Digging Deep for Your “Why”

Quote on letterboard Remember why you started

If you haven’t done this yet, I’d like to encourage you to spend some time today thinking about your “why” for living the writer’s life.

Specifically, why is living the writer’s life so important to you at this point in your life? What’s your motivation? What’s your inspiration? And, how is your writer’s life going to change not only your life, but the lives of the people you care about most?

Recognizing and acknowledging your “why” will inspire you to get out of bed early to start writing, or to squeeze in that late-night hour of writing after your day job …

It will be your “guiding star” that will keep you going even after a rough day.

It will help you own your personal definition of success.

So … Do you know what your “why” is?

If so, I’d like you to write it down or say it out loud right now.

(If not, meet me back here after you do … 🙂)

So now that you’ve said it out loud …

I want to challenge you to take it one step further, and dig even deeper …

There Is No “Why” Without a “Because”

When I ask writers about their “why,” I get lots of great answers.

I want to make more money …

I want to finally quit my day job …

I want to keep my mind active …

I want to have more time for my kids …

I’ve always dreamed of being a writer and want to finally make it happen …

Those are all great goals, but are really what I’d call first-level or “surface-level” responses.

Let’s go deeper!

I want you to take some time, find somewhere quiet, and really dig into what’s at the heart of your Level 1 “why.”

And one way to do that is to add a “because …” at the end of your “why” statement.

This is my “why” because _______.

I want to make more money because I want to be a happier person WITHOUT the stress and anxiety every month of trying to make ends meet.

I want to finally quit my day job because I want to be the parent who makes it to every soccer game and dance recital so my child always feels loved and supported, and to do that I need to have the flexibility of making my own schedule.

See what I mean?

And you might even want to do this “because” process several times, getting deeper and more specific each round.

Your goal is to figure out what’s really at the root of your “why.”

Is it because you want your children to have security you didn’t have? Is it because you want them to have a memory of you that will last them years and years?

The more specific your “why” is, the more solid it is.

It will become a touchstone for you — your core value — that will keep you positive and motivated throughout your journey as a writer.

And once you’ve got it … once you’ve dug deep into the specific and personal reasons behind your “why” … write it down.

So You Always Know Where to Find Your Guiding Star

Write your “why” in your favorite journal, or on an index card or whiteboard … or take a picture of the “something” in your life that’s a core part of your “why” …

And then put it somewhere visible. Give yourself the gift of having this as your daily reminder of WHY you’re pursuing the writer’s life …

THIS is why I’m going to wake up early tomorrow to work on the next chapter of my writing training.

THIS is why I’m going to set up my writer’s website today.

THIS is why I’m going to finish this writing project and turn it in ahead of the deadline.

And whenever you find yourself doubtful or anxious about some unexpected turn in your writer’s journey, just remember to go back to your “why” and you’ll never lose your way.

Are you ready to nail down your reason “why” to embrace the writer’s life? Share with us in the comments.

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Published: September 10, 2020

41 Responses to “Digging Deep for Your “Why””

  1. I am a member of AWAI. This has been one of the most interesting, informative and eventful months of my life. I had my ah-ha moment about two weeks ago. It was the culmination of everything that has happened my entire adult life. I want my writer's life. I want the freedom that this life can provide me with. For my family, myself and most of all for Noah Wyatt, my grandson.

    I want the time, money and freedom to be able to give him the fun things. And the opportunities.

    I know that copywriting is a doorway to opportunity. I stepped through and I am reaching out with both hands for this excellent opportunity. You can too!

    Guest (Rain Hovis)

  2. I love the Guiding Star idea. That really drives it all home!

    Carol Hillegas

  3. I've found thay Y. R. stands for Yeah Right to Romans 11:32 which says "For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all." and challange other religions, that they can start in such a way. Then Y-Yeah R-ouR Right to see things in different ways and I form the letters with my hand up for Y, then forming the R using your right hand in front you nose and the left hand cupping to it to form the R with your left eye looking out. Y eye write with a W. When too much write it down.

    Guest (Elijah)

  4. Aloha Katie. Here are my "Why? Because, etc." answers. First, I want to stop worrying about money & the uncertainty of our present & future economy. Next because I have many untapped talents that I'd like to mine. Previously, they were often not compensated well. Further, being an AWAI member would enable me to bless my family more abundantly. Because my mother is nearing 90 & has been widowed twice, she deserves a much better hand than she's been dealt in life. Formerly, I was a professional musician. Presently, I continue as an amateur, but living the writer's life, I could turn pro again. I'd regain control over my career & income. Finally, until 2019 I hadn't been overseas in over 30 years. I'd travel more often & widely. Mahalo.

