When I began writing The Disillusioned, the first novel in the Guardian series, there was a clear message that inspired me to believe it was worth the time and effort. I wanted to capture the reality of human trafficking, but also pull back the curtain on professional religion, all within a suspense-filled action adventure mystery. I felt that both worlds were equally as troubling. To bring it to life, I needed to create characters that established a vivid contrast between two worlds and challenged readers to choose which was worth fighting to protect and save.
While I’ve had many opportunities to share about the fight against human trafficking, I’ve also allowed other pieces of the story to remain within its pages for readers to discover for themselves. What I’ve discovered is that when I’m writing with a purpose, I don’t need to stand on a street corner with a bullhorn. I’m grateful that the message within its pages has reached readers around the world.
After my experience writing The Disillusioned, I felt the pressure to find more ways to turn my purpose into profit. I began to think about stories that would reach a larger audience. I thought about stories that would fit a certain genre. I thought about marketing hooks that might work with a specific story. And then I realized that the more I thought about monetizing my purpose, the further I was from writing a story that resonated after the last page.
Turning your writing hobby into a career means knowing how to make your dream profitable. But if you focus too much on profit, you’ll find that it will mess with your creativity. You begin thinking about what stories are more popular, instead of thinking about originality. I faced this when I thought about writing my next novel. I thought about writing a detective, dystopian, or fantasy story. But the more I weighed my options the more I realized the story that began with The Disillusioned wasn’t finished yet. That was when I made a choice to pursue originality over popularity and go deeper into a world I had already created. Keeping the purpose of my writing at the forefront allowed me to dive back in and finish Waking Lazarus.
Knowing why I write has determined what I write. With the release of Waking Lazarus still a few months away, I’ve already begun writing the next novel in the Guardian Series because my purpose is clear.
Let me ask you, what purpose drives you to write?