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Why Do We Do What We Do?

How can I condense all that into one minute? Could you?

I got homework to explain why I write books – in a one-minute video. How can I condense all that into one minute? Could you?

Whenever I have limited time or word count to deliver a message, I write down what I want to say and then cut it down to size. I’ve decided to use this blog post to write my thoughts in full. While you read it, think about how you would explain why you do what you do in one minute. I think it’s a great exercise for focusing your reasons, which in turn helps you to move in the right direction.

This is an interesting question. It’s not why did I begin writing. I’ve answered that question many times. I begin my answer with my late friend, Gill, who told me about social anxiety, leading to my becoming passionate about raising awareness of social anxiety and eventually finding an outlet in writing.

But this question is different. It asks why I write now, and it deserves a different answer.

Firstly, I love writing. I love combining words that make sense together, whether fiction or non-fiction. I love creating characters and exploring how they react and interact in familiar settings and in usual or unusual situations. I love the freedom writing gives me to clarify my thoughts, something I’ve never been able to do in conversation.

And I love editing, because editing lets you refine those words to read in the best way that they can. And it lets you find all the typos, point-of-view changes, repeated words and other issues in the text. I know, lots of authors don’t like editing, but I get a thrill out of spotting errors and possibilities for improvement.

I’ve met some wonderful people through writing, people who have helped, provided support, or just popped into in my life.

Just as important are the readers. Without readers, all my hard work would seem pointless. I write so that people can enjoy reading. That’s the main reason. But also, I write so that readers can empathise and sympathise, love and hate. I hope to arouse emotions in them. I also hope they learn something from the experience; we are all constantly learning, as long as we keep our minds open.

Why else do I write? I hope that, through my writing, I will become better known. I hope that more people will read or listen to me, and I’ll be able to promote better understanding of the issues I stand for.

You know what? If I were better at spontaneous verbal communication, I could probably say all of that in a minute. But I’m not, and so I’m going to concentrate on the three topics: writing, readers and raising awareness.

This particular video will appear only in a private Facebook group, but I will be producing public videos in the coming months.

Did you think about how you would transmit the why of what you do in a one-minute video? I’d love to hear about your thoughts.

By Miriam Drori

Author, editor, attempter of this thing called life. Social anxiety warrior. Style and the Solitary, edition 2, murder mystery set in Jerusalem, published with Ocelot Press, October 2022.

One reply on “Why Do We Do What We Do?”

To me the ultimate answer to “why do you do what you do?” is: That’s just how I am.

Any other answer, such as, “My older brother was mean to me” can be responded to with something like, “Other people have older brothers who were mean to them, and they didn’t do what YOU did!” In other words, every answer provokes another question. But to the response, “That’s just how I am,” I can’t think of a follow-up question.

We explain ourselves through “nature” and “nurture.” Neither of these can be blamed on us, both were beyond our control. Anything we do to try to change ourselves, also must be explained through nature and nurture. Anyway, this is just an off-the-top response to a question that’s at the heart of “Know thyself.”

Alan

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