    AlohaScottyP

  5. Thank you Katie for your very inspirational post.I still have to find my Why but now you have shown me how to.Posts like yours are a real inspiration as in life its so easy to become sidetracked.That I will do it tomorrow,later on,I am too busy now etc.You need a solid guiding star you can look up to for inspiration when you are dow

    Copywriter53

  6. I want to live the Writer's Life because I have ALWAYS said I wanted to be a writer, and make a living from it. I have instead always found reasons to shortchange myself and not stay focused on my dream.
    I am tired of that and want to show my children that we can switch gears and do what we believe in. I want to provide for them and show them new places, while being able to "work" from anywhere. I want my family to really live, without the uncertainty of financial insecurity.

    Guest (Steven)

  7. Your question was why do I want to write? Because this book is still almost done with writing and editing ten years, all 86,456 words worth. A large portion of that time was and is spent editing and re-editing. At 67 the hope is it will be finished before the book is closed on me. The grandkids will then have a point of reference when they wonder why they have off-the-wall thoughts. I still find it amusing after countless edits and rewrites.
    In essence, it may just be a gift from above to help me pass my time complacently.
    Jay

    Guest (Jay)

  8. To create something that says one thing but means the world to countless people, that’s what keeps me writing. Becoming the craziest; the most influential reasons people changed or look at the world differently, becoming a hero, being the inspiration someone needed, Saving the life no one else understands, that’s what I strive for. I want to be that emotion someone finally understands, I want to be that quote they still live by, I want to be a voice for the silenced, that’s what I want my legacy to be. It’s not about the greatest lines you will write it’s about writing the greatest story someone read again.

    Guest (Victor Aguilar)

  9. I started writing my thought about 11 years ago. I was going through a divorce at the time. I then downloaded the app called pages and started writing my thoughts in there. There were many “thoughts,” I was also beginning to teach fitness. One day my best friend grabbed my phone away from me while asking, who are you always texting? She looked up at me and asked may I? I said go ahead. They aren’t texts they’re just thoughts I have.
    She read for awhile….then said OMG! These are poems! You need to publish these. I have since published two books of poetry, and now my memoirs. I have no idea how to sell them. I also realized I was an artist.

    Guest (Deborah E Gray)

  10. Writing began as a way to keep myself busy so I wouldn’t cry… all the time. I was terribly hurt. It was a sort of therapy while I tried to navigate my broken life. It is still my go to, to calm my mind. I have a huge book of un-publish poetry I still add to in my pages app. But now I need the money. I would like to turn writing into freedom… if I can.

    Guest (Deborah E Gray)

  11. Writing began as a way to calm my mind, keep me grounded through bad times, now my why is to make money. I need financial freedom. I’m on my own for the first time in my life.

    Guest (Deborah E Gray)

  12. For all of the reasons listed but, I want to become a copywriter because it sounds too good to be true! They say if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is! I want to prove there is something out there that sounds too good to be true, but IS! I want to write! I want to prove to my children there is something out there that is real! (And, this is something they might want to do as well, especially my daughter-in-law!)

    Thanks so much for this opportunity and I would love to give it a try!

    Guest (Brenda Fox)

  13. I've just retired and finally able to spend more time writing for myself instead of constantly proofing and editing student writing. As a teacher, I taught and supported others, and I'd like to continue doing that through part time writing. I've also been a reporter so understand the need for clarity, facts and excellent grammar. As the digital market continues to expand, I'm fascinated by the abundance of writing opportunities and would welcome the additional income to supplement my retirement.

    Amobee

  14. I want to use the writing talent God has given me to help myself, my family, and others.

    Guest (Laura S)

  15. I have embarked on my journey to become a well-paid writer because I will no longer need to struggle in debt, I will be building my own business and not someone else’s, my sweetheart and I will have the flexibility to travel and enjoy our lives together, also, we will be able to enjoy security for ourselves we thought was out of our reach. We will be able to trade our rusted out truck for something more reliable one day. No more being stranded miles away from civilization.

    Guest (Laura Brenay)

  16. I am doing this for me. I've always loved to write I still do. So it comes down to I'm doing this for me for the money so I can be free to go wherever life takes me.

    Guest (Gina )

  17. I would like to write so I can feel more fulfilled living my dream as a full time writer. I want the financial freedom it affords so I can get my teeth fixed, get my daughter a nice laptop, travel to see my mom in Africa frequently and so much more!

    Guest (Valerie Okonweze)

  18. Thank you Katie for shaking me up! Yes, I want freedom and security for my family and myself. I have been self-employed for some time and enjoyed the work but not being able to see the freedom that I have yearned for.I see real potential with AWAI to be that life that I have always dreamed of: fully independent of control and paying off all the debt. But I have to be realistic.I want to realize this dream with baby steps and master the skills to be one of the best copywriters. If I can give my best,I don't need to worry about the outcome.The outcome is not in my hand but it will be there based on my level of effort.And I have already felt a sense of confidence that this will work out for me.Thank you so much once again.

