Victor Frankl‘s widely read masterpiece unlocks a part of the brain not often used in the fast-paced 21st century: Introspection. His story is a tragic one, wrought with the kind of death and despair so common during the Holocaust. Still, he managed to find meaning in those hard years. For him, it was about helping others find meaning in their lives. As a neurologist and psychiatrist, perhaps he was uniquely qualified to do this.
Meaning in Writing
After reading the book, I found myself asking myself what exactly my purpose was on this Earth. I’ve known since I was about eight that I wanted to be a writer, but beyond that I’ve always found it hard to discern what it was I was doing.
This begs the question: why do I write?
A Writer’s Curse
Do I write for fame, money, or influence? Do I write to entertain? To answer that, I had to look deep inside to realize that a lot of what I had done in my youth was directly related to what I’m doing now. I’ve played the guitar since I was eleven years old, acted in plays growing up, and was in the background of many a TV commercial, TV movie, and network television shows. I suppose I’ve always liked to entertain. The world has so much darkness in it, at times it’s hard to see the light. I enjoy showing others that there is a better way to approach life.
A way that includes introspection and enjoying the little things that make you happy.
Now, if only it paid the bills.
I once watched an interview with Elon Musk in which he mentioned the concept of delta in regards to changing the world. You can either create a large delta, or change, to a small amount of people, or a small delta to a vast amount of people if you want to change the world.
My goals for delta are two-fold.
First, I intend to reach the most readers I can and entertain them with my writing. However, beyond writing, I intend to do what I can for my community, mentoring others when possible and giving back in any way I can. In this way I can touch a large amount of people in a small way and a small amount of people in a large way.
Writing for money
Although my ultimate goal is to entertain, I also need to eat. That’s why some of my books are free while most are not. However, I believe if my meaning is to entertain, then eventually I will make enough doing it to support myself solely with it. Given the trend in my sales figures, that time is coming fairly soon. Most writers, I believe, don’t write solely for money. If they do, I think the reader would be able to tell pretty quickly.
Writers often find themselves in this sort of conundrum. Should I eat? Or, should I follow my dreams?
I’ve been there myself a number of times. However, at the end of the day, even if I’m doing a job to make ends meet while writing at night and in the early mornings, those moments while I’m writing make the rest worth it. It can feel at times like you’re a machine, working and working and seeing little return. Given enough time and dedicated practice, it does get better.
I’ve seen it with myself and I’ve seen it with my dad’s writing career, which only really took off after about twenty years of pounding out manuscript after manuscript and chaining himself to his desk. However, in the last 5-7 years he’s seen more success than most authors ever will.
Man’s Search For Meaning
Even if you don’t find your meaning upon completion of this book, the story is one worth being read by all. It is critical that the experiences of those who suffered through the holocaust are remembered for generations to come. I can’t recommend this book highly enough for all readers. It is a necessary read. It is a read that will turn your attention inward during times of strife.