[Tipster] Why Do You Write?

tipster post Oct 22, 2021

In this edition of Tipster, we return to the 'why' of writing. 

Why do you write? Or want to write?

Most writers are not full-time writing professionals. They are scientists who write. They are school teachers who write. They are entrepreneurs or coaches or consultants who write.

Some write about their hobby, like I did with my fly fishing book, "The Fly Fisher's Book of Lists: Life is short. Catch more fish."

Others write for their profession to bolster their credibility and extend their influence.

Melissa writes for her side hustle as a vintage dealer.

When There's No Why

So, if you're not writing as your full-time job (and 99.9% of us are not), why write?

It's important that you get crystal clear on that.

Or you will drift away from your book project or stop writing your blog. Or even stop writing altogether.

Most often, when a writer can't finish his or her book, it's because there's no why.

Maybe the original why had to do with a vision of selling a lot of books or growing his or her business. Once the romance of writing is gone, it's tough to push through a hard writing project.

Simple Exercise

Write eight to ten "why" statements. And then whack all of them except one.

Don't feel concerned if the one you selected doesn't make you feel all gooey inside.

But return to your primary why statement every so often. It can become a kind of life raft when you're tempted to give up your writing  project.

A friend and I are wrestling with the why of our fly fishing podcast. We went on hiatus after 5 years of recording, because I was starting a new business and my partner was completing a Ph.D. thesis.

We thought it would be simple to pick up where we left off.

But now we're struggling to come up with a new "why." After we hit 10,000 subscribers and stopped for a year, we lost our why.

I'm not sure we'll ever restart.

Pay attention to your reason for investing in your writing life.

It will help you weather the inevitable storms of the writing life.

Now, buckle up and write!