Why do I write, you continue to ask?
“But this is a ‘good’ job. Why would you risk it all to be a writer?” To me, her pronunciation of the word “writer” sounded italic. It just reinforced that I am a writer. I rolled my eyes and walked off. I was risking nothing. First, the dead-end job I was working sucked. I was earning the same amount of money I was earning years ago. Second, taking a chance on earning a living doing something I love doing for free just seemed like the right thing to do.
For those who are still baffled, I have outlined why I get up early and stay up late at my computer writing.
Here Are 10 Reasons Why I Write:
- I can. Some people can write and some people can’t write…or should I say, don’t write. Writing isn’t something I can turn “on” and “off.” It is “on” all the time for me. It is a skill that gets progressively better with practice. I used to struggle to write the sentence in just the level of context I wanted. Now, in just a few minutes, I can reframe each sentence to convey exactly the meaning I want to convey. It only took years of practice.
- All roads lead back to writing for me. I started my business career in sales, which led to telephone sales. Then I changed companies. The previous company provided scripts for me to use. I never wrote and practiced my scripts, so I never succeeded much at anything. My next career move led me into the brokerage business in 2003 in South Florida. My job was to call as many people as I could to get them to invest their money with us. With the first firm I worked in, the managers gave me a script. With the second firm, I was told to write my scripts, and they had to be compliant with securities laws. I could not turn this challenge down. To end this little story, I wrote great scripts, but I discovered that I was working with shady people and ended that career. But I was just beginning my writing career.
- I believe that I can help people improve their lives. I have lived a weird life. I have done a lot of things that most people will never get to do. Some of the things I’ve done, I hope others never have to experience, such as becoming homeless and recovering from homelessness. Therefore, my contribution to society is my writing. In my blogs, I write about lessons I have learned from my experiences. In my business, I write to help other business owners improve how they do business. Personally or professionally, I write because I believe I can help people improve their lives.
- A kind of intellectual catharsis. Sometimes, I need to just vent and rant. I hope no one publishes my secret rants. These writings are similar to the letters that President Lincoln wrote, but sealed away until his death. There are some thoughts about others that I should keep to myself, such as dealing with a difficult relationship. Writing about these situations is a great way to relieve stress and work through difficult situations.
- Everybody Writes. I didn’t make this up. Ann Handley even wrote an entire book on the topic. I found that if I didn’t write, I suffered professionally. I have had sales managers who would tell me I didn’t need to write, and then play a role in firing me because I didn’t write. I now realize that I must write to advance my career and my life.
- I didn’t start experiencing business success until I started writing my sales scripts. When I started businesses that required selling, I had to communicate to my prospects. I thought I should know what that “something” was to my prospects before I said it. When I start writing and practicing my scripts, I communicated better and got better results.
- When I write, I pay more attention to communication in general. I understand better how the other person is communicating to me, even the subtle nuances and manipulative tones. When people on the TV news replace the word “opinion” with “fact,” I realize that people on TV are manipulating me. Without numbers and a source of the information, a “fact” is an “opinion.” I can see through the sheep’s clothing the wolf is wearing, and I can formulate my decisions and judgments better.
- I refuse to end a sentence with a preposition. I may let one slip out of my mouth occasionally, but not a written sentence. The “for which’s” and “for whom’s” start to come naturally if you spend enough time correcting them in your writing.
- I place value on who Strunk and White are. How cool is it that you immortalize the teacher that made you a great writer by updating his grammar manual? After all, grammar matters. Without grammar, communication becomes tedious and burdened. For example, “I ain’t seen him in a minute” and, “I saw him last week” are two completely different statements. Grammar matters. Improving my writing and grammar improves my results.
- My fourth-grade teacher said that I would be a great writer. How could I let down my fourth-grade teacher? Truthfully, I am no longer in touch with her, and I don’t know if she is still alive. But that little dose of encouragement to do something from which I get a great deal of satisfaction, can never be replaced. I will never forget the subtle and not-so-subtle encouragement from my teachers.
So there you have it. These ten reasons should clarify any mystery that one may have about why I write. The rewards far outweigh the risks of not writing. I may not go down in history as the next Hemingway or Faulkner, but I will do what I love to do.