inspiring focus, simplicity, and purpose

The Life Behind the Work


While preparing to start writing a blog post to be titled “5 Ways to Jumpstart Your Writing Habits,” I came across Jeff Goin’s “A Life Worth Writing About.”

Since this is a blog for writers, I was supposed to impart clichés on improving writing habits like getting up early in the morning, always carrying a notepad, etcetera... things that all serious writers may already know about.

But Jeff’s words hit me hard and made this post flow out to be shared instead.

Jeff mentioned that most writers fail because they lose themselves in the busyness of life, even pitting their families against their work.

They focus on discipline, hard work, and perseverance... an aspiring writer should write a thousand words a day, every day... I believe all good things, and all necessary to succeed as a writer.

But it’s still incomplete without the why.

One may finish several books and get the world’s recognition, but without the why, it means nothing.

We can find our whys by putting ourselves in the middle of life itself... nurturing our loved ones, enjoying the moment, making risks and trying something new, failing and then learning and then trying something new again... remembering what it means to be alive.

And it’s our job as writers to share our experience of life to the world.

I agree to that. I receive that with both hands.

As Jeff coined it, “the life behind the work.”

I may write and write about self-help advice on How To’s and What To Do’s but without me living my life, being in the moment, failing, learning, and trying, I’m only writing blind.

Again as Jeff said “Yes, we need you to live. But we also need you to write, to tell your story.”

And so, I’m writing this.

And that’s why later this afternoon, I’m going out with a bunch of daddies from my daughter’s school to play basketball.

We will all be with our wives and children. We will enjoy the easy, breezy afternoon snacks and surroundings and get to know each other better.

I’m living my life, with all its pains and glories, all its risks and doubts, with all its opportunities and successes, and I promise to share them to you as they happen.

I’m not going to be afraid in sounding so vulnerable, because who isn’t anyway?

I hope I can be of help somehow, even if what you’re going to learn is something that you’re not supposed to do.

I also look forward to listening to your story. Please don’t forget to give me a nudge anytime.