This post is the final installment in a series examining the core habits and tools of the writing life. Join the conversation in the comments section or on Twitter.
So far in this series, we’ve covered:
- What you should write: Write what is true
- When you should write: Setting a schedule
- Where you can showcase your writing: Finding your platform
- Who you can invite to be your first readers: Building your audience
Finally, then, we arrive at the last question: Why should you write?
It seems like an obvious question, perhaps, but it bears consideration.
When I was a newspaper reporter, my editor once told me that why is the most important yet most frequently overlooked question in an interview. Why is an invitation to delve beneath surface details and reflect on what motivates and inspires us.
Writing can be a tough, lonely business. It requires dedication and practice. Why, then, should you write? Some suggestions:
- Because you can.
- Because you can’t yet, but you want to.
- Because you enjoy it.
- Because you don’t really enjoy it, but you’d go insane if you didn’t.
- Because it shuts up your inner demons. Or, at least, it quiets them long enough for you to be yourself again.
- Because the words are struggling to get out of you, and you’re tired of holding them back.
- Because you’d regret it if you never tried.
- Because it makes you happy.
- Because someone once told you that you couldn’t, so you’re going to prove them wrong.
- Because it connects you to the world.
- Because the world needs more people writing their own thoughts instead of re-posting someone else’s.
- Because using words keeps your brain nimble.
- Because thoughtful communication is one of the best gifts you can give to a world gone mad.
- Because it helps you make sense of your life.
- Because you have a story to tell. Actually, you have a lifetime of stories to tell, so it’s best to get busy now.
A writer is someone who writes. That’s it. You don’t need any special degrees or certifications, and you don’t need anyone’s permission.
Don’t wait. Start now.
Why do you write? Leave a note in the comments section, or join in the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #WhyIWrite.
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