"Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don't try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It's the one and only thing you have to offer."
I can’t remember who I was talking to this week when I said when I started getting serious about writing, my fear was ever present. I would write in semi-private. Mostly I got very speedy at minimizing. If anyone came remotely close to my desk or my monitor, I would minimize the screen.
I had a number of conversation topics ready to throw out, anything to distract from the ever popular question, “What are you doing?”
I didn’t want people to know what I was doing because I was concerned they might make fun of me or they might discover that I couldn’t write at all. I was kidding myself with even attempting such a thing.
Yes, I might be able to write sentimental pieces about my grief process for a newsletter I edited, but to think I could write anything of interest to anyone else?
I thought it was egotistical of me to believe.
I thought it was highly improbably anyone of right mind would really care.
I also thought… I would never make it and I would never be able to sustain myself on words alone.
Over the years, I have debunked all of those original thoughts.
Writing is actually the most unselfish activity I could engage within. People are positively impacted by my writing. They a-ha and emote and poke around places they wouldn’t go had I not written first. This is an enormous personal victory for me: when readers write me thank you notes for what they have discovered simply because I elected to very selfishly and simply… write.
My first “official” writing was for a newsletter for grieving parents. I went on to write for local newspapers, small presses and then when the online world hit, I wrote for ezines and websites and continued with the “other” stuff. I had my work published in anthologies and I had more than 15,000 people subscribe to my ezine.
People actually looked forward to reading my words.
I built my business around my words.
I built my life around my words.
I now teach writing to adults around the world who want to use writing both as a tool to grow businesses and as a livelihood that is enjoyable and full of zesty flavor. I teach in classrooms, hospitals, parks and national forests.
People learn their voice is important as well as unique and that their stories need to be told.
All of this because I started writing what I felt I had to write.
© 2012 by Julie Jordan Scott
Follow me on Twitter: @juliejordanscot
Julie Jordan Scott has been a Life & Creativity Coach, Writer, Facilitator and Teleclass Leader since 1999. She is also an award winning Actor, Director, Artist and Mother Extraordinaire. She was twice the StoryTelling Slam champion in Bakersfield. She facilitates Virtual Writing Camp & will be hosting the final session of the 2011/12 season next week. Register before it is too late: Writing the Journey: Memoir, Life Writing & Travel Writing Intensive.
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