why do you write?

I belong to a messaging group on LinkedIn. It’s not an “official” group, it’s just a couple dozen people who started asking for help with their writing, articles, content, etc. about two years ago. I believe it started when one off the group members asked “hey, can you go read my article, and if you like it, share it?” — and for some reason, these people have stuck together much longer than I expected.

There have been some interesting discussions among the group, and we have seen some of these people completely change their lives, based upon writing articles.

But I always come back to the simple question: why do you write?

The answer to that is not necessarily simple for many of us. Sometimes we write because we love writing, other times, it’s one of the skills we use in our profession, in other cases, the writing is because that’s how we make a living. Regardless of the reason — it’s very important to understand the “WHY” — because if that why is big enough, all the hows and whats are much easier to deal with, as they come rushing at you.

So, why do you write? Why are you here on Medium (or LinkedIn, your own blog, etc)? Are you selling something? Are you looking to express your ideas? Are you trying to change the world, one word at a time? Is it just a way to get all those thoughts our of your head, so you can actually think about something else? Are you and ego-maniac, looking for likes and shares, or your own 15 seconds of (internet) fame?

I spend time reading lots of articles on Medium (used to spend lots of time reading them on LinkedIn, but no that much anymore), and it always strikes me, when I finish and think to myself “I have no idea why they wrote that” or even more striking is when you read a few articles, and can see a pattern building — maybe not the full picture it, but enough to understand the why.

So why do I write? For various reason, this particular article was just a thought in my head, and I’m just getting it out. Mostly I write, because that’s what I do for a living (at least part of what I do). Another reason I write, is to keep the writing “muscle” toned up. Just like anything else, if you are not doing it on a regular basis, then your edge begins to slip, and it suffers.

One of the reasons I really like Medium, is because even if I don’t write an article, I can write a comment, right there within the context of the article, and right as I’m having the thought in my head. Guess what, you can do it too — in fact, I would encourage you to be more active in commenting. You can start with this article — tell me why you write, I’d like to know.

Cheers! Arnie.

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