Here’s a question for you...
Do you think Jane Austen or Stephen King knew they were writers and would have successful stories?
Let’s take that even deeper...
Do you think they liked the first books they wrote?
Wait, hear me out on all that!
I know that Jane and Stephen both started writing early (Stephen was seven and Jane was twelve). BUT, did they know those beginning stories would lead them to create some of the most popular stories of our time.
Here are my answers to those questions:
When I was a teenager I started writing poems. In eleventh grade, I wrote a children’s book for a class project (I even illustrated the book because I love to draw).
The poems were emotions I needed to get out of my head. It didn’t matter what I felt; I just shared every thought on a piece of paper.
It’s possible those poems were poorly written and just complete rubbish.
It’s also possible the children’s story should stay hidden forever because it probably doesn’t make any sense.
That’s not the point, though.
The point is that I wrote words, so I was a writer long before I realized I was a writer.
Whew, can you repeat that sentence with me a few more times?
Some market research:
In 2021, when I was preparing to launch my new program, Your Story, Your Way, I did a little market research. I asked a question on social media that revolved around writing and publishing a book.
The question sparked a serious conversation. What I discovered, though, is that there are many people with story ideas. Several people have started the writing process. A handful of people have finished writing their books, and of those people, a few published the book.
The people had engaged with the question for a reason; they had a story idea.
That’s the key point; they had a story idea.
How they approached the story is a different topic. Today, we’re focused on the people that have story ideas. They recognize the idea and let their minds wander to new possibilities with the story.
Then the first barrier hits, and nothing happens. The idea sits in limbo.
Are your barriers holding you back?
Let’s discuss that barrier. You know, the one where you have a story idea, but you also don’t think you’re a writer, so what’s the point.
Can I tell you a secret? Anyone can write a story. It’s true.
We all have words that beg to be told sitting inside of us.
Here are three reasons why you ARE a writer:
1. Did someone in your life tell you that you’re not a good writer?
We all have that one experience where someone in our life said the dreaded words; you’re not a good writer. It’s possible they didn’t say those exact words. Maybe they let you know what you wrote was not good enough in some other form.
Either way, those words changed the trajectory of your life.
It’s possible you didn’t even realize you were going to be a writer, and now the path you’re on has been adjusted because you heard negative words. Now, you don’t plan to write again. Well, if you do, it would only be for you.
Let’s say it like it is here; that person who changed your destiny is a jerk. Yup, I said it.
The biggest problem–one person’s opinion should not be the deciding vote.
Don't let yourself create a new path because of one person and their thoughts around your writing.
You have the opportunity to share so many stories, and if you need a little help along the way, there are many people who could help you.
Your stories weren’t made to be bottled up inside of you. They’re made to be shared with the world.
2. Does imposter syndrome appear when you look at your favorite books?
Last night, you woke up with a fabulous story idea.
Today, you’re reading a book, and you’re drawn into the writing and the way the story flows.
Suddenly, that story idea that popped into your mind last night doesn’t feel amazing anymore. As you read more of the book, the thought of ever writing a book dissipates.
What’s the point, right? There’s no way you could ever write a story that draws in a reader the way the author in the book you're reading has done.
Let’s recalibrate together.
Are you ready?
Okay, so let’s have some real talk. That book you love, the author had to start somewhere, too. Do you think they were that good when they first started on their journey?
It’s easy to compare ourselves to others. It’s much harder to find our positives. What I mean is, you had this fantastic story idea, and in a flash, you pushed it away because you could never write a book like your favorite author.
Instead of choosing the easy path, try the hard one. Let yourself find three reasons why you should write that story idea. If it takes you a week or two, that’s okay. There are more than three reasons, but we have to start somewhere.
Every single author has gone through imposter syndrome. The ones that move past the negative to find the positives are the ones who create endless possibilities with all their stories and a community of raving fans that beg for more.
3. Do you struggle with self-confidence almost daily?
You’ve had a lot of story ideas pop up in your mind. Every time they appear, you ignore them. You could never write a book.
Um, I need to share something important with you. You’re holding yourself back from creating magic.
I’m not a therapist, so I can’t dig deep into the reasons behind your self-confidence. We all have different paths that lead us here. It’s okay.
What I can share, though, is that all those fantastic story ideas will not go away. They will continue to pop up. It will become like a drum pounding in your brain. They will beg to be told until you finally give in and write those beautiful stories.
Here’s an idea: Maybe start small. Find a coach, a community, or a writing partner that could help you create all that magic.
Low self-confidence will still be a part of your life, but with someone supporting you, you’ll finally do the thing you thought was impossible.
This journey is not easy. Nobody said it would be.
Yes, the poems I wrote so long ago are still tucked away, and the children’s story is now collecting dust.
The shining light, though, I listened to my creative mind and finally wrote a few books.
And you know what, even after all the books I’ve written, I still have those inner battles that want to stop me.
Yes, I can still hear the person who told me I was not a good writer in the back of my mind. Yes, I still experience imposter syndrome and lack self-confidence almost daily.
It’s a part of who we are, but you have to find a way to move past the negatives, find the positives and create the story you’ve thought about for way too long.
What is holding you back from starting?
In our daily emails, I love to share stories about what happened in my day and then talk about how it all relates to creating a story.
Example: That time I used a coffee mug to serve wine and I worried about what my friends would say, OR the way my garden looked when we moved with all the layers of overgrown weeds. Yes, those moments are just like our stories and how we see or feel about them.