For many years now, I’ve thought about writing.
Writing has been there, in my thoughts, daydreams, and deepest desires for over a decade now. Probably even before that.
I’ve imagined what it would be like to be a successful writer, and the kind of lifestyle that title would grant me.
I’ve imagined what my life might look like as a full-time writer — what my days might involve, where I might live, and what I might write about.
When I was a kid, I admired writers like J.K. Rowling, thinking she must be part magic herself. How could anyone create such a fascinating fantasy world, yet have it be so relatable that the characters became your friends, your family? Her talent mystified me.
Later on, I became drawn to more personal writing and non-fiction. I began to love memoirs, especially those written by strong women who weren’t afraid to tell their stories, no matter what the world thought of them or who tried to silence them.
They did things worth writing about — whether that was taking a solo journey around the world, or facing their own demons and telling the story of how they won their inner battles.
These kinds of stories (and people) fascinated me, and their influence on me only solidified my desire to follow in their footsteps, hopefully someday impacting others with my own words.
Even though these writers and their work served as evidence that writing was both possible and a meaningful career choice for me, I was not immune to all the doom and gloom that surrounded it.
Despite all the warnings that abounded about how writing for a living is extremely difficult, and how almost nobody makes it, and how hard it is to get published (or even read, for that matter), I couldn’t help it.
It didn’t feel like I chose this; it felt like it chose me.
I’ve spent the past decade doing everything except for writing — talking about it, dreaming about it, taking courses on it, reading about it, following the journeys of other writers, consuming and digesting their advice, etc.
And still, there it was.
When I travelled somewhere, or read a book, or had a conversation with a friend, or interacted with somebody at work, or watched a show on TV, the same thought appeared: you should write about it.
It didn’t matter what I did, or how many times I ignored it. It would arise, and I’d shove it back down to wherever it came from.
I’d make excuses for why I wasn’t following that inner prompting. I’d acknowledge it, but then give a “yeah, but…” reason for why I wasn’t going to act on it.
I’m too tired.
I can write about it later.
It’s not important.
There’s no point.
Nobody will read it.
It’s too much effort.
And on and on this went. And it could very well have stayed that way forever.
Only, I finally got tired of living a life of stunted growth.
I got tired of not taking chances, and of wondering “what if?” as a result of not taking action.
In recent years, I’ve begun to pay more attention to my inner life (thoughts, feelings, beliefs, conditioning), and I’ve realized how important these things are to a person’s quality of life.
They may be the least talked about and the least known about when it comes to human beings — but I truly believe they’re the key to happiness, peace, health, freedom, and all the other things we all want but don’t know how to get.
Through The Work of Byron Katie and other meditation practices, I’ve experienced for myself the effects of a negative thought on my body, as well as how it affects every other aspect of my life: my relationships with others, how I show up in the world, the choices I make, the foods I eat, the amount of energy I have, and the life I create for myself.
I’ve seen what believing it does to me; but I’ve also seen its opposite.
What I mean by that is, I’ve examined what it would be like to live my life if I didn’t believe that negative thought.
How would my life be, who would I be, what would I do, if that thought didn’t exist?
And guess what?
Every single time, without fail, my life is better. I feel better, and the world is better as a result. When I feel good, I see the good in myself and in the world much easier.
For example, when I believe that I’m not good enough to “make it” as a writer, even though writing is my heart’s desire, everything seems bleak and hopeless. The writing becomes hard, and I strain to even get words out. Writing becomes a chore, like something else I have to add to my plate when I’m already overloaded. It all just feels pointless.
All the joy and wonder I get out of the writing process is gone in an instant, replaced by struggle and resentment.
I may write anyway, but it certainly won’t be enjoyable. I’ll be judging my writing the whole way through, comparing it to that of the real writers — the ones whose work I love and admire, the ones society deems as “successful” and “worthy.” I’ll feel shame, despair, fear of failing, and fear of criticism.
Sounds fun, right?
No wonder I’ve started writing again, only to give up once more so many times before!
Over the past few years, though, I’ve learned to identify these thoughts — the ones that steal my life from me. I’ve discovered how to put them under the microscope, and really dissect them — in the process uncovering their power over my life.
It’s often shocking to me to witness how much these thoughts or beliefs that I wasn’t even aware of are wreaking havoc on my being and my life.
The good news is, it doesn’t have to stay that way forever.
Just by having the courage to expose them, they start to lose their power over me. As soon as these negativities (fears, limiting beliefs, complaints, judgements, etc.) are given the spotlight, they soon begin to fade away into nothing.
They just wanted to be heard and seen. They wanted their moment in the sun, and now that they’ve had it, they’ll leave you alone at last.
This kind of self-exploration has, over time, allowed me to become less fearful of “failing” when it comes to writing.
It’s helped me discover that I don’t know, and can’t know, what will happen. My writing may gain traction, and it may not. It may help people, and it may not.
Lessening my fears around writing doesn’t mean that I’ll be successful; but it sure helps me take action on a daily basis — and that’s the first step!
Choosing to focus on the positive, or teaching yourself to have an abundance mindset doesn’t mean you’ll get everything you want, or that nothing will ever hurt or scare you or upset you again.
But I certainly think it gives you a better chance of living the kind of life you really want to live.
Think about it.
Are you more likely to do great work when you feel good, and in flow with the universe? Or when you hate the world and feel hopeless and less than?
Are you more likely to want to help others (and be able to help others) when you feel happy, uplifted, and free? Or when you feel depressed, uninspired, and trapped by your life, your body, or your mind (or all three)?
I’ve experienced both worlds and lived from both places, and there’s no question that I much prefer to live in the one where anything is possible.
Unlimited potential and possibility and abundance feels better on every level. It feels like magic.
And besides, it’s just a lot more fun!