What is your reason for being?

The fourth week of the “What If” writing marathon intended to inspire both my first year writing students and the Just Write virtual writing group explored our goals and dreams. This creative work built on the Who Are You?Where Are You From?, and What is the Shape of Your Story? writing we did the weeks before (see Who Are You? for more about the What If unit and inspiration).

We began our exploration by considering the idea of the Magnum Opus and wrote about the challenge of identifying what we love to do, things we’re good at, and things people will pay us to do. We also considered the life and magnum opus of Paul Gauguin for more insight.

Paul Gauguin. “Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?”

We also drew inspiration from Calling Dreams by Georgia Douglas Johnson as that short but powerful poem speaks so aptly to this question as you can see from the opening lines:

The right to make my dreams come true,

    I ask, nay, I demand of life

Calling Dreams by Georgia Douglas Johnson

We then responded to this question: What do you want from the world? Using the paired texts of The World Is Yours by Nas (lyrics) and these lines:

i hope i die


by the life i tried 

to live

Nikki Giovanni

We then moved on to explore the ideas presented in Quest by Carrie Williams Clifford and the concept of Ikigai.

Just as with our first three prompts, we created artifacts (human-made objects of significance) to share with our class community or via social media as part of the #WalkMyWorld community which focused on destinations and magnum opus for these learning experiences. Depending on our capacity and writing, those artifacts might simply include six word story posters but could be poems or narratives (think travel or recipe blog posts). Just like my students, you are invited to write and create as much as you like based on your current capacity. The important thing is to reflect, write, and create something that tells your story even if the only audience is yourself.

Image by Ghinzo from Pixabay