On Purpose

Jessie: Reveling in the magic of NH as the growing season unfolds

Lately I’ve been hard at work on the third manuscript in my Sugar Grove Mysteries seriesFree-Dragon-Clip-Art-GraphicsFairy. And I’ve been doing quite a number of author events. This all needs fitting in around the rest of life, which here always includes appointments, trips to the grocer and frantic last minute birthday party gift purchases. Schedules have needed a great deal of juggling; there has been a rash of dragons that required slaying. Under most circumstances I am not a cheerful juggler or a blood-thirsty sword wielder. Mostly so much busyness leaves me feeling quite crotchety.

But I haven’t been surly in the least. In fact, every day as I settle into my desk chair and dig into the tweaks and wiggles necessary to guide a manuscript from where it is to where it needs to be I feel a sense of eagerness that is quite unlike anything else I’ve experienced in my life. Even on bad writing days, after a few minutes of picking away and evaluating word choices or rearranging text for better flow, I find myself keenly focussed and deeply content.

When I prepare for author events I am surprised to notice how much I am looking forward to them. No matter where they are, or how many or how few people I connect with, I end up having a great time.  I was a cripplingly shy child and I am astonished at how almost none of the author events I have done have given me even the slightest case of nerves.

All of this leads me to believing I am lucky enough to be “on purpose”. I think that when you are living your purpose and aligning with your dreams you do find time, space, complaints and insecurities all fall away. Purpose replaces burdens with passion, openness, joy and quiet confidence.

I am so grateful to have had so many people supporting me in following my heart to what it was I really wanted and for clapping and cheering as I took tottering baby steps in the direction of my dreams.

Readers, do you have a passion that puts a spring in your step even if it isn’t the one that puts bread on the table? I’d loved to hear about your purpose.

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About Jessie Crockett

Jessie Crockett wears a lot of hats, both literally and literarily. As Jessie Crockett she is the Daphne Award winning author of Live Free or Die and the nationally bestselling Sugar Grove series. As Jessica Ellicott she has received starred reivews from Publishers Weekly and Library Journal for her historical mystery Murder in an English Village. As Jessica Estevao she writes the Agatha Award nominated Change of Fortune Mysteries. She loves the beach, fountain pens, Mini Coopers and throwing parties. She lives in northern New England where she obsessively knits wool socks and enthusiastically speaks Portuguese with a shocking disregard for the rules of grammar. As Jessie Crockett she’s the author of the nationally bestselling Sugar Grove Mysteries and the Daphne du Maurier Award winner, Live Free or Die.

12 thoughts on “On Purpose

  1. I must have found my purpose, too, Jessie. I know just what you mean. I’m excited to get to work, I like talking about my work with strangers, and while my passion isn’t putting much bread on the table yet, I have faith that it will at some point. Excellent essay. And so glad you’ve found yours!

  2. Jessie, I have a new passion for reading and writing fiction, but prior to acquiring a disability that prevented me from working for almost 10 years—that sounds like such a long time now—so long floundering… I’m not sure I can finish this. I think it was more of a passion than I had ever realized, and that is why I am so emotional, now. You never know when things that will strike your soul will hit, and I never expected it this morning on your blog. I am grateful despite the profound sadness I am feeling, because it has made me realize the depth of feeling and purpose that I had but could not at that time allow myself the indulgence, as it might destroy the motivation I had.

    My purpose and passion was making counseling and psychotherapy available to anyone who wanted to talk over any personal issues or life problems. I started in college and learned very quickly that this would not be an easy thing to do, because there were systemic roadblocks that I would have to break through to find a way to make this possible. I could acquire all the credentials and still be stuck and unable to do what I intended. Each place I found had its own requirements, and no one and no agency that I approached trusted professional volunteers. Some even did not want them, because… this is hard… because it was unprofessional. You can make what you want out of that statement.

    I finally found a way while pursuing a degree in theology and ministerial studies. My fieldwork at a church in Boston made a start possible by supporting me in a work study project through my school. When my work-study funds ran out I stayed on without pay and went on to my job that turned out to be my profession until I had to take disability leave. That job supported my passion at the agency I’d worked at as outreach for the church. My new job came about through my studies and various counseling projects at my school. That job, which involved counseling and advising medical students in community living in the areas of cooperation and leadership, gave me the opportunity to be available to everyone who stopped by to talk.

    Medical students and doctors, Like many professionals, tend not to allow themselves to seek counseling. By my being there, in the position I was in, I had the luxury of not keeping therapy records, because I was not doing therapy. That one simple factor brought people from many areas of the school and hospitals to talk. They did not have to pay me, And I did not have to tell anyone they were there. So they came. That job and its benefits also supported me in my work that I started as a graduate student. It was very hard to leave when I could no longer work. My new purpose and passion involves everything I gave as a counselor in a different way. I’m happy with that now, but it took me a long time to know how it would work—that it could work. Thank you for this opportunity to realize this today.

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