What Drives Me Redefines My Goals

What Drives Me

Ah, yes, I have been strangely silent for a few days. I have learned that when this happens I must just “let it be” and allow the process to happen. These are times of great introspection. Sometimes, the result is an epiphany. Other times, the stillness allows me to hear the answer to a question I have been contemplating.

Since walking away from my lucrative real estate career to pursue a life of travel, photography, and writing, the way I see myself has changed significantly. During my six-month trip around the world in 2007, a friend insisted that I print up business cards that said I was a writer and photographer. Initially I resisted. Although I had been blogging for some months by then, I still didn’t see myself as a writer. Thankfully, she finally convinced me that this was a necessary step. The business cards shifted my belief about who I was – it was in print, so it must be true. Gradually, I began to tell people I was a writer whenever they asked what I did for a living. The more I said it aloud, the more real it became.

Upon returning from my around-the-world trip I began soliciting freelance writing assignments. I had some small success but soon realized I was writing about subjects that did not interest me just to get published. Simultaneously, the blog morphed from a narrowly focused travel site to one with an extremely broad focus. On occasion I wrote about politics and even used it as a platform to rant against the government or social issues. Over time, the blog lost its focus. Was it a travel blog or just a blog about my life and the crazy things that happen to me? If it was the latter, why would anyone want to read it? Fortunately, during the past few months I have returned to writing about what I most love – travel – not only because I have been on the road at least 50% of the time, but also because I now write regularly for the attractions and beaches blogs at UpTake.com.

The result has been that I have undergone yet another shift in how I see myself. I am a writer, yes. But mostly, I am a travel writer. With this understanding came the realization that the tag line on my blog needed revising. “One woman travels and writes, searching for a meaningful life” no longer accurately described who I am and what I do. My life is full of meaning. I love what I do. I wake up each morning, eager to write, and I know that my purpose in life is to write about travel, travel-related issues, the wonderful people I meet along the way, and inspiring stories that help us understand what is truly important in life. Having fine tuned what drives me, I changed the blog’s tag to “Connecting the world through storytelling.”

To all of you who are regular readers, please accept my heartfelt thanks for your continued support. You have made it possible to achieve my dream and I hope to continue to entertain and inspire you for many years to come.

7 Comments on “What Drives Me

  1. Getting travel advice the “old-fashioned” way used to require stepping out on the smoker’s balcony at your backpacker’s hostel and joining the conversation (cigarette or not). That philosophy—talking to your fellow travelers—still applies once you’re on the road, but these days it’s even easier to get advice via the Internet, plus share your wisdom once you return. And now with the explosion of social media, a new and almost bottomless layer has been added, offering the ability to tap your network of connections and seek advice from people whose opinions you probably trust even more than guys named Arthur Frommer and Rick Steves.

  2. Hello Barbara:

    Your journey with writing has been quite similar to mine. At first I just wanted to know I could sell anything! I also remember getting business cards printed up just to convince myself of the change in my life. Now I’ve settled down to doing what I love for the pure joy of it.

    The Midlife Crisis Queen is on the right path. One way I know is that I’ve met some amazing people like you along the way!

    Keep up the good work Barbara!

    Signed, Laura

    Laura Lee’s last blog post..Learning how to be happy

  3. After selling a photograph last year, I decided to officially create a business…bydamanti. My business cards had the same effect on me. Your journey is more directed than mine, but I can still relate to your evolution.

  4. I like the change. And you aren’t the only one who has been silent this past week… all my favorite blogs seem to have taken time for their authors to gear up for the New Year.

    I think I’ll give my own blog’s tag line some thought now.

    Gay Walker’s last blog post..Gratitude

  5. This makes me happy… and sad. I love to read your posts. Some make me laugh, some make me think, some make me cry, or get angry. I, for one, appreciated the diversity and looked forward to never knowing what I was going to get.

    I understand the need for focus, though, especially if it help you pay the bills!! I wish you the best luck with your journey.

  6. I missed you while you were gone. But left you alone because those ineffable silences are vital.

  7. I like the change. And you aren’t the only one who has been silent this past week… all my favorite blogs seem to have taken time for their authors to gear up for the New Year.

    I think I’ll give my own blog’s tag line some thought now.

    Gay Walker’s last blog post..Gratitude

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