Let’s put a new twist on the standard who, what, when, where, why and how questions that writers are supposed to answer and approach it from the context of our motivation for writing. Why are you writing? To whom are your writing? How do you tell the story? What tools do you use to tell it? Where do you tell it? When do you tell it?


Mark Twain said the happiest two days of your life are the day you are born and the day you discover why. Finding sustainable motivation for writing is important because that is what keeps you going. Writing is lonely work with very little applause and affirmation. Here are some good reasons to write:

  • You are creative
  • No one can tell it like you
  • Future generations want to know about you

To whom are you writing?

  • Who is your audience? My primary audience are people who can’t read or write yet; my grandchildren. One of my main motivations for writing stems from a wish I have that my Dad would have written down his stories, thoughts and ideas.

How do you tell the story?

  • Novel
  • Humor
  • History
  • Biography
  • Thriller
  • Journalistic
  • Investigative

What tools do you need? 

  • Pen and paper
  • Computer
  • Camera/video camera
  • Musical instrument
  • Puppets

Where do you tell it? What is your stage?

  • Novel
    • Publisher
    • Assisted publishing
    • Self-published 
  • Magazine/newspapers (often looking for freelancers)
  • Blog
  • Biography
  • Social media platforms

When do you tell it?

  • Don’t wait until it’s perfect – it will never be, but it will be good enough to ship

Surprisingly, this is the point that stymies many writers; they don’t think they are good enough to start. Please don’t compare yourself to big name writers. Remember, John Grisham drove around with his first box of books in the back of his car trying to find bookstores to sell them. All writers have their rejection stories.

Just write. People are waiting to hear what you have to say.