How to Become a Writer

Dec 11, 2019

Dear Writerly Woman,

You have truths inside of you that you want to express through writing, but you struggle because you're afraid of getting squashed by other people's criticism.

You have been shown your whole life that when you share your truth, you get squashed.

You get weird looks. You get shamed. You get shut down.

You have practiced, very diligently, hiding your voice, because it's just too damn vulnerable to put yourself out there.

But there's a problem. You know in your heart the path to a fulfilling life involves writing. So NOT writing is incredibly painful. 

You feel stuck between your soul's desire to write and your intense fear of writing, and you don't know what to do about it.

I’m not going to lie, this is a tough situation. Being stuck between the desire to create and the desire to stay creatively safe is not fun.

It’s like you have this golden light in your belly – this desire to write. You are walking on a path, and this golden light at your center is drawing you forward. You want, more than anything else, to walk this path.

But then, out from the woods, all these little imps and elves come and tug on your clothes, pulling you back. These imps and elves are all your fears and creative wounds and limiting beliefs.

They tug on you while the golden light inside your belly still pulls you forward. This is painful, because you really, really want to go forward to answer the call of the golden light.

What do you do? How do you break free from the little imps and elves who pull you backwards?

This is what I know: the best way to break free is taking action.

So many times we think we need to believe in ourselves before we act, or we need to be unafraid before we act, or we need to be totally and amazingly perfect at not procrastinating before we act.

I think the process of becoming a writer is different than that. Closing your eyes and taking the leap to sit and write, no matter what your fears or thoughts have to say, scatters the imps.

My teacher, Bev Barnes, calls this “Daring to Decide”. Daring to decide to write, even if you don’t have a plan, even if you don’t know what you’re going to write today, even if you are totally scared out of your mind, is a kind of magic that can help break you free from the fear that holds you back.

Now, the process can be a little slow. All your fears don’t disappear overnight, but they loosen their hold as you slowly move forward down the path by taking action and writing words.

How does this work on a practical level?

This is you grabbing a piece of paper and as fast as you can sketching out a character who you think would be fun to write about, without thinking about it too much.

This is you, feeling completely terrified, and putting pen to page and writing “I’m scared. I’m scared. I’m scared.” Until other words start to flow out of your pen.

This is you, opening up a Word Doc, setting a timer for 1 minute, and writing, “The next true thing I want to say is…” and allowing absolutely anything to be written after that with no judgment.

Often times my clients wonder what the point of these little steps are. These Writerly Women are so focused on the big results, they don't see how taking these small acts of courage can help them become a writer.

The point is that you are teaching your body how to decide to write. When your body gets used to the activity of feeling the fear and writing anyway, then you find yourself able to engage deeper with the craft.

Overtime, you'll find yourself feeling like a writer, because you'll be a woman who actively writes words.

But first and foremost, you must practice taking the leap in whatever way feels quick and easy for you in this moment.

Train yourself to feel the fear and write anyway, and see how that loosens the hold of the imps and elves so you can make your writing dream come true.

Love,
Emma

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P.S. My online course, Write In Peace, is a 2 hour self-guided writing retreat you can do anytime, anywhere, that will teach how to create safety, peace, and ease in your writing, especially when your fears and limiting beliefs are pulling on you extra hard. Check it out now, and start making your writing dreams come true today!

P.P.S. In our Facebook Group, The Hearth & Pen, I recently shared an exercise to help you make a wildly authentic plan for sharing your writing. If you don't write because you're terrified of what will happen when other people read your words, then this exercise is for you. Join the group, do the exercise, and watch the magic unfold!

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Emma Veritas is a writer and writing coach. She's a committed blogger and is currently working on edits to her first novel. She graduated with her Bachelor's degree in English from the Honor's Program at the University of Massachusetts, where she wrote her thesis on the power of story during hard times. She has completed Martha Beck's Life Coach Training and is an endorsed Soul's Calling Coach. She is a life long learner in the craft of writing, most recently completing courses on fiction writing and plot development through WritersHQ. Her most recently completed writing project is her online course, Find Your True Self Again.

Work With Emma

Write In Peace - Online Course

Find Your True Self Again - Online Course

Free Your Voice - Group Program

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