Growing up, one of my favorite places to spend summer vacation was along the coast of North Carolina at Atlantic Beach, and one of my fondest memories is of watching the automatic taffy-pulling machine. Into one end of this magical machine the owner would pour the ingredients for making taffy that, of course, included a lot of sugar. He would then turn the machine on and after a few minutes, it would begin churning out multi-colored strands of taffy, ready to be boxed and sold to a line of salivating children, including me.
Because of that cherished memory, I now have upon my office wall what I call my Writer’s Taffy Machine. At one end I pour in the sweet blend of ideas and passion, while the other end churns out checks from magazine publishers, which is for me evidence that my writing is also making a difference in the world.
Now, as we explore the inner workings of the Writers Taffy Machine ask yourself a couple of questions:
• Am I interested in building my own taffy machine?
• Will I do the work to maintain my machine and have it churn out moneymaking magazine articles?
Blueprint for Building Your Taffy Machine
Passion Filled Ideas
Every article starts with an idea. One of the question writers hear most from aspiring writers is, “Where do you get your ideas?” One of the most talented and prolific writers I’ve ever met, Harlan Ellison, would often facetiously answer such a question by replying, “Why, I buy them from a man in Poughkeepsie. Ten ideas for ten bucks.”
But even before asking the “where” question, I suggest looking more deeply at some “why” questions. Why are you writing? Even more important, why are you here? (Yep, getting back to the ol’ “what is your life purpose” question.)
You see, while one purpose for writing is to make money, I’m going to suggest it’s simply not enough. After all, there are far easier ways to make money, and a lot more of it than most people ever make writing. Now, I’m not saying you can’t make a good living as a freelance writer. I am saying that spending some time to become clear what your purpose is for writing and how it ties in with your greater life purpose will make all the difference in your writing, and in your life. In fact, a clear sense of purpose will act like a magnet that will attract to you the perfect ideas to develop into money making magazine articles.
Ready to get started? Now, to explore the entire Writer’s Taffy Machine is beyond the scope of the Manifesto. Besides, it’s already richly outlined in the From Spark to Flame book. But we can begin the process by having you examine how you can use the flint and metal of passion and ideas to ignite your sparks and get you on your way to writing powerful and entertaining magazine articles that sell.
Call to Action Assignment
Take a few moments now and answer these questions for yourself. Then, get a notebook or journal to use in this process and make your first entry a written statement of what you intend to accomplish from your writing. Be as specific as possible. If you’re unsure whether or not you’re ready to commit to doing the work, that’s fair. Write that down.
This is just a starting point, and you can always revise your intentions later. I encourage you to stretch beyond what you think you can accomplish. Spending some time reflecting on this and then writing down what comes to you can be some of the most fruitful writing you’ll do.
It’s also the first step to becoming a Visionary Writer.
Yep, I’m going to continue to ask you what you’re getting from this. I guess it’s the life coach in me. So, what are you gleaning from the Bloginar? What questions do you have? Does the Writers Taffy Machine make sense to you?