Finding your “why” reason.
When I write, especially when I write first drafts, I’m used to spitting out whatever comes to mind, and I don’t often plan exactly what I’m going to say.
I have the concept, an abstract idea of what might make it to the page, though it’s nothing concrete.
But I always have my intentions set.
And I don’t just mean intentions for the specific piece I’m writing. I mean for my day, for my work as a whole, and then for what I’m currently working on.
Let’s get down to the base of this whole thing.
Intentions: What Are They?
I’ve had intentions described best to me as the “why” reason for my work. These “why” reasons can be small, or they can be applied to a bigger goal.
Why am I writing this article? Why am I going to the gym three times a week? Why am I going to wake up early in the morning?
You can always do something just to be doing something, but everything seems so much clearer and you feel more productive if you have a why. While I definitely apply this to most things in life, I tend to do it the most with my writing.
I’ve spoken before about writing with purpose, but it was more directed at the content itself. While writing a meaningful piece is important (I would hope we all think so), it’s also important to write anything and everything with purpose in mind.
A question I find myself asking is: “Why am I writing this?” And this is usually followed up by, “What is it making me feel?”
Let’s tackle both of those.
“Why am I writing this?”
For starters, this depends on what you’re writing. Is it a personal piece that only you have access to? If so, I would hope you’re writing it for your own enjoyment, or even just to work on your craft.
Is it for a job? Well, then your answer to this question is most likely “money.”
And every answer is valid. But that always leads into:
“What is it making me feel?”
Let’s go back to the personal piece example. If you’re writing something, a personal narrative, a short story, flash fiction, what have you, then you probably want to feel good about it.
But what happens if you’re writing for you, and you aren’t getting any pleasure from it? You don’t feel confident about it, you don’t feel satisfied, and you don’t feel like it’s good enough?
Well, how can our intentions help us through this?
It’s time to look at your “why” reason. Are you practicing writing as a whole? Great! Then it might be okay if you aren’t getting 100% enjoyment out of it. But are you writing something that you hope will turn into your next novel? If so, you might want to actually enjoy that, even if it is work. How can you take that intention of writing something so time-consuming and turn it into something you’ll always think of as positive?
A simpler way to put this is by asking yourself what you’re writing for. Success? To feel good about yourself? To really hone your skills? Whatever the reason may be, don’t forget to acknowledge it. Acknowledging your intentions for your work is half the battle, all because it takes time to be able to understand what you’re doing.
Setting your intentions allows you to be present while doing your work, and having knowledge of it gives you the motivation you need to keep moving forward, especially if you’re constantly thinking of why you’re doing this.
If You Want to Get Through NaNoWriMo, All You Need Is Speed
Don’t edit, don’t stop, and don’t slow down