Why do you write?
And why do you read?
I recently posted my answers to five Frequently Asked Questions that I get from readers, friends and fans. But the one question I did not answer and that I get most often from family and close friends in particular is, “Why do you write?”
So I’m going to answer that question as best I can and then ask you in return, “Why do you read?”
It occurs to me that what are doing together is meeting on common ground and sharing stories that interest us both, one writing and one reading. We use Amazon and booksellers and reviewers like we use Match.com or life coaches and friends to get us together with people we want to meet and spend time with, maybe in a long-term relationship. For any kind of match-making, it helps to know more about each other and what each of us is looking for in the relationship.
Enough of the awkward analogy, let’s talk about connecting writers and readers. Why do I write and why do you read?
A little biographical background to start. I grew up in a small company town in the Rocky Mountains and was not much exposed to sophisticated culture, art and literature. I was not dedicated to becoming a writer any more than I was dedicated to becoming an engineer, entrepreneur or management consultant. I was not a voracious reader, but I did have good English teachers in high school who taught me to appreciate the fundamentals of good spelling, grammar and punctuation. I became fascinated with the use of words and the effective use of language. I was interested enough to sign-up for journalism in grade eleven, but I was thrown out of the first class because it was not in the University Program. Apparently writing was considered a vocation or craft, like woodworking, not a profession.
So I went to university and studied engineering, where I got the best English course ever! It focused on critical reading and the textbooks were S.I. Hayakawa’s, Language in Thought and Action, and Time magazine. My own writing started with consulting reports and business articles. My first published work was in 1981, an article on Inventory Management in the Process Industries and the next was a 40-page chapter on Materials Management in the Mine Management textbook published in 1983 by Coopers & Lybrand. Then it was three decades of business and career changes as an executive, entrepreneur, and advisor to entrepreneurs before I published again with The Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide to Business Plans and DON’T DO IT THE HARD WAY in 2014, with revised and expanded editions in 2020.
In 2015, I decided to share my stories with a larger audience and make them more interesting and entertaining in the Dale Hunter Series of crime fiction novels about an entrepreneur fighting crime and corruption in the international computer business of the 1980s. The first three novels in the series, NO EASY MONEY, SIMPLY THE BEST, and MERGER MANIAC were published in 2018 – 2019 and the next two, BAD BOYS IN BOSTON and CRASH LANDING, are in process for publishing soon.
So why do I write?
I’ve realized that I am more of a storyteller than a writer. I’m motivated to become a better writer to be a better storyteller. In the business books and in my consulting assignments, I’ve always used storytelling to connect with the reader or listener and to reinforce the lessons learned and make them more memorable. My purpose in all my writing is to share ideas, information and inspiration through storytelling and my personal mission is to promote a better understanding and appreciation of Enlightened Entrepreneurship and how it can help us all do better for people and the planet.
Now the question for you is, “Why do you read?”
The answers may be simple or complex and they may vary for different types of reading and different times in your life or career. Your answers may vary accordingly. I look forward to hearing from you if you are willing to share your thoughts on why you read. Or maybe why you write?
I hope we can continue to connect and share stories together that meet both our needs in writing and reading them. Thank you for joining me on my writing adventures.