I’ve been struggling a little with motivation this past week. Thanks to storms moving in and out of our area, I’ve been fighting migraine attacks and my own pain storm. Using that downtime to take advantage of YouTube, podcasts, and other written social media, I’ve watched, listened to, and read many motivational leaders. Among my current top hits are Michael Hyatt, Eric Thomas (my brother turned me on to ET in the very early morning hours–this guy will Wake. You. UP!) Tai Lopez (he reads a book a day–that alone makes him a hero in my world), Carrie Green (British Female Entrepreneur), Gary Vaynerchuk (amazing story and work ethic, but profanity-alert), Tim Ferriss (I wrote about his book the #4HWW), and Mel Robbins (you might know her from CNN, she’s a lawyer turned motivational speaker).
Bryan Hutchinson at PositiveWriter.com issued a challenge to create a list, in whatever medium writers use, of forty reasons why we write. Since seeing the challenge last week, I have avoided reading lists compiled by other writers so that I would be sure to think of my own motivations. This is also serendipitous timing as I watched the TED talk by Simon Sinek, “Start With Why,” this weekend. I’ve given it a lot of thought, and will be posting this list above my computer for those moments I need reminding to BIC-HOP (Bottom In Chair, Heart On Paper–from diyMFA: 015 with Gabriela Pereira and Jane Yolen).

Writing 5 yrs, 5 journals, ~480k words

I write …

  1. …a weekly blog to learn about social media, and to build my “author-preneurial” platform.
  2. …as a creative offering to the Creator who gave me this talent.
  3. …as a natural outflow of my love for words and books.
  4. …as a teaching tool.
  5. …as an advocate for people who can’t advocate for themselves.
  6. …as an excuse to learn and experience more of life (it’s amazing where people will invite me when they discover I’m a writer!).
  7. …because I love sharing what I learn.
  8. …because it makes me happy.
  9. …because it’s the most efficient way I know to share my ideas.
  10. …because it’s the only way I know to let others experience life in my skin.
  11. …because it’s the ultimate form of abstract art, and in over forty years of writing I am still fascinated, and still have so much to learn.
  12. …because my long-suffering family really doesn’t want or need to hear all the words and thoughts I need to express.
  13. …because when I see strangers, I can’t help but wonder what their lives are like, and then it turns into a story.
  14. …because writing is never boring and it’s always challenging.
  15. …because writing is one of the very few things I do that never feels like a waste of time.
  16. …Facebook posts to keep up with family and friends, and to share my life with them.
  17. …fiction in order to understand other people and why they do what they do.
  18. …fiction to force myself to be brave and vulnerable.
  19. …flash fiction to practice story-telling in a fast and concise format.
  20. …in order to leave a record for those who come after that I was here.

    While house/pet-sitting

  21. …in order to share my experiences.
  22. …journals and scrapbooks because I get so much joy from the notes my grandmothers left behind, and desperately wish they had written more so I could know more about their experiences, thoughts, and feelings at whatever age, rather than just my perceptions of what life might have been, or my childhood remembrances of them as my grandmas.
  23. …mysteries to create and solve puzzles.
  24. …non-fiction because it’s safe.
  25. …stories as a vehicle to teach compassion and empathy for those who are different.
  26. …to challenge people to think about new things, as well as to think about old things in a new way.
  27. …to clear my head.
  28. …to communicate with people all over the world through e-mail, blogging, and social media.
  29. …to condense all I’ve learned, and then to create new theories and stories.
  30. …to describe and understand my world.
  31. …to describe what I imagine.
  32. …to encourage others who are following me on this journey, be it online support groups, other writers, students, moms, Christians, etc.
  33. …to entertain myself and (hopefully) others.
  34. …to give voice to the characters I dream up.
  35. …to organize my thoughts and provoke new ideas.
  36. …to record my family’s lives and events.
  37. …to take attention off my own pain and discomfort.
  38. …tweets to force myself to use words accurately and concisely.
  39. Unleashing the Next Chapter to experiment with genre and purpose.
  40. Unleashing the Next Chapter to get immediate feedback from my readers in the form of views, shares, subscriptions, or comments.

    Writing by the pool

There it is. If you are a writer, I extend the challenge to you. Why do you write? If you do accept the challenge, please be sure to comment below with a link to where I can find your list. I have a feeling our lists are about as different as each writer is.