I’m on day two of a writing workshop, technically a blogging workshop. Day one was about my goal for 2015. Today the question is this: Why do you write?
I write to collect and publish my thoughts
Well, first I write because it helps me collect my thoughts. I’m a writer, it just doesn’t always go public. I process life when I write it down, analyze it a bit, and try to make adjustments to my game plan moving forward. And adding to waht I talked about yesterday, it also helps me feel like I’m moving things forward; I’m contributing to society, not just consuming everybody else’s stuff. Writing helps me learn, grow, and (hopefully) help people. And that second part, helping people, is really the second part of why I write.
I write because people are dying
This will sound harsh: I write because I don’t want people to die. Strong words. Let me explain. I was having dinner with my friend Jon Swanson last winter when he and his wife were driving through Madison. We started talking about me growing my health and fitness business and he asked the “why” question. “Why are you starting this business?” My answer didn’t satisfy him. He offered this: “You don’t want people to die.” He’s right.
People are dying for many reasons, but heart disease is the leading cause in the United States. As an exercise specialist, this is a huge opportunity to help. I won’t save anyone by writing a blog post and getting a few hundred people to read it. But if I can cast the vision for a healthy lifestyle and provide tips, support, and challenges for people to pursue that lifestyle, now I can start saving lives. Keeping people from dying is a negative spin on why I write. There’s a positive, too.
I write because health is something everyone wants
There is a story around health and fitness. If it were a pill, everyone would take it. But there isn’t a pill. It takes work. And this work is made easier (a) with some science to tell us what to do, and (b) a team to join us in the game. People can relate to fitness. Either they had a good or a bad experience. Either way, they want it and I can walk them down the road. I write because I want to bring people to an undertanding of the importance of their health and then I want to empower them to take ownership it.
I’m glad I wrote this out. I think about it all the time but I’ve never put it into words. Thanks for the challenge, John. And thank you, kind readers, for another few minutes of your day.