Why do you want to write? We can all come up with an off-the-cuff response to that question, but our true ‘big why’ behind our need to write, is our answer at a deeper, soul level. It’s about being honest with yourself.

The thing about your big why, is there is no right or wrong answer, as it’s personal to you – but it’s essential that you know it, in order to move your writing aspirations forward.

Why you need to know your big why

As with anything, you need to get clear on why you want to write, in order to accomplish what you want to achieve! Your big why will affect your writing in several ways:

  1. It motivates you when you’re stuck or lost
  2. It becomes your core strategy behind the type of writing you do
  3. It gives you a goal to aim for

Unlike your original off-the-cuff response, a big why is something you can aim for and measure. ‘I want to be a writer because it’s in my blood’ and ‘I want to be a writer to be famous’ are both valid surface-level reasons, but you can’t measure them – there’s no way of knowing if it’s in your blood and how famous is ‘famous’?

What is your writing why?

Your big why is the why behind your reasons for writing. It’s what motivates you to keep going when you hit your writing brick wall. It’s what pushes you to pick up that pen or open your laptop and start letting the words flow. It’s the deeper answer behind the question ‘Why do you want to write/Why do you want to be a writer?’

So do you know your big why? Do you know why you want to be a writer?

Get to your true root why

When looking to establish your big why you can come up with several surface-level reasons, but fail to dig down deep enough to that real core why. Examples include:

  • I want a new career
  • I want to earn money from my writing
  • I want to be well-known
  • I want to see if I can actually write
  • I want to express my ideas and creativity

These are all great surface-level answers, but you need to take it further, by asking yourself why you want these things – and keep drilling down and asking why, until you get to that real root why!

Your real why enables you to do something for yourself and/or others. The chances are, it’s something you’re not already doing. It will have an emotional attachment for you, gives you goosebumps at the thought of it and makes your voice waver slightly when you talk about it.

Take ‘I want to earn money from my writing’. Drilling down further could equate to ‘I want to be able to take my children on regular holidays’ or ‘I want to be able to earn a full-time wage, doing something I truly love.’ Another example: ‘I want to express my ideas and creativity.’ This could be drilled down further to a deeper desire: ‘I want to write books that take readers into the futuristic new worlds I’ve created and leave them wanting more’ or ‘I want to write articles that inspire women and open them up to their unlimited potential.’

Use your big why to steer your writing forward

You can see that, by knowing your big why, you can use it to steer your writing in the right direction. It also gives you something that’s measurable – you can measure the examples above by a) actually taking your children on a holiday, b) seeing how much money your writing is bringing in and comparing it against your full-time wage and c) receiving and reading reviews from your target audience, along with feedback and comments over the books or articles you’ve written.

As children, we understand the world around us by continually asking ‘why?’ Unfortunately, as we get older, we forget the importance of that simple one-word question. So if you want to find your writing motivation and inspiration, become that annoying toddler – and keep asking yourself ‘why?’