    Upendra Dahal

  19. I want to retire from my career and write BECAUSE not only have I always wanted to write professionally (although the dream was buried for a while) but also because I want freedom from debt and from letting others control my schedule, my salary, and my opportunities. Lastly, I want time with my grandkids!

    Guest (Denise Tounzen)

  20. This is my 3rd entry as to my "why", I have all the hopes and dreams as most of the posts here. I have needs that the Method course has provided. Discipline has been sorely lacking, I have that now. Fun has been hard to come by these days. Fun, happiness, love and learning have been my all-time goals. I'm getting my fix. The rest that follows is icing on the cake as they say. This course has given me loads of fun and happiness because I'm learning. I can hardly wait for the icing.

    Leasa

  21. Writing is my therapy; it keeps me sane. I am now at an age where I want to add more legacy to my name. I have written my book, now I want to tell my story.

    Joining the military during the Vietnam War was insane but I enlisted and had some say. I joined the long blue line (U.S. Air Force), and that was fine. By the time I joined the big green machine (U.S. Army) I had a world view.

    AWAI allows me an opportunity to build something that I can past down. I am #9 out of 14.

    The Wise Warrior

  22. I am 62 years old. I have been a dependent my entire life. So, at this phase in my life, I feel the need to become independent and live my life on my own terms. I want to be the one to make the decisions in my life. I want to give my family the lifestyle they deserve. I want to be a copywriter because I honestly believe I will finally feel responsible as a mother and wife and as an independent woman which I know will give me peace of mind, and a lifestyle filled with Love, joy and happiness.

    Khaftet

  23. A very important reason to become a writer is to earn a substantial income doing what I am passionate about. Also, I would love to eliminate my long commutes, dress up, and get up early. I will save time and money working at home. I will enjoy a flexible schedule. My work-life balance will improve dramatically. I will enjoy a more comfortable lifestyle, less stress, and more opportunities for professional growth. I will be able to stay close to my family and enjoy quality time together.

    Guest (Tere Flores)

  24. I want to succeed in this program and make some serious money because I'm tired of being broke all the time. I know I can do it because writing is something I'm good at. I'm even published! I wrote a column for a local newspaper's motorcycle magazine for 11 months until it folded for lack of advertising. But let me tell you, that first check I received sent me over the moon! It was only $40 per monthly column, but I didn't care. I got a big kick out of hearing that people liked what I had to say. At the time, my son had a business, and sometimes a customer would come in and say they liked what I wrote, and my son would say "that's my mom". Knowing my son was proud of me was worth a whole lot more than $40.

    Guest (Carol)

  25. I long to have a deeper connection with people on all levels. That is my "why." The BECAUSE is the juice, the heart of the matter. The AWAI life will allow me to become fluid to accomplish what I am good at and then move on to live the Writer's life I have always dreamed of. The because for me is about FREEDOM and autonomy. The denial of freedom of my most authentic nature for some 42 years is a sin. I hear God call from a voice deep inside for reclamation. It will be on paper, and I'm ready.

    Lovingly-erin

  26. I want to contribute to our household income because I want to be able to pay for home renovations, a new Hyundai Palisade, and vacations with cash instead of credit cards and loans. I want to have money for fun memories with our daughters because it’s more fun when you aren’t worried about how much everything costs. Expanding my writing skills is important to me because I am an author and you become a better author with practice.

    Bonus - I want to teach my girls that they can achieve anything they choose because I want to empower them to chase their dreams and become confident young ladies.

    Heather Renae

  27. Hi Katie, thank you for teaching me how to go deeper.
    I have always been shy in school and no one even bothered to talk to me. As I watched all the popular kids run the school, I longed to just be spoken to as a peer, but no one did.
    So today, aside from doing this for me and my kids, my other WHY is because I would like to make a name for myself and for all those who rejected me to see that I have made a GREAT life for myself by The Grace of God and by His Mercy.
    I was rejected then, celebrated now!

    SharieW

  28. This will give me the lifestyle I would have chosen when I started my work life if I could have afforded it. The first half of my work life, I worked for other people. The next half of my I started my own company. The income was better but being a small company that included myself and at times one or two employees, the income was still limited. I have no regrets for any of it. I'm retired but still need a income. This is what I'm looking forward to do now. It can give me & my family the life style I would love to have had at an earlier stage of my life instead of in retirement. But I'm thankful I have this opportunity now and look forward to it.

    J Meyers

  29. Thanks for this. My WHY is for family, freedom and flexibility because I'd like to offer my young kids the life I've never had. Travel, comfort and time to develop wholesome lives outside of struggle. For more meaningful moments and intimacy with my wife as well. Thanks!

