By Jennifer Blanchard
We often ask ourselves “what,” as in “What am I going to write about today?” or “What can I do to avoid writing?”
We often ask ourselves “how,” as in “How am I going to get everything done on my to-do list?” or “How can I become a fiction writer?”
We often ask ourselves “when,” as in “When will I stop procrastinating?” or “When is my writing dream finally going to come true?”
But rarely do we ask ourselves the most important question of all: “why,” as in “Why am I watching TV instead of writing?” or “Why don’t I make time for writing in my life?”
As Bloor points out, asking “why” will give your life instant purpose and direction.
“Why,” you ask?
Because asking yourself “why” forces you to analyze the decisions you’re making. It forces you to confront the reasons behind your choices.
Bloor tried asking herself “why” before everything she did for one day. And her results were pretty interesting:
“Why was I working on one project at work over another?
Because that one was the highest priority. I efficiently finished my work day.
Why was I making dinner?
Because I wanted to put healthy, nutritious food in my body, and making food tends to be better for you than buying pre-made foods. Lo and behold, I ate a healthy dinner.
Why was I watching TV?
Because I was distracting myself. I realized I’d rather be working on improving Tenacious Me. So, I turned off the television and turned on the computer. I was inspired to work on my labor of love.”
When you begin to ask yourself “why,” you start to tap into the part of your psyche that controls your actions, choices and behaviors.
And once you have an answer for “why” you’re doing something, you’ll finally be able to weed out the actions, choices and behaviors that go against the goals you have for your life and your writing.
Pretty powerful stuff.
If you dare, give this exercise a try: For at least one day, ask yourself “why” before you make any choices or take any actions. See what comes up for you.
Journal about your experiences.
And be sure to come back and let us know how it went for you!
About the Author: Jennifer Blanchard is founder of Procrastinating Writers. Be sure to follow her on Twitter.