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.