I don’t know about you, but the last two months have been the most prolific period of creativity and personal growth I have experienced in my entire life. The woman I am today is a very different woman than the woman celebrating last Christmas!
Information was fast to come in but what really happened was transformational: I became aware of the healing powers of writing.
While my desk is in the same spot by the window, where it always has been, everything feels and looks different to me. While in self isolation, I found myself contemplating the natural beauty in the back of my garden and having long conversations with myself, an inner dialogue that took me to amazing places, from self doubt to courage and compassion, from shame to acceptance, from being a total stranger to understanding, finally, who I am and who I could become…
In the process, I have changed the narrative, the story I tell myself when nobody is listening… I have learned to let go of toxic thoughts, I have learned how to speak my truth to my inner world in love and honesty. I learned to be kind to myself, and in doing so, I finally understood that this path I took into the unknown, brought me inner peace and resilience and all this remarkable transformation happened through the healing powers of writing!
A lot of women have asked me about my writing process. How did I make this happen? What does writing look like for me?
Have you been told at school that you are not good at grammar or that you are mediocre at writing an interesting essay? May this be the reason why you have developed a kind of allergy towards writing since then?
I can understand you very well. I know exactly how this feels.
And then, there is an inner voice telling you that you wish to write your story and your book. But you gave up this idea, because self-doubts started popping up. You heard again your teacher’s voice.
Don’t listen to the teacher. Listen to your inner voice. Start writing. Writing is like healing.
Where do you start?
START WRITING WITHOUT FEAR
Collect all your ideas. Take your time. This first step may keep you busy during weeks or months. Put your ideas on sticky notes or record your ideas on your smartphone or take a little notebook and whenever you have an idea during the next weeks, write it down. You might be very enthusiastic during this first step or during the writing process. But there might come up a lot of self-doubts. Your critical voice in your head – or again your teacher’s voice – will want to destroy your project. Don’t let it happen.
And believe me – your book is already in you. You just have to put it into words.
Read all your notes. Do you see already a red thread in all your ideas? If yes, go to the next step. If not, give yourself more time. Don’t rush. A human being takes nine months to grow and to come into this world. Such is your story. Enjoy this time of being pregnant with all your ideas.
What will the mission of your book be? Can you write it down? What do you want to tell others about your life story? Think about how you can inspire others, when you tell them how you overcame your challenging times. Watch out: Don’t give fear or self-doubts the even smallest place in your thoughts.
Take your smartphone and tell it as if your book has been already written. It is important to have a clear picture of how your book will be. Sometimes, as I said before, it is just a matter of letting out your book which is inside you.
Write down your summary. By writing down a summary of your book, you help yourself to get an even clearer picture of your book.
Dissect your summary. You may juggle with your parts and not tell from A to B to C, but change the chronological order and start with a small part C, the very end, and go on with B or C.You’d want to put a certain suspense into your storytelling.
Start writing! Choose your favorite chapter, the chapter, which is the most clear and joyful to think of. Writing doesn’t have to be painful. It gives you a lot of joy, if you sit down to write when you are in a good mood. If you don’t feel enthusiastic, do something else first, which puts you back into a beautiful emotional state of mind.
Write without reading back every sentence or every chapter. Keep on going. Stay in the flow. Reading what I’ve already written brings back the critical voice in your head. Leave it. Don’t read anymore until you’ve finished the manuscript.
As a former journalist, I know a lot of writing tricks. But this one is the most important one: No reading and re-editing during the writing process. Otherwise, you won’t finish your story and your book.
If you choose to write your own story, you’ll discover how writing gives you the possibility to look at your life from the outside. You’ll be experiencing, how suddenly a lot of puzzles pieces are coming together. You may not believe how powerful this feels when you start understanding for the first time why the things happened in your life as they did, and that it suddenly makes sense.
I wish you an enriching writing and healing journey. And I’m sure, one important puzzle piece in all this will be the discovery that your teachers were wrong.