Ah, those lovely days gone by where you could be a sheep, put in your time, and know your retirement would take care of you. Anonymity was good, fitting in, also good.
Well, no more, my writing friends.
We live in a new time, and whether your old, young, or in between, the skills needed all include putting your authentic self out there and actively bringing your gifts to help make the world a better place. It’s time to set your writing free.
Exciting and scary.
This can be particularly challenging for those of us who have long made a habit of subverting our own words because we’ve either chosen to work for someone else who dictates what we write, or we’ve tried to write what we thought would sell rather than what we knew was important to put out there.
I’m calling you out. Why? Because I want some company on this scary-as-hell journey through these unknown jungles of AUTHENTIC WRITING.
If this is not your first visit to zencopy, you may already have gathered that I quit my day job some weeks ago. Yup, gave up a rather nice salary which was frankly, closer to 6 figures than not, in order to put it all out there – what I know I have to say, my writer’s calling if you will. This challenging move (I’m a single mom with 3 young kids) has certainly thrown me headfirst into a do-or-die scenario. And, as the Universe is prone to do, I’m seeing all around me people who have not yet embraced the new opportunities to be completely transparent and authentic and are in the throws of extreme unhappiness. Then there are the folks who are stumbling along in this new jungle, scared, but happy, in knowing they are headed somewhere important – in knowing they are finally pursuing what they came here to do.
It seems to me that the human cluster is headed somewhere great – unless of course we sabotage ourselves and get in our own way.
As a writer you have something to say – something we need to hear. Every writer has this – it’s why you have the urge to write in the first place (imho). And I believe it’s time to stop messing around and get to it.
The 5 Step Bringing Out the Good Stuff Plan
Step 1. Go through your old computer files and dust off your old pieces of writing. There’s probably a book or two, or a few blog articles waiting to happen. I’ve spent these last weeks doing just that and am pleased there were several “books” just waiting for me to remember they were there (to see what you can accomplish in a matter of weeks, here are all the books I have up so far. This also reunited me to the fact that I adore writing books. So, pull those goodies out and help them see the light of day.
Step 2. What do you keep coming back to? If you read through stuff you’ve written awhile ago, and read with a critical eye – not to the quality of writing but to what you were trying to say – you’ll probably see a theme, reengage with your initial writing purpose, or get a feel for where you need to go from here. Don’t discount that feel, or your initial writings – they are important!
Step 3. Get something up. Don’t lose your momentum because of fear or wondering if it’s good enough. No longer do you have to wait for a publisher to pick you. No longer do you have to wait for someone to say, “Yes, what you have to say is worthy of being published.” That’s the beauty of NOW – you can get your important words up and out there through blogs, websites, ebooks, print on demand books – all good stuff.
Step 4. Don’t wait anymore. Because as writers we no longer have to wait to be picked by a publisher, it’s time to extract that limitation from your brain. Once you realize that all you have to do is want to get your stuff out there and voila, like magic you can do it. That’s the good and bad news. You can’t blame anyone else anymore (the big publishers). But you can have total control of what you say, and how you say it.
Step 5. Think versatility. Because the days of publishing in print have changed what used to be a very long process is now down to hours. This also means you are hereby freed from the tortuous angst of maybe getting only a couple of books out per year – if you were great and really lucky. And now you can take one book and redo it in a variety of formats and for different types of readers. In other words, 1 book can now be many. You can do it in print, on Kindle, you can expand it for readers who want more depth, you can combine a trilogy into one kindle book with relative ease.
Now, it’s all on you. So dust it off, get it up, and let us see what you have to say because we need to hear it.
The Dust it Off Challenge
If you have some writing you know should see the light of day, we’d love to hear about it. So once you’ve dusted it off, put a little spit and polish, and set it free, whether on your blog or book or other form where people can read it – please share the link here!