One of the great privileges of coaching authors is that I get to work with people motivated by a deep sense of purpose. But often, when I start working with a new client, they can’t easily articulate why it is they must write a book. Often, they’ll attribute their desire to write a book to having a good story to tell or wanting to enhance their career—both of which are perfectly good motivations.

But I believe that writing a book is about so much more than stories or careers. Books take a long time to write and the process teaches us how we think, what we believe, and the impact we wish to make. Our books show us who we are and what we care about. They connect us, at a primal level, to our true selves.

But writing a book is also technical challenging and emotionally overwhelming. Those who are willing to go the distance are writers who feel they have no choice. That ignoring the book would mean ignoring who they are.

Which brings me back to purpose. I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately about purpose and the idea that each of us has been endowed with gifts, goals and vision that are like no one else’s. To live a fulfilled life, as a writer or otherwise, it’s essential to connect with and express what is uniquely ours, and then use those gifts to help others.

To that end, I recently created a manifesto about purpose. I originally created it to remind myself about the importance of living a purposeful life and the ongoing work involved in doing so. But after it was complete, I realized the manifesto might also be useful for book authors or anyone else who wishes to connect with what the French call, their raison d’etre—their reason for being. If you’d like a jpeg copy of the full manifesto, feel free to email me.