I write almost every day in the am for a couple of hours. My day is incomplete without it, so much so that on days I miss writing (which happens occasionally when I’m traveling), it feels something’s amiss. Spending that daily time doing creative work (writing, thinking, learning) is quite satisfying; I consider this daily time to work on my craft as time well spent. That morning time is sacrosanct for me. It’s part of the reason why I don’t do morning meetings.
I write every day and share something once a week. I write every day because it’s easier to do something every day than to do it once in a while.
I write every day to serve myself and to serve others. The two aren’t mutually exclusive for me. In my mind, there isn’t a false dichotomy between doing something only for yourself or only for others exclusively. It’s not an either or, but both. It’s only when you’re true to yourself can you be true to others. What that means is when you make something that resonates with you, chances are it may resonate with others. In other words, how we show up is how we serve others meaning that the work we do that makes us come alive is how we serve others.
When others get in touch with me telling me how much my work means to them, it makes doing the work all the more worthwhile, but that’s not my main motivation to write. I write because I simply cannot not write. It’s serving a deep inner need of living my Why and being useful to others.
I’m not a writer (coach or speaker). Writing simply happens to be one of the ways I get to live my Why. It’s only one of the ways for me to find the others alongside coaching, speaking, and community building.
That said, I write first and foremost for myself. And when others find it useful, then that’s great too. I don’t start out writing for an audience thinking what will resonate with them. My audience is me. I write because I cannot not share what’s inside of me. It’s because I’m here to make a small change towards the cause of building a happier and sustainable world for others (including myself). When something resonates with me, chances are good it will resonate with my people. I don’t have to think about the latter bit.
It’s the same reason you take on any creative endeavor, be it making movies, music, write books, etc. You already have something to share with others that you cannot not share. The external success you may experience as a result is only a byproduct. It’s not the reason that drives you. What drives you is making art, the purpose of which is to make change happen.
This piece isn’t about writing, but about making something every day (with your hands). For me, writing simply happens to be my choice of medium through which I’m sharing my philosophy (along with coaching and speaking). For you, it could be singing, writing poems, painting, sculpture, creating spreadsheets, making movies, etc. At the end of the day, we are all in the business of telling stories even as we use different media to share it, which is purely incidental (more on this in a future piece).
We are wired (designed) to create and be useful to others. It’s what makes us human. We express ourselves through what we make. We aren’t doing this work to get something. We are doing it because we cannot help ourselves to not do it. Doing the work itself is the point. And it’s only natural to share it with others, because real artists ship. It’s only by doing so can we be of service to ourselves and to others. It seems I’m hardly alone in having this sentiment.