Maintaining a writing goal is inconvenient, uncompromising, and sacrificial. Being a writer who actually writes costs way more than it pays. Lord knows I am not in the writing business for the money. And neither is Efrata Kassasa, a 22-year-old Ethiopian woman who migrated to Yemen. Her writer’s goal is to write a book about the hardships of women in the Arabic world and sell 100 copies (Now, that’s a SMART goal and it happens to be inspiring, too). But Efrata quickly has discovered how back-bending, back-arching, and back-cracking reaching her writing goal can be:
In order to raise funds [to publish her book], she has taken a number of jobs, mostly cleaning homes and offices. She is also the barista at the cafe of a cultural foundation in Sana’a, the Basement. Her work schedule doesn’t leave a lot of room for writing, but Efrata did not come all the way to Yemen to lose sight of her goal. “I write everyday, in the evenings. I will sacrifice sleep before I stop writing. I usually stay up until 3 or 3:30 a.m.” Source: Yemen Times
After reading Efrata’s story, it is undeniable that Efrata is not scraping and saving to reach her writing goal for fame or fortune. No. This young woman is compelled and propelled by something deeper and richer than being a bestseller. Her writing goal is soaked in passionate purpose. Efrata wants to raise awareness about the female hardships and struggles in her part of the world and encourage women to persevere and overcome. Wow!
Which brings me to the mirror of my life to scream, “WHY am I writing? WHO am I writing for?” Like Efrata, I have held the love and desire of writing since early in my childhood. But discovering the passionate purpose behind my gift has been … let’s just say an interesting process. Some tears, sighs, ice cream, prayer – not in that order. I have concluded that I want to teach with my writing. Teach what and teach who, you ask. Great question. I will get back to you after the mirror answers me.