When Who Replaces Why

“What inspires you to write?” someone asked me. After eight years of daily writing, the answer is “Nothing and everything.”

I no longer need a “why” to write. I write whether I’m inspired or not. And when I write, everything can be inspiration, but nothing necessarily needs to be. If you asked me to write about screw caps, I could. Some days I write about soap. On others, I share loftier reflections.

When you do something every day for a long time, it becomes part of who you are. With some habits, that’s exactly what you want. “The goal is not to run a marathon, the goal is to become a runner,” James Clear says. At other times, our self-image may hold us back from dropping a no longer useful behavior.

Initially, action begets identity, and later, identity begets action. There comes a point when “who” replaces “why.” You’ll rarely be able to catch that moment in real-time, but it’s worth noticing once you’ve passed it — and making a conscious decision as to whether you want to turn back or not.

I am a writer, and so writing is what I do. Who are you, and what habits do you bring with you?