Saturday, May 9, 2009

Saturday Soirée – Go to your writing. Write your story

This past week, I gave some advice to a friend. She's an aspiring writer with stories to tell. She has a God-given gift for words, keen observation and childlike wonder at the beauty that surrounds her. Yet her fear of people's reaction to her life stories keeps her in wishing mode instead of writing.

I've been encouraging her to begin writing her stories and last week when she brought up the subject again, I replied with the following advice. I hope you too will be encouraged to write your story or stories, whatever they may be.

1. Validation from others is good and inspiring but the truest validation is the one we give ourselves. Validate yourself as a writer with significant stories to tell and let other people's validation act as a booster to your own.

2. Commit to telling your stories from your heart. There is really no other way. Other people's perceptions, prejudices and reactions will be varied. Unless you can be proven wrong in your recollection, stick with your story.

3. Write as if your life depends upon it. You will know it, if your story is rising and bubbling in your heart and the passion to record it is burning a hole in your soul. When everywhere you look, everywhere you go and every thought and dream puts you into some aspect of your story, you know you must write it.

4. Writing precedes publication and there is a long and winding road between the two. Devote yourself to the first things first. Write your story. Then begin to work your way along the path to wherever your writing leads you.

So go to your writing with conviction, with passion, with singleness of purpose and write your story.


Jan said...

The advice you give your friend is laced with passion and purpose, Cheryl. How true, that when we can access these elements, how else can we fail? We should then celebrate our victory--whether it is published or not. I think you are "spot on" here.

Joanne said...

Writing our life stories validates not only the stories we put on paper, but the essence of our identity too. Why would we write our stories? The answer is as simple as "Because we are writers." The finished story is the answer to that question.

Have a wonderful Mother's Day weekend, Cheryl!

Cheryl Wright said...

Yes, yes yes Joanne. The essence of our identity is formed from and churns on our life stories. As writers, we find closure, creative outlet, satisfaction and freedom when we write our stories.

I hope your Mother's Day is filled with beautiful moments that will live on in your ongoing life story.

Cheryl Wright said...


With ads in our faces begging us to publish our work, our stories, we can easily believe that publishing is the be all and end all of writing.

What a sad and limiting view of writing - overshadowing the deeper and more fulfilling aspects.

While we remain open to opportunities to market and profit from our writing, I hope we will continue to encourage one another and aspiring writers to neither forget nor forsake the passion and purpose inherent in writing our stories.

Magnolia said...

Okay - so I had to go back through all of my emails to see if I was the friend. :)

Turns out I'm not,(but it sure sounds like me ) but this is still great advice and solid suggestions.

Cheryl Wright said...


You're just too precious and funny. You're right. You are not the friend I referred to but you said it - it could have been you.

Know this though, I am not exempt from the line up to listen to the advice in the post. For all my passion to pursue my writing purpose and tell my stories, I sometimes stumble when it comes to writing a personal story.

My advice does not come from a position of power or perfection but from my heart that knows the stories I tell myself hoping to salve the anguish I endure over telling my own stories.

Magnolia said...

Yes, well, the best advice comes from those who have been there, done that.

So, I'm not surprised you would see yourself in the same place as well.

It really is great advice though. I especially love the notion of not seeking validation from others (though it's nice when we get it), but to validate ourselves.

When we do that, we still feel strong when the validation is slow coming from others.

B J Keltz said...

Thank you for the timely reminder. I struggle with the idea that I have anything worthy to day.

Cheryl Wright said...


It is comforting and inspiring to know we are not alone.

As far as I am concerned, you always have interesting and inspiring things to say at your blog.

Keep writing BJ.

Jan said...

I love your responses here, Cheryl. You are a natural encourager. Have you ever taught writing classes? Just curious. And I am in total agreement with you in how writing just for ourselves is a very important process. Yes, way too much pressure to be published. I often think of how many authors just wrote, never thinking of being published, and years later after death, their work was discovered and published. A powerful testament to writing for the purpose of self-expression, because you just love words, or because you are getting to know yourself better.

Cheryl Wright said...

Hi Jan,

Never taught writing classes but would love to. It is one of those things I'd love to do. Haven't investigated the possibility yet - too much going on right now.

Planner that I am, I am designing lessons for classes and a workshop model for when/if the time comes.

Terri Tiffany said...

I love number 2 and try to write just that way! Some very good advice here-- I hope your friend takes the leap!

Cheryl Wright said...

Good morning Terri,

Number still factors in my writing of my own story but I'm struggling on in God's strength.

My friend is moving forward. She signed on for a couple of writing workshops. That's a start. She has had encouraging feedback on her writing but as often happens, her own fears and doubts are holding her back.

Thanks for visiting, leaving a comment and your good wishes for my friend.

Magnolia said...

What is it about writing that scares so many of us? Why do we doubt ourselves so much? (Those of us that do, anyway)

I would never consider myself a social self-conscious person. I am not afraid of groups, I am not afraid to speak to strangers and feel very comfortable with all people of all persuasions, race, education, or economic background.

I've been known to take on heady philosphers and never sherked from intellectuals.

But, ask me to put my heart on a piece of paper and put it out there???? Absolutely mortifying.

I don't get it.

Cheryl Wright said...


I think one of the reasons is that you think about it too much. Probably asking yourself questions like:

Can I write?
Should I write?
What should I write?
Will "they" like it?
Will "they" approve?
What will "they" say?
Will I ever be a successful writer?

All questions generated in your head and raising fears that paralyze you before you write a single word and obviously before anyone reads anything.

Yet, you write. Your posts are always, always so real, so down-to-earth. Authenticity seeps through Mags.

You're funny, even irreverent sometimes, and Gosh I love that.

Mags, write your stories and stop second guessing yourself and scaring yourself silent.

Magnolia said...

I wasn't sure how much of my irreverent smart-alec gene shined through. Probably more than I realize sometimes. ;)

Thank you for continuing to build me up. I clearly don't do it enough for "myself".

And yes, you are right.....I definately over-think my writing.

Tess The Bold Life said...

No. 3 is powerful. Once you reach that point you can't not tell your story.

No. 4 I believe writing your story is easy compared to getting published and marketing your story!

Great post!

Cheryl Wright said...

Tess The Bold Life.

Yes No.3 is powerful indeed - as a statement and as the emotional compulsion to write our stories.

Easy? No. 4? I'm not sure how many people with stories burning in their hearts to tell will agree. When emotions and fears are concerned, everything is difficult but I hear you.

Thanks for stopping by Tess. You're welcome to visit and share your thoughts.

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