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Why Do You Write?

Jeremiah Rogers
Jeremiah Rogers
2 min read
Why Do You Write?

One of my friends is the CTO of a successful tech company and a diligent reader. I was texting with him earlier this week and asked him what he might like to read in my newsletter in the future.

Instead of naming a work or development topic, he surprised me and asked: "Why do you write?"

This question was unexpected, but I'm glad someone asked it so I can clarify why this blog exists.

To me, the best actions flow from intention instead of toward results. So, what's the intention of this blog?

I started writing because I thought there would be some value in sharing my work, but as I have continued writing, I have learned the following:

  • Writing is time-consuming and feedback is inconsistent. So my motivation needs to come from an internal reason (desire) and not an external result (value).
  • Both the costs and benefits of writing are huge. It's hard to know which is greater. My thinking went back and forth for so long that one day I chose to write because it is fun and it helps me think.
  • It may take years of writing to produce any genuinely original ideas. I got tired of thinking about if and when this would happen. Now I choose to share my writing because it disciplines me and helps to clean up my thoughts. If someone finds it useful, that's an extra benefit.

These choices have been more liberating than any decision could be. They let me proceed without looking at data constantly – I recently removed most of the analytics from this blog –  and they are probably the only way I could see myself continuing this project long term.  

It's strange to define reasons as choices, but the more I lean into them being choices, the freer I feel to be myself.

Most of my essays start in the stacks of post-it notes, index cards, and starred lines in the notes I take during client conversations and my own coaching calls with my coach Chris.

I explore the ideas in these notes, sometimes for weeks. Many get stuck to the bottom of my monitor as reminders. Often I try them out and iterate on them with my best clients. Once I have found something valuable, I try to explain it in detail as text.

I'm not convinced that writing helps my business grow. Few people are convinced to buy something as personal or substantial as coaching based on a blog.

In addition, I often find that the thoughts I'm most excited about resonate the least with readers and vice-versa.

But what I do know is that the discipline of writing and sharing helps me coach better because it allows the stacks of notes around my office to find a permanent home in my brain.

Much love and talk to you soon.

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