Fulfilment is one of the biggest life quests. Many a people want to know how to experience more fulfilment, happiness, and meaning. Most people are frustrated and the frustration bubbles over from a variety of sources, including not knowing what they really want, confusion about which direction to go in, and worry about the obstacles that rise up as they pursue their dreams. According to American author, Deepak Chopra, “At the root of all these frustrations is a misunderstanding about who we really are and the nature of true fulfillment”.
Recently, I was asked, in relation to work, what success means to me. I gave a response but it did not stop me from thinking about the question for the rest of the day. I expanded the scope of the question to consider other aspects of my life and how I define success and fulfilment in each one of them.
Obviously, writing plays a big part in my life so the cogitation was extended to my writing life. What gives me fulfilment as a writer? I asked. For me, it comes down to two things. First, the feeling of accomplishment when I get through a writing task. Then, when I am able to draw my expected reaction from readers with my work, I find it very satisfying. There are many other factors tied to these two but I decided to make this copy not about me, so let’s skip me and get to the meat of the column today.
I called and sent messages to some of my writer friends to ask them what fulfilment meant to them as writers and they were generous to share their thoughts with me. Josephine Amoako, Nesta Jojoe Erskine and Frederick Worlanyo Awudey (Kweli) are the three benevolent musketeers. Josephine blogs at http://joseyphina.wordpress.com, Nesta at http://nestaerskine.com, and Kweli shares his work on his Facebook page: Kweli Writes. Do check them out. You would love what they do. Now to their thoughts on a writer’s fulfilment.
Josephine: Fulfilment, to me, is simply when I’m able to produce a piece which is nearly as good as the mental picture I have.
Writing has always been a part of me. Because of my introverted personality, I appear reserved but I have a very wild and active imagination. However, penning your imaginations down on paper and make it as exciting as it appears and feels like in the head can be daunting. Thus, fulfilment, to me, is simply when I’m able to produce a piece which is nearly as good as the mental picture I have.
I feel fulfilled when my writings evoke the emotions of my readers to the point that they relate to it as if it were reality and actually share their thoughts with me. To successfully provide an escape reality for people to entertain and destress themselves; question and reflect on what goes in society and actually inspire them to make a change in their lives is my mission as a writer. When I see that happening with my readers, I feel satisfied that my efforts have not been in vain.
Writing is an activity I find very intimate; so, to share my pieces with others and have them appreciate them is heartwarming and deeply fulfilling.
Nesta: Writers don’t die. To me that’s the greatest fulfillment I find in the art of writing.
When I was young, I read a book titled “The Count of Monte Cristo.” That book turned on a switch in my head and for several days after. I thought about the story and the characters and everything they taught me. Recently I got to know that The Count of Monte Cristo was written by Alexandre Dumas. Dumas died in December 1870, but over a century later, I found him through his work.
Writers don’t die. To me that’s the greatest fulfillment I find in the art of writing. Life is ephemeral but knowing that whatever I put on paper is going to outlive me and probably introduce me to another generation in some thousand years to come gives me a greater fulfillment.
It makes me careful with my work. It makes me want to share things that speak their own language. Someday, someone would pick something I’ve written and like all readers do, she might want to be alone while she reads. I hope I don’t bore her and I hope she finds my work as worthy as I found Dumas’ Count of Monte Cristo.
Kweli: To me, as a writer, fulfilment is connecting with people.
As a writer it’s sometimes hard to balance what you think is cool and what your readers actually think is cool. We write most times for people who we don’t know in real life and therefore cannot put a pulse on what will resonate with them.
For me, I used to write for others. What this means is I used to write about things I thought people will vibe with. Then it hit me, there are so many people around the world who are just like me, who are going through similar things I am going through, so why don’t I write about things that move me, things that are beautiful to me, things that make me go ” wow”.
To me, as a writer, fulfilment is connecting with people. Most times, I do not have a complete idea of what I want to write but at the end of the day people are able to connect to it. Fulfilment is about impacting life’s and letting people know that they are not alone. That whatever they are going through, they are not alone.
Fulfilment is putting smiles on people’s faces through words. But most of all fulfilment to me as a writer is having people use my writing as therapy to deal with their demons.
What do you do? And what does fulfilment mean to you in your field of interest? Whatever it is to you, I hope you learned something from my friends, Josephine, Nesta and Kweli.