These are the questions that have derailed me every time I got to the point where I was ready to put my work out there. I’d read my stuff and get the sinking feeling that it was all bullshit. “Who the hell cares? So what?” I’d ask myself.
And then I’d quit.
Knowing this was my MO, I had to create some kind of strategy to de-fang these questions so they wouldn’t poison my progress this time.
Start With Why is my “warm-up read” these mornings.
To read is to prime the pump, to tune my ear to word-music, to align my mind with how ideas look in print-space. After an hour of reading, I am ready for the pen or the keyboard.
Sinek says to start with “Why?” Why are you writing? Why do you do anything? He says people don’t care what you do, or how you do it. People care WHY you do it.
If you can articulate your WHY, you will attract the people who believe what you believe, and these are your people. They’re your readers if you’re a writer; they’re your customers if you’re in business. These are your allies, your tribe, the people you influence, help, support, and care about.
I got to my Space Chair by 9 and worked on this question doggedly with the pen.
What is my Why?
Answer: To help. This, first and foremost.
I have felt the nauseating indecision of not knowing where to direct my energy.
I have waited for someone to call my name, to anoint me, to identify my vocation for me, which was a complete and utter mistake.
I believed I wasted precious time doing crappy jobs. (There is no such thing as wasted time, and even crappy jobs show us the way.)
Then I found a better way, a different strategy. And it worked for me, and I think it might work for other people, too. It’s not complicated. It’s not earth-shatteringly original, but it’s fun, and interesting, and it will result in increased self-knowledge, if nothing else.
During today’s scribble I discovered that it is easier to describe my WHY when it comes to teaching yoga than it is for writing. But I also learned that the writing and the yoga teaching are intimately linked.
It turns out I do everything for the same WHY. My vehicles may change, but my WHY is always the same: to help.