Title: Your Writing Matters: How to Banish Self-Doubt, Trust Yourself, and Go the Distance | Author: Colleen M. Story | Category: Adult Non-Fiction | Publisher: Midchannel Press | Release Date: July 2021
Does your future as a writer feel uncertain?
You write day after day. You dream of bestseller’s lists and royalty checks, but despite your best marketing efforts, those dreams remain out of reach.
You wonder if you’re wasting your time. Does your writing even matter?
Author Colleen M. Story, a long-time professional writer and writing coach, helps you decide whether you truly have a writer’s DNA. She examines why you feel pressured to make money with your work, why the search for a readership is both motivating and discouraging, and why it’s so common to doubt yourself along the way.
Step by step, you’ll gain a clear-eyed view at the challenges a writer faces in the outside world, while taking your own journey inward to discover what writing really means to you.
Should you continue on this path, or adjust your course now before it’s too late? Don’t waste your precious time in indecision. Let Your Writing Matters guide you to your truth and you’ll never look back again.
Book Excerpt: Chapter 4 What Does Your Writing Mean to You?
Answering this question brings you smack up against your ego. You have to face the fact that you may have—just a little bit—hoped your writing would bring you notoriety, respect, and admiration. You may have hoped it would give you a way out of your boring job. You may have wanted it to win you a place among those other writers you’ve long admired.
Answering this question also forces you to face the possibility that none of these outcomes may be possible, because if they did happen—if you received the admiration you desired, for example—you wouldn’t be struggling with this question of what your writing means, right? We struggle when our dreams don’t come true or when they haven’t yet come true. We struggle when the ego doesn’t get what it wants. We struggle when we come up against the pure difficulty of the journey, so we question our ability to keep going.
It is precisely when we reach this crossroads that we must seriously examine our motivations and answer this question: What does writing mean to me? In a way, the conditions that cause you to wrestle with the answer are gifts, because they force you to face this issue of making meaning with your writing. Until you do that, you’re standing on shaky ground, for the writer who knows exactly what writing means is the writer who perseveres, no matter what.
Eric Maisel, a psychologist, creativity coach, and author of multiple books on creativity, has said that creative people are unique when it comes to needing to make meaning with their work: “[C]reative people are people who stand in relation to life in a certain way—they see themselves as active meaning-makers rather than as passive folks with no stake in the world and no inner potential to realize. This orientation makes meaning a certain kind of problem for them—if, in their own estimation, they aren’t making sufficient meaning, they get down.”
Maisel helps us understand that making meaning is important not only to our writing but also to our overall well-being. It’s a similar concept to having a purpose. Having a purpose or making meaning makes living life worthwhile. What we have to do is find what is important to us as human beings and not base that importance on whether those things produce money or fame.
Your writing will mean precisely what you decide it will mean in your life. No matter the outside success. No matter the sales. No matter the accolades. It will mean what you decide it will mean, period. Is it part of your life purpose, or not?
My Thoughts: To be (a writer), or not to be (a writer)? That is the question that so many of us ask ourselves. Writing is so shrouded in mystery that it can be hard to admit, even to friends and family, that we choose to spend our free time writing. It seems that if we can’t show a profit from writing, then we might as well just watch Netflix. This is why Your Writing Matters matters. It’s a guide for writers, by a writer, that offers a step-by-step process for determining if writing is something to commit to and how to own that decision.
Based on personal experience as well as conversations with dozens of authors, Your Writing Matters is relatable and highly readable. Like talking to a friend, this thought-provoking and well-paced book asks all of the hard questions and gives relevant background data from a broad array of sources and experts.
I particularly enjoyed digging into the concepts of fame and money, dissecting why the allure of these things might not be the right reason to write. This book pushed me to think through why I write and why I constantly doubt that decision. Overall, Your Writing Matters is a great resource for writers at any stage of their writing journey who struggle with self-doubt and question whether or not to be a writer.
Colleen frequently serves as a workshop leader and motivational speaker, where she helps attendees remove mental and emotional blocks and tap into their unique creative powers. Her first course, “How to Finish the Creative Projects You Start,” is available on Teachable.
Go to Colleen’s website for free chapters of her books.
Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads
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