Have you ever experienced a moment or event in your life that felt like it was meant to be?
As if you were being “guided” in some way, being given a message on how to proceed with your life? Almost as if a light bulb went on that teased “come this way?”
My writing journey began in just this manner. It is a story I call Pass The Toilet Paper Please and is about my encounter with a delightful creature that occurred in a bathroom! It felt like a magical moment, as if I was somehow being taken by the hand and led down a path. It beckoned, I followed!
I’ll tell my story of how my writing career began and would like to hear how YOUR writing journey started.
While visiting a local bookstore, I needed to use the restroom. Alas, when the fateful moment arrived, I reached for the toilet paper and much to my dismay, empty roll. What’s a girl to do?
I heard someone shuffling next to me and meekly called out “Could you please pass me some toilet paper?” I recall hearing a mumbling of sorts and assumed – silly me – the paper was on its way over.
Moments passed and the shuffling continued. No toilet paper! Someone entered the stall between myself and THE woman. I could have asked the newbie person for some toilet paper, or god forbid I could have dripped dry!
But, no, for some reason, I sat there and decided to persist with THE woman. I remember at the time being puzzled by my tenacity. Why oh why on earth am I being this stubborn?
Upon making the second request, and her realization that the other lady hadn’t passed me any, the toilet paper came my way. Happy, and dry as the midday sun, I trotted out of my stall to encounter a radiant elder African-American woman.
There was Ruth in all her glory! She greeted me with a huge smile and said “Do you write”? I swear they were the first words out of her mouth!
I found this a rather odd introduction, but loved it! After all, it was ever so more interesting than a “How are you today?” greeting. Besides, her presence itself said it all. She was magnificent.
How do you respond when someone asks if you are a writer? What kinds of feelings does it evoke?
While I had written a dissertation, I didn’t consider myself a writer. I informed her that I wasn’t a writer. She immediately responded: “You need to write. You have something unique to offer”.
Unique? My chest swelled slightly. Truth be told, it nearly burst my buttons. I admit it. I like to feel special.
Next, this remarkable being shared parts of her life story with me that revealed tremendous wisdom and insight. We stood in the bathroom talking for at least 30 minutes. She was like a lovely angel and a breath of fresh springtime air rolled into one!
Her parting words to me were: “You know it’s not an accident we met, don’t you? It’s fate”.
As you might imagine, that got my attention, and I immediately made a decision that indeed I would write. In my mind, I could no more imagine ignoring this encounter than I would consider selling my firstborn – if I had one, that is!
The thing is, I wondered, what can I write about? I didn’t have to wait long for the answer. Within a couple weeks, I experienced another serendipitous encounter that laid in my lap the topic for my first book. And the rest, as they say, is history.
My perspective of writing is different, yet it has spared me a great deal of anxiety. It may decrease your anxiety to consider this approach.
I answer the question of whether I am a writer in the same way I respond to whether I am a dancer. Yes, of course I am a dancer. Silly question. I can move my body. That makes me a dancer, doesn’t it?
Am I a writer? Yes, I put pen to paper. Well, usually fingers to keyboard but you get the drift. The point is, I don’t worry about defining it. I do it!
Who gets to decide if you are a writer? I write because I love what I write about and believe I can contribute to the well-being of my readers.
I don’t waste time comparing myself to others. If you can stop the comparison monster from taking over and focus on the unique contribution you make, life becomes more fun in writer land!
Passion brings your writing to life! It makes the words dance off the page. Write about things that matter to you, preferably as a result of personal life experiences. Share things that help others learn about something or live a more joy-filled life. Remain curious and open. Write your passion!
Your passion is what will unite you with your readers. Passion is where the juice is. Write straight from the heart and those on a similar wave length will find you as if by magic.
I look forward to hearing about your experiences.
Be well. And may your writing enable you to experience the best relationships ever!
About the author:
Read more irresistible posts by Lauren Sierra Thomas, a psychologist, author, and blogger at Best Relationships Ever where she engages in helping people with their relationship to their bodies, their selves, and others.
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