As we wrap up 2017 I can’t help but reflect and realize that this has been the first year of my life that I stopped praying to find my purpose and finally started living it.
Everyone deserves to feel this feeling.
Since my early twenties I knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to write and help women. Sounds simple enough. At least I knew what I wanted, right? That’s a lot more than most people know. But it wasn’t simple.
As clear as I was on what I wanted, what wasn’t remotely clear was how I could actually make a living doing either of those things. Not to mention the paralyzing self doubt of not feeling worthy or good enough to get paid for my writing.
Since I was a girl I’d written in a silo. Aside from academic work, I wrote for me. No one read what I wrote and I liked it that way. It was mine and couldn’t be tainted by the opinions of the outside world. Still I knew that if this dream of being paid to write was ever going to come true I’d have to show it to someone eventually. I’d have to show myself to the world...eventually.
In my late 20’s I started to realize that I wasn’t getting any closer to making this dream come true and if I was ever going to take that leap I needed skin in the game. So I applied to MFA programs in writing. I quit my day job and moved cross-country by myself for grad school. I only knew two people in the San Francisco Bay Area at the time.
Looking back it’s kind of crazy to think of everything I didn’t know. I didn’t know how I was going to make money. Or where I was going to live. I didn’t even know what I was going to write. I didn’t know much of anything. But I knew what I wanted and somehow the “how” figured itself out.
The truth is any time we put ourselves, or our writing, out into the world it requires our willingness to be vulnerable (otherwise known as feeling insanely insecure and uncomfortable).
So how the heck do you find the guts to do it? Here’s what I’ve learned along the way:
You keep your eyes on the vision, put in the work and trust the process. You fake your confidence until you finally feel it because you earned it by doing.
You can’t wait to feel ready. Confidence comes after action.
One way to get into action and put yourself out there (even when you don’t feel ready) is to find a role model or two and follow their lead.
Figure out what they had to do and how they had to act to get where they are and just take the first step.
Ask yourself how you would act or feel if you were the expert, if you HAD that bestselling book, and ACT THE PART.
Keep it up long enough and you’ll wake up one day and realize you’re not acting at all anymore. You’re actually living your dream.
Here’s to you writing your own success story,
P.S. If you’ve always wanted to make a living through your writing but have no clue how or where to start, I’d love to help you. Click to learn more about my exclusive 5-month mentorship program The Writerpreneur Workshop.