    DrNo

  30. Thank you for this article. After reading it, I wrote a whole page and a half of why and because. But I guess my main one to share is I want a writer's life for the freedom because I want to be able to spend more time with my family and travel. I want to set my schedule around them not a corporation who does not really appreciate it.

    Polly Dee

  31. I’m fond of writing essays, poems, short stories and speeches in school. But the drift of seeing what’s happening to our world led me to writing. There are broken marriages, neglected children, people growing without compassion. Then the consequence… mankind suffers because we forgot to live. I want to write to inspire others, tell them of God’s friendship, and show them how much love He has for us. I’d like to write so I can share how to see goodness in a person no matter how broken he is. I want to tell you what love can do, so this world can become a better place. That is my core, my because, and still, it is. Until I came to AWAI, it broadens my desire to write. Now I am yearning to support my biggest reason WHY I’d like to write.

    Remi

  32. In my assignment I left it all superficial, I see. Digging deeper now… I want to be a writer because I want to break free of my family beliefs that one is only valuable if he works really really hard. I also want to grow as a person and I think writing will give me much wider perspective of ”how the world works”.

    Guest (AnnaBB)

  33. After reading this post, I began to dig deeper. My because is because i still need to supplement my retirement income with some good money. But my main because is my wife deserves to finally have a life where she can relax more and not work so hard. This woman has never complained throughout our many years of marriage, and has always encouraged me no matter what. She deserves to have the opportunity to relax, travel, and not worry about money. I am determined to make this work.

    Guest (James C)

  34. I believe if we can answer the Why for most of life’s situations we can truly be well paid for knowing how to answer the, Why. How to get to the emotional bottom of what may alienate others and they will look to us as writers to solve the question of, Why?

    The path we take in life is the pen that we use to write out our journey throughout this life. Your thoughts my thoughts as we write for the heart will always be around to help others, and that is my Why.

    JackieRobertsonJr

  35. Digging deeper, I want to really master the copywriting craft, as I know that besides enabling me to be better off financially,it will also help me in any situation where the art of persuasion is needed, not only in the written form, but also when speaking privately or publicly.
    The glicken to learning copywriting is to be able to help friends who have lost their jobs realize there is hope, using the knowledge they already have to make a living and showing them how AWAI makes it so easy!

    Clara Mae

  36. I found here an exciting career, full of obsctacles and rewarding. It gives me the opportunity to live life in my own terms. I love to research and to write and I am curious by Nature. I find here the possibility to live the life of my dreams.

    Guest (Samuel Rodrigues)

  37. My why is to become a copywriter to live my life according to my own terms, schedule and flexibility.

    Financial freedom and earning higher income come at the top of my purpose in life. Because employment eats at my very passions and fulfillment

    Extending helping hand and keep supporting those in need is the great source of satisfaction and more power to me.

    Chasing my why with a laser focus, consistency and putting in continued efforts Should become the touchstones of my way in life.

    Guest (Mohtajullah)

  38. My REAL WHY I REALLY WANT TO BE A COPYWRITER!! I am so tired of financial struggles, making a boss rich & I make scraps from the barrel. I am so sick of that life. I want to wake up everyday doing a job I love so much.

    I want a better purpose on a career in life knowing that I am truly helping to keep the economy alive and well.

    I want a life where I am making so much money even in my sleep where I can decide to work or not, go on trips, buy the things I want make my fiancee happy & Im happy!!

    Guest (Philip J Quirino)

  39. I want to make a living as a writer because of the flexibility and scalable income it provides. I want to start a family and homeschool my kids.

    I want to build a good income to free up time to build my Amway business, which is the ultimate scalable and buildable business.

    I want ongoing income to produce time freedom and a legacy income I can pass onto my children and their children. All these things will be done to the glory of God.

    Guest (Kirk)

  40. A company lay-off led me to realize the sum of my life’s purpose had been to make shareholders wealthy. I lost my identity and livelihood, so I turned my attention to my ailing parents. As a writer, I intend to regrow my wealth and return to the lifestyle I grew accustomed to.

    Divine intervention opened my eyes to a new purpose. I am here to influence positive changes in the lives of animals by content writing and marketing cruelty-free, environmentally friendly product offerings.

    Gjenge

  41. Copywriting is perfect for me. I always wanted a business that allows me to work on my terms, giving me the stability I need to be successful & financially secured. Be worry-free when making simple daily decisions like buying food, clothes, gas, and paying bills. Have large savings & invest. Leave a substantial amount of money for my daughter & her family so they are secure for their future. I want to remain healthy & strong while having fun growing old. I'm looking forward to an amazing life!

    Kai


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