The beginning of this month, I decided to take on the challenge put out by Jeff Goins to write 500 words every single day. I had two purposes in doing this: I really want to finish the book I’ve been working on, and I really needed to get back into the routine of writing. Today we were given a challenge to write about writing.

I have always loved to write. I love the idea of telling stories. I love that our lives are stories that we create along the way. Writing has been a natural way to express those stories. My career began in the healthcare documentation industry, and during that time, I had two books published about healthcare and the privacy laws that protect a patient’s information. While those were fun, there was something inside that always pushed me to write something that wasn’t related to that business world. I toyed with ideas. I didn’t want to write a novel. I wanted to write thing that would help others and inspire people.

Two years ago, I started the project that I am now completing. During that time, life happened. In my time of grief and loss, I simply found I could not make myself sit down and write. Hindsight is always 20/20, and I know if I had pushed that a bit more, perhaps the words would have come. I chose not to do that. I chose to just set aside my writing and not work on it. I wrote blog posts. I had an audience in the industry and those were important to running my website. They also served as a great distraction for what in my heart I knew I should be doing.

Today is day 10 of this challenge. In the 10 days, I’ve learned a few things about myself and about myself related to writing.

  • I am a writer. Over the years, I have struggled with actually saying that. It was much easier to say “I’ve had two books published in the healthcare industry.” There was something about wording it that way that carried less responsibility. If I had published books, but I wasn’t “a writer,” then no one would really ask “what are you working on now?” I might say “I love to blog,” another great avoidance. No more. I am a writer. I have things to share, art to create, and I will ship my products, as Seth Godin speaks about when he talks about shipping things. I will get it done and out the door.
  • My day is better when I write early in the morning. As a part of this journey, I purchased Andy Traub’s book The Early To Rise Experiment. Why? I’m not really sure except I saw people talking about it in our writing Facebook group and one of Jeff’s challenges to us was to get up earlier. Like the writing challenge, this is also a 30 day challenge. Together, they work well. So far, one day I have just made the decision not to get up early. I just snuggled back under the covers and let the resistance win that day. That day turned out to be a very chaotic day. I won’t be doing that again. I will be rising early and spending time doing what I love, writing.
  • It’s not always easy. With my book, I have an outline of what I want to write about. That helps. Still, there are days when I sit down and really do not want to write about that particular topic. Thank goodness that Jeff provides prompts for us along the way. On those days when I find it hard to write one more chapter, I use one of his prompts. That still doesn’t guarantee it will be easy, but it does help. My grandmother used to tell me just because something isn’t easy doesn’t mean I shouldn’t do it. And so I will, even on days when it’s not easy.
  • There is joy in sitting down and putting my words on paper. I challenge myself every day to do a little more than the day before. I enjoy putting words together and tell a story or share a thought. It’s a blessing to be able to do something that brings me joy, and writing is one of those things.
  • Another thing I have learned is that I love interacting with others who are writers and love what they do. We have a Facebook group. I check it frequently and love seeing what others are working on, hearing that we often have the same struggles, and celebrating our victories together. I’ve found other blogs and writers who I will follow and can’t wait to see what art they create next.
  • Writing is not for the faint of heart. Okay, maybe it is. Let me rephrase that. Sending your art out into the world is not for the faint of heart. My book is now to the point where I want to have reviewers. I want to find a group of people who will read an advance copy, share some feedback, and hopefully be willing to share it with others when it publishes. That’s the part that isn’t for the faint of heart. There’s fear in “shipping” that book, not knowing if people will like it. It’s more than just whether someone likes it, though. Will it touch others? Will it be an inspiration? No, it’s not for the faint of heart.
  • I would love for some of you to read what I’ve written. I do look forward to sharing it. If you’d like to be one of my reviewers, just drop me an email and we’ll make it happen!

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