Updated: Jun 24, 2022
I believe writing is a necessity that gets treated as if it's an indulgence in our society.
I hear so often from would-be writers, "I just don’t have enough time". There’s always something more pressing. "I'll get to it when I have enough money", or I'll take it seriously "when I can afford to quit my job". It's something they feel they simply can't make a priority, unless there was the chance to make money from it. It has to produce a product in order to justify its commitment.
But I would argue the chances are high, that those of the writing kind will never have more money, or free time, or opportunity to make money from their writing, if they don’t start doing more writing, first. Now.
For those of us that process our world best by writing it down, or by telling stories, if we don’t spend at least a little bit of time, daily, writing and giving space to those thoughts and stories, we are actually handicapping ourselves. We are cutting ourselves off from our most valuable resource we have, our own creative mind. That part of ourselves that knows how to think our way out of the current box we’re living in. The part of ourselves with all the fresh ideas of how to create more time and money. And most importantly, the part of us that knows how to create space for more grounding, joy and fulfillment.
To pretend writing is a luxury that you will get to "some day" when the environment is right, is a recipe for perpetual stuck-ness and lack of fulfillment, not just in career, but in life in general.
As a lifelong writer, and now writing coach, who spends a lot of time listening for what writers need, I've seen a pattern. And my solution has been to create a writing program that is less about teaching writing (although that is definitely a part of it) and more about helping my students transform their entire relationship and mindset around their creative pursuits, to set them up for a lifetime of fulfillment and mastery with no regrets.
As a coach, my highest priority is to the writer themselves, helping them heal their relationship around their creative expression (which for many is rocky, due to the systemic discouragement of creative pursuits in our society). I advocate for slowing down. Treating their writing time with the respect and value it deserves. Accepting that mastering writing is a lifelong journey. Constantly reminding them there is no "there" to get to. Only a deepening of their craft and an expansion of their courage/willingness to express authentically.
I take the stance that the stories a writer is meant to tell are already inside them, whole and complete, and that the goal in this life is to get practiced at getting out of the way, so that those stories get the chance to flow freely in their highest form.
I believe the work of the writer is, first and foremost, to keep showing up. To study human nature. Study their own nature. To learn to see their life and the lessons that come, through the lens of stories. To develop the skills to communicate those stories effectively and dynamically to others. To first move one’s self, and then to move others.
I believe the act of discovery, and then the written expression of it, ARE the rewards of putting in the time. It’s spiritual. Powerful. An incredibly healing tool worth making room for in life. Regardless of whether a writer ever gets financial rewards or acclaim for it.
Writing is not something a writer needs to earn the right to do, someday. It’s something they must do, now. Otherwise, like I said before, they’re cutting off their most valuable superpower, often right when they need it most.
I will never promise any writer that spending the time developing their writing craft will lead somewhere professionally or financially. That includes so many factors out of a writer's control, that it's impossible to predict. But I do promise that they will never regret learning to incorporate a healthy writing practice into their life. That type of investment will pay off in dividends far beyond anything money can provide, and is a non-negotiable prerequisite to any of those larger professional dreams/goals anyway.
So why not get on the path? Take it seriously. See where it leads. Give yourself permission to live a life filled with heartfelt soul searching and creative expression, knowing that that is a reward within itself. The rest is gravy. With that sort of attitude, there's no such thing as failing.
For those feeling inspired to change their relationship to their writing/creativity. Those who know its time for a major shift, ready to sling shot themselves into a new way of being while diving deep into who they are as a creative and the stories they are here to tell, I'd love to chat with you. Feel free to jump on my calendar to see if any of my programs might be a right fit for you. https://my.timetrade.com/book/CCS8R