“If the Why Is In Your Belly, Then The How Is Just a Matter of Research”

As I previously announced, I’m working on my first nonfiction book, which I plan to self-publish and release to the public within a matter of a few weeks. Along with the book, I plan to launch a new website to promote it and that will serve the book’s target audience — other moms.

Even though I’m technically a professional writer, it’s still a challenge to sit in front of a blank computer screen or sheet of paper and tackle the art of stringing words and sentences together every single day.

For those of you who don’t know, I write original blog posts (unless otherwise stated) each day, and I just recently moved to daily posts Monday through Friday as opposed to 7 days a week as I did in the first month.  Plus, I conduct research and am starting to more heavily edit my book before I submit it to reviewers.

All of this is in addition to outside writing projects that are happening simultaneously.

 Needless to say, I’m trying to juggle many balls, and on top of that there are so many distractions that vie for my attention. (Read my post “Extract the Distractions.”)

In light of all this, I continue to push through with the end-goal clearly at the front of my mind so as not to get side-tracked. Overall, I believe I’m on the right track. I’ll provide updates on the book and new site as much as I can.

After over a month of dedicated writing, I’ve concluded that writing is such a lonely profession, but also one of the most rewarding, liberating and gratifying. On the other side of the coin, writing is one of the simplest things you could ever do in life. If you can talk, you can write. But if you can’t speak intelligently, then you might have a problem.

No one else can tell you what to write and or what to write about. No one can alter your thoughts, unless you allow them. If you desire for your work to come across as genuine and as unique as your own voice, your words must spring from your soul, from your mind, and from your own perspective. If you try to be someone else, it just won’t work.

Good, decent writing requires a lot of heart and dedication. That’s why a lot of people aren’t writers! It’s a unique craft — a gift, some might say — that requires diligence, humility, a keen eye for detail, and an ear for rhythm and tone.

Enough about writing. . .

As I was saying earlier, I’ve managed to push through and continue to write and edit daily in some capacity. But one day, I was feeling extra challenged.  I needed and welcomed a healthy distraction.

I was in need of some inspiration cause I was starting to feel drained and began to lose heart as self-limiting thoughts tried to creep in.

I’d dedicated so much time to developing my blog, writing and doing other things, I just didn’t have any more time for my “guilty pleasure” of idle movie-watching. So I decided to watch a film. I skimmed online for a movie that I could watch from my computer.

I wasn’t looking for just any kind of movie. I kept an eye specifically for a film that would inspire me and remind me of the importance of living out my dreams.  

Then I came across an independent film shot in Boston (I love independent films!) with this description:

Jack O’Toole (Joey McIntyre) is inspired to write a play by the death of his Uncle Pete. Ignoring jibes from friends and co-workers, the carpenter turned playwright hopes the project will not only honor Pete’s memory, but also help Jack reconnect with his father (Sean Lawlor). Jack quits his job to devote all of his time to writing and sees his life change forever when the play debuts in a tiny neighborhood pub.

You can watch the movie trailer here

After reading the description and judging the movie by its cover, I decided that this was the perfect film! It involved writing, the protagonist (Jack O’Toole) faced outside criticism and his own self-limiting thoughts, plus he quit his job to pursue his passion. It had all the makings of an inspirational film. So I decided to watch it.

And I’m so glad I did!

 It turned out to be a purposeful, uplifting independent film chock full of sweet scenes, punchy one-liners, and illuminating moments. Some of the scenes did feel a bit contrived, but because of its inspiring theme, I easily dismissed it.

(I am, by no means, a movie critic. I just know a quality film when I see it. If you don’t believe me, the movie also won several Independent awards.)

I don’t want to spoil the movie in case you decide to watch it after reading this post. But basically as the description suggests Jack’s family and friends ridiculed him for taking such a risk as to write a play, since he didn’t have any prior experience.

Quite frankly, they thought he was foolish. Along the way, Jack befriends his deceased uncle’s old buddy, whom he met at his uncle’s wake. One day, Jack runs into the buddy and they end up chatting for a while. 

As Jack confides about his plan to write and produce his first stage play, despite the opposition from family and friends and lack of knowledge, his uncle’s buddy responded with: “If the why is in your belly, then the how is just a matter of research.”

“Wow!” I thought immediately, as I rewound the scene to hear the quote again and again.

In other words, if your desire to pursue a dream is so strong and is deeply rooted in your gut and not just on a cerebral level, then no matter what challenges you face you will achieve your dream.

What a great lesson to be reminded of!

Ask yourself: What’s my motivation?

  • Am I pursuing a dream for selfish gain,
  • For fleeting reasons, such as more money, fame or notoriety?

Or is it because:

  • I have a passion to help others;
  • Because it’s my calling,
  • Because I lose sleep over it; or
  • Because I enjoy it so much, I couldn’t see myself doing anything else?

If you’re dream is built on a strong purpose, desire or mission, it will surely flourish. By divine intervention, you’ll discover creative ways to ensure your dream stays alive. And you’ll constantly find renewed strength to keep going.
Keep the Discussion Going

What’s your ‘why’? What keeps you chugging along despite the challenges you’re up against?

What puts the fire in your belly to achieve your dreams, even when others are doubtful and offer only negative criticsm?

When it seems you’re climbing uphill, what keeps you going? What inspires to pursue your purpose in life?



  • http://www.thecareerpioneer.com Emily Brown

    Thanks Trevor! :-) Superb advice!

  • Trevor Finn

    Great blog, Emily! I would say my “why” is to encourage others to discover and use their God given ability. Also, to empower them to become more aware of God in their daily lives by communicating [writing, speaking and purposeful action] with passion. Thanks!