost a few sentences in. But you can puruse the earlier 30 or so blogs on this website to see my very early attempts to share life as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Namibia.

Or you can stick with me on this journey with WITWIA as I learn to write in a way that (hopefully) will make you look forward to the next blog. Then I’ll be able to describe better what goes on with a 70+ year old man starting a new and exciting part of my life that will most likely end up in some significant traveling.

I’ll also start to throw in some images/pictures/videos to make it more interesting. But bear with me, I’m not there yet.

In 10 days, I leave my house here in Oranjemund, Namibia, and go to Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, for a week to do all kinds of stuff and see some people. Then 17 days from now, I depart Windhoek for the San Francisco area for a couple of months. Here’s how it looks from there – and all the reservations in the USA are done and dusted, or “sorted” as they say here.

San Francisco Bay, California, area June and July, then

Taking the California Zephyr train to Chicago with a dear friend I’ve known since I was 23.

Kansas

Wisconsin

North Carolina

Maryland

Starting early September, I’ll either go back to Oranjemund to stay, or go back for a while and leave again, or not go back and start wandering around the world. Lots of factors will impact that. I’ll let you know what happens!

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