Why Do This?

Why am I doing this?

Why am I doing this? Why does it matter?

Us creative types ask ourselves this question a lot. Sometimes we ask it when looking for donors. Sometimes we ask when looking for grant money. Sometimes we ask when we looking for a reason to keep going.

As a writer, I come back to this every single time I write something new, be it a play, fanfic, blog post, whatever. Why am I doing this? Who cares? What does any of this mean?

I’ve come up with a lot of answers to this question, but the one that helped most came from watching Simon Sinek’s TedxTalk about how great leaders inspire action. It wasn’t hard to find the Start With Why website and do this exercise for writing a vision statement that works.

When you get the chance, you should try it too. Although the name and purpose of this blog is to get you to Write the Damn Thing, the first thing you really need to do, before you even start your next writing project, is figure out why you’re doing it.

I’ll be honest. This exercise is not easy. It’s not something you can do in five minutes. You have to dig deep and ask yourself why what you do matters so much to you and how you can hold yourself accountable to that purpose.

Why am I doing this?

To quote myself, I do this because…

I envision a world where everyone brings their full selves to explore new worlds, go on adventures, fall in love, and get scared shitless.

I will do this by…

  • Challenging stereotypes,
  • Going beyond the Single Story, and
  • Telling old tales in new ways.

To realize this vision, I will do the following…

  • Write stories about people usually absent from mainstream fantasy, romance, and horror.
  • Analyze and critique the content of books, films, TV shows, plays, and other narrative media.
  • Participate in discussions about media representation.
  • Guide other artists seeking to create works free of prejudice and exclusion.

Now, it’s your turn.