I said no, probably at least three times in as many ways. I was not going to spend $297 on an online course about writing. Why bother? I knew what I had to do to write- I just had to DO IT. I didn’t need writing experts to tell me that. I don’t need creative writing prompts and ideas. I have many ideas in my head- I just lack the discipline and drive to get them onto paper.
Today, I am eating the ENTIRE humble pie. I am grateful for humility. I am grateful for politely, yet firmly, telling my arrogant know-it-all self to shut up. I am grateful for my remembering that I am worth investing in, and that I can afford. I am grateful for pleasure, self love, and being playful. For laughter and vulnerability. I am grateful for Waking Up.
After three no’s, I said Yes to easily, one of the most profound experiences of my life, completing the Setting Your Writer’s Voice Free course. There was no doubt that once I began it, that I would complete it. But, what I didn’t know definitively was what I was seeking in it, at least, not in the very beginning. What I thought the reason was that I decided to yes to this course, was so that I could increase my chances of getting published, which has been a long held dream of mine, albeit out of reach in my mind. I also believed that it could help me to become a writer and get paid for writing opportunities. I was even pursuing some at home writing options to be able to stay home, get paid, and in between, work on my big book. I thought that by getting the ears of two well known, published writers in this course, one of them being SARK, whom I have adored for years, I would then know the “secrets” of becoming “successful”.
And, I was scared shitless to find out. And, to encounter other writers who, most likely, would be better than me. Who would judge me secretly for not writing “stories”. Who would live in different parts of the country, or the world, that enabled more success in these efforts. I was scared to be judged, and to find out that the dream of being a writer would only ever be a dream.
In our first session, we were reminded by Dr. Scott that we each have our own unique voice, our own perspective of the world, and it is our contribution to the entire symphony of the Universe. Although, intellectually, I understood this, I wondered how that could be true? I mean, wasn’t the sign of being a good writer that people could easily identify with what you write about? How unique could our voices be? And, was there really room in this world for so many unique voices to be heard? To be published? To be successful? I was, again, so filled with fear! Wanting to defend myself to people that I hadn’t even met yet. I was afraid to read the writing of others, and see how much better they were at expressing themselves than I was.
One thing that I love about myself, is that even when I feel afraid, I plow through and try something anyway. I take a risk. However, with that comes a canoe full of self doubt. An ocean liner, for that matter. THE TITANIC. Yep, it feels that dramatic at times. So, I started slowly, reading the samples of writing that other persons in the course were posting. I made comments, but would worry if I sounded genuine or fake? Am I over the top in my praise? Then, they might not have clicked “like” on my comment (this is a Facebook page) so I wondered, what does that mean? Still, I kept going, I kept reading, and I started posting my own writing on the page. Many people saw my posts, but hardly any likes or comments. What did that mean? Oh no! I suck! People don’t get me! Yet another external “confirmation” for me to see myself as a freak, an oddball, not fitting in anywhere. Yet, I kept at it. I kept reading, and I kept writing. I even posted a link to my blog, and wondered if that was “too much” of myself.
Beautifully, something shifted in me after our first two sessions. Something broke open that had been locked up within me, and although I perceived that something as being unavailable to me, I was wearing the key to unlock it around my neck. I don’t know if it was belief, acknowledgment, or a deepening understanding. But, one day, I just suddenly saw myself as a Writer. I no longer called myself a person who likes to write, who is taking a course, a person who wants to BE a writer. I put the key in the lock, turned it, and heard it click:
I AM A WRITER.
I had never said it before. The word writer gets used for those that are paid for their writing. Who have their words published on paper. Blogs don’t count- that’s not REAL writing. I had been invested for years in not seeing myself as a writer, even though my love of writing had been encouraged and nurtured in me since I was ten years old. It filled me up, it brought me joy, and flutters to my heart, butterfly wings in the soul. My writing drew persons to me, bees to the flower, by the dozens. Yet, I only saw the action, I didn’t see who I really was. The moment that I unlocked those self imposed chains, I was free. Free to write endlessly and fearlessly, just for me. Free to savor lusciously every tidbit of writing that others posted. Free to gush and goo and revel in all of that magic deliciousness. As I read the writings that my fellow writers shared, I remembered that there is an open invitation and space for all of our voices, and, that all of our voices together is what creates the most beautiful music.
Sure, solos can be exciting, and having a spotlight just for me can create a sense of importance. But, it is fleeting. It disappears quickly and I am left with emptiness. Community of voices is pure, unique, inviting, and warm. It is the first hot chocolate of the fall. It is delicious, satisfying and comforting. It reminds me that I am not alone. I am among friends. I am love, and I am loved.
I am in the nurturing stage of turning the soil, planting the seeds patiently, and caring for each tiny vessel to burst to life. I write wildly every day- at home, at a cafe, at the office, when I travel. I am filling books and using colorful pens. I am stunned at how different I feel when my words appear in purple ink, rather than the standard black or blue. It calls the joy of it back to itself. It is savoring the richness of chocolate cake with an inch of frosting, decadent and delightful. Every bite more delicious than the last.
I have tools and solutions if I feel discouraged, overwhelmed, or unmotivated. I have a community of new friends to cheer me on, and I get to do that for them, too. I am writing poetry, prose, and inspiration. I have set myself free to fly high, and to ride the wind and trust that it will carry me where I will best and most safely land. I can trust that this path is not only my writer’s path, but my Spirit path. I am Home.