Last year I loved writing. I vividly remember writing my first post last winter. Soon after watching the Giants game, I decided I’d post the article I wrote earlier that day. I was nervous to click submit on LinkedIn. Then seeing the reactions come in, my nerves turned to excitement. I came into work on Monday having barely slept; in not a good use of energy, I spent the majority of the night thinking about this new blog I was going to create. In 2016, writing was fun. Creating my website was fun. In 2017, writing has turned into a chore. As such, it has fallen on my priorities list.
When looking at writing as an act just for me, it is easy to say no to myself. Despite knowing that it’s good for me long-term – internal and external recognition, a way to differentiate myself amongst my peers, the rationalizations for not writing are easy. Examples include:
- I’m doing other things now that are good for my work
- I’ll get back into it soon when it’s fun again
- I’m too busy
- It’s summer (and so on…)
I forget how the conversation went exactly last Thursday morning, but in a usual morning talk with Mike [Movshovich] in his office, the message was clear: Mike wanted me to continue writing. Something that I perceived as a fun hobby for myself, he saw as something positive for us.
I just finished reading Born to Run. There’s a part in the book where a woman is trying to become the first woman to finish a specific 50 mile mountain race. She’s in pain, and about 30 miles into it is about to give up. Her husband is there listening to her say she wants to quit. She remembers him saying “you’re not quitting. I spent too many nights training with you for you to quit halfway.” And then it hit her. The race she thought she was doing for herself was much more. Her husband had sacrificed many nights – had been there giving her both real food (fuel) and inspirational fuel for months during her training. She needed to finish for him. Of even greater importance, she was racing for all women, to prove that women can do things men historically had only done before. There was a bigger purpose. She finished the race.
Writing blog posts is far from an ultramarathon in the mountains. But looking at it as something more than just for me and my career is helpful. I need to work on defining my why for writing and give it greater meaning. And I believe that attaching my why to something other than myself will make my writing more impactful.
Shared goals, with Mike and with others that join our team, will push us further.