It’s an easy default for me to say I’m not a writer, I get to wipe my hands clean and absolve myself of the responsibility to share what’s in my heart and soul with written words. The blank page has caused me dread and panic. How will I fill it with something meaningful? Can I translate the clarity of all the thoughts and ideas in my head into anything that’s valuable for another?
And yet, I’m beginning a new blog where I’m allowing myself the freedom, for the very first time, to write from my heart. I’m excited and a little bit afraid. But most of all I’m resolved that it’s time to admit that… “I am a writer”.
I feel incredible confidence in my speaking abilities, not necessarily on the big stage, but in a smaller arena to really convey what I mean with emotion and impact and meaning. But when I think of doing that in the written word I get stuck.
I’ve always been fascinated with writers who can capture the richness of a character. For the past few weeks I’ve allowed myself the pleasure of binging on a few favorite TV shows and noticing how the characters develop and are brought to life. We don’t need all their details to know them. It’s actually more captivating to not know. It’s similar to dating. Give a bit and leave the rest a mystery. The question becomes when do you peel back the onion to share more details that round out the character?
When I announced last year that I was “writing” a book I never actually believed it’d be me doing the writing. I’ve always depended on my copywriter to take the noise from my head and make sense of it. She takes my ideas and gives me words on a page. Editing and giving the piece my voice is then fun.
As I reflect on “I’m not a writer,” it harkens back to “I’m not a teacher,” the limiting belief I sat with for years. It wasn’t until my my coach forced me to examine what was beneath that belief and shift it into one that was more supportive that my life changed drastically. I stepped into a new place, owned that I had expertise to share and created an online university with an assortment of products that I could only create because I sat in the place of “I am a teacher.”
Similarly, when I recently hired a writing coach, my belief structure about myself not being a writer began to shift. I let Kate guide me. I trusted her from the moment we spoke. She heard my energy and the creativity in my ideas. She said, “I reserve judgment as to whether you’re a good writer, I’m not buying into your story.”
And clearly a story it is.
I tiptoed in and began writing short 12-minute prompts. I sat in my favorite coffee shop, put my headsets on, set my timer and let the words pour out. I didn’t worry what was coming out, I just wrote. Timer went off, I was done. Her process took away my fear, got me sharing my stories and more importantly got me to stop asking the question if I was a writer or not. I free fell into the experience of working with her and letting myself be guided and slowly found my voice. After a month, I found myself rushing to my coffee shop and relishing my time to write.
My book is in the works now and I know definitively that I’ll be the one writing it, however long it takes. I’m prepared to enjoy the journey and I get excited imagining what I’ll create now that I’ve shifted my belief to stating that “I am a writer.”
Sometimes we carry around an old label that’s outdated, untrue and holds us back from reaching our full potential and serving those we’re meant to serve.
What label are you holding onto about yourself that no longer serves you? I encourage you to do the introspective work to shift it, let it go and bring in one that supports you to do what you know you’re meant to do.
Any thoughts you’d like to share, please do.