I began my talk with a survey1:
“How many people in this room wish that they blogged more?”
Most hands went up. I continued.
“Okay, great. Would anyone be willing to share why they want to blog more?”
“Well... that might be a good place to start.”
I write for several reasons. Of late, the most motivating “why” is trying to build confidence in my ability to stick with things. I’ve abandoned a lot of projects because I’m afraid of sucking or afraid of failing or afraid of being wrong. Blah. Merlin talks about being “afraid of more interesting things”. So in some respects I’m writing to write, to prove to myself that I can, and to build the confidence to do even more things that I am, on some subconscious level, afraid of.
I also write to better understand what I think, to organize my disorganized thoughts. Woolly minded writing is wooly minded thinking.
Perhaps most importantly, I write to make room for better writing. I’m tired of my desktop and my Dropbox overflowing with half-baked idea cakes. My inbox? Zero. Mastered. It’s empty at the end of most days. What I need is outbox zero. Publishing is a moment in time. A thing goes from being private to public, from not done to done. The psychic weight, as David Allen might say, of all the things I haven’t yet written have been keeping me from writing. How stupid is that?
So what about you? Why do you want to write? Or dance? Or paint? Or learn to cook or lose that weight or get that degree? If thinking about the why makes you uncomfortable, keep thinking until it doesn’t. Writing about it might help.
This is a popular technique for a reason. In addition to making sure your audience is alive, it’s a nice way to ease yourself into an impromptu speaking session. ↩