200 Things I Love About Writing

December 17th, 2007 by Steve Pavlina

A few days ago, I decided to do a simple journaling exercise. I wanted to make a quick list of 20 things I love about writing. However, when typing the number 20, I accidentally typed 200 instead. As I hit the backspace key to correct the error, I paused and said, “What the hell… I can do 200.”

Initially the ideas flowed as quickly as I could type them. Most of them were ego-based surface thoughts along the lines of success, achievement, recognition, and so on. Once I got those out of the way, I slowed down considerably for the second half of the list and felt like I was connecting more deeply. Some of those items gave me a strong emotional hit. By the time I reached the end of the list, I felt a much deeper sense of gratitude for the opportunity to write. I also had a clearer sense of which reasons were truly meaningful to me and which were socially conditioned responses.

I wasn’t originally planning to share this list, but I thought some people might find it interesting, especially other writers or bloggers. So I’m sharing the full list in its entirely with no editing, as pasted from The Journal. This was all stream of consciousness, so expect to see some redundancy.

Here it is:

  1. humor
  2. being witty
  3. getting positive feedback
  4. getting links
  5. seeing people comment on my work on other sites
  6. spawning interesting discussions
  7. helping people grow
  8. sharing myself
  9. baring my soul
  10. being honest
  11. coming up with great new insights
  12. being creative
  13. expressing myself
  14. connecting with my higher self
  15. connecting with other people
  16. making friends
  17. building a reputation
  18. earning income
  19. being successful
  20. being good at writing
  21. being a popular writer
  22. having lots of readers
  23. seeing people extend and refine my ideas
  24. seeing people make my ideas their own
  25. seeing people apply my ideas
  26. seeing people get positive results with my ideas
  27. seeing people follow my advice and have it work for them
  28. seeing people have a-ha moments
  29. raising people’s awareness
  30. creating a large body of work
  31. doing good quality work
  32. being in the zone
  33. experiencing flow
  34. experiencing timelessness
  35. being enthusiastic about the flow of ideas
  36. reading an article I wrote and knowing it’s good
  37. anticipating a positive reception for something I wrote
  38. being able to write anywhere
  39. using my laptop and writing in public places
  40. being inspired
  41. incubating ideas
  42. writing a cool series
  43. building web traffic
  44. seeing people debate my ideas
  45. stimulating people
  46. waking people up
  47. disturbing people
  48. writing a piece I’m proud of
  49. coming up with truly elegant wording
  50. writing poetry
  51. coming up with new ideas that work for me
  52. inspiring myself
  53. tapping into a source beyond my ego
  54. experiencing oneness
  55. tuning in
  56. being free
  57. being free to write about whatever I want
  58. owning my own outlet to write
  59. getting thank you cards and letters in the mail
  60. hearing people’s stories
  61. seeing the word writer next to my name
  62. opening up with people
  63. letting people get to know me
  64. transforming painful lessons into inspiring stories
  65. turning my life into a lesson
  66. living by example
  67. being responsible
  68. doing what’s right
  69. feeling fulfilled
  70. knowing the flow of ideas is endless
  71. being satisfied
  72. feeling connected to other writers
  73. being an authority
  74. writing for myself
  75. writing for people I know
  76. expressing myself through written language
  77. having a global reach
  78. connecting with people I’ve never met
  79. changing lives of people I’ve never met
  80. making a positive difference
  81. changing people for the better
  82. changing myself for the better
  83. feeling connected
  84. turning off my ego
  85. turning my back on fear
  86. expressing courage
  87. writing daily
  88. enjoying the flow of fingers on the keyboard
  89. hearing the clanking of the keys
  90. typing fast
  91. brainstorming
  92. finding the third alternative
  93. doing something unique
  94. writing something new
  95. writing something that never existed before
  96. adding to the substance of the universe
  97. creating information out of thought
  98. manifesting pure thought in physical form
  99. putting nonlinear concepts into a linear structure
  100. storytelling
  101. coming up with good analogies
  102. simplifying complicated ideas
  103. being understood
  104. being loved
  105. being loving
  106. allowing people to know me
  107. bypassing people’s surface selves
  108. connecting with people’s true selves
  109. communicating soul to soul
  110. sharing energy
  111. expressing divinity
  112. being wrong
  113. accepting all outcomes
  114. being detached from outcomes
  115. letting people know I care about them
  116. reminding people they aren’t alone
  117. giving hope to people who’ve lost hope
  118. encouraging people who are discouraged
  119. learning from mistakes
  120. being kind
  121. being generous
  122. giving without expecting anything in return
  123. being human
  124. teaching people it’s OK to make mistakes
  125. teaching people not to be so afraid
  126. releasing my own fears
  127. hugging people through words
  128. showing people we are the same
  129. remembering that I’m not alone
  130. building a community
  131. seeing people support each other
  132. bringing light to darkness
  133. seeing someone smile
  134. deepening my connection
  135. growing
  136. changing
  137. changing my mind
  138. disagreeing with what I’ve written
  139. knowing I’m on the right path
  140. knowing this is what I’m meant to do
  141. knowing that writing is good
  142. seeing the good in other people
  143. helping people see the good in themselves
  144. preventing a suicide
  145. helping people embrace life
  146. helping people reconnect with what matters to them
  147. being a teacher
  148. being a student
  149. sharing discoveries
  150. making people laugh
  151. making people cry
  152. writing while crying
  153. writing something powerful
  154. writing something profound
  155. writing truth
  156. empowering people
  157. helping people raise their standards
  158. seeing people happier
  159. changing the world
  160. shedding the nonessential
  161. understanding essence
  162. knowing people by knowing myself
  163. egoless writing
  164. writing for the planet
  165. writing for the highest good of all
  166. heart-centered writing
  167. being discouraged and still being able to encourage someone else
  168. writing in the dark
  169. seeing a blank screen and knowing it will soon be full
  170. writing without fear
  171. writing as Source
  172. becoming one with the ideas
  173. becoming nothingness
  174. becoming pure awareness
  175. losing awareness of my fingers typing
  176. listening to music while writing
  177. smelling vanilla
  178. instant publishing
  179. watching birds outside my window
  180. writing about my family
  181. feeling good while writing
  182. writing peacefully
  183. writing all day
  184. losing track of time
  185. becoming my writing
  186. reading something I wrote and not remembering I wrote it
  187. writing for a timeless reader
  188. writing for people who aren’t born yet
  189. knowing my writing can outlive my body
  190. reincarnating in a future life to read what I wrote in this one
  191. loving to write
  192. being in a state of joy
  193. wanting to write even though I don’t have to
  194. writing even when I think I have nothing to say
  195. being surprised at what comes out of me
  196. being relaxed
  197. writing on paper
  198. writing with a candle burning
  199. writing for no reason at all
  200. writing by being instead of doing

Consider making a similar list for your own career… or for a new career you’d like to get into. I think you’ll find this a worthwhile exercise. The list above took me about 30 minutes to write.



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