Why I write
What I love about writing and story telling.
Stories change lives, inspire, and motivate. There is energy in that.
They make a deeper impression than other forms of communication because you feel them viscerally. There is emotion in that.
They are creativity, imagination, and potential. They reveal our higher selves. There is beauty in that.
We are the writers of our own stories. We can change them whenever we choose. There is power in that.
Writing is art. Art always imitates life. Art and writing are life. What can be more important than life itself?
Why I choose a writing life.
Since around age 10, I wanted to be a writer. Even so, I thought I had nothing of interest to write about (which, of course, wasn't true). Rather than share my writing, I kept it all in diaries (journals).
After returning to the US from a nine-year experience of living in Europe (in a tiny country called The Netherlands), I went to college and then grad school to earn degrees in English and Creative Writing. I still doubted myself as a writer.
To earn an income, I worked for over 15 years as a marketing and communications professional with little sense of why I was doing it. As the Internet became THE place to publish content, I was writing primarily for an online audience. I felt a disconnect between being a writer in the pure sense, and the work I was doing.
After I became a coach and began working for myself, I made the connection between my life experience and the power of stories. Paraphrasing Christopher Vogler, author of "The Writer's Journey," he says:
a good story grabs at the gut, tightens your throat, makes your heart race, brings a tear to your eye, or an explosion of laughter to your lips.
Good stories are more than about imparting knowledge; they are an experience you feel in the body. Which is why we connect to them and remember them so vividly. They can also be life lessons. Our shared stories connect us to our true potential.
How appropriate that these shared life stories appear not just in "The Hero's Journey" of Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell (the story of the soul), but also in life coaching.
As a coach, I'd hear the client tell their story, and know whether they viewed themselves as a hero, victim, or villain. A coach is merely the mirror, reflecting back what she sees and hears. Only the client can change the story, but they may not have the necessary objective view to do that.
Whether most people realize it or not, they are extremely creative and imaginative when it comes to their stories. If deeply committed to them, they will do everything possible to keep them. Then they wonder why they repeatedly experience the same problems.
This understanding of story applies very well to the career of a writer for marketing and business communications.
Communications is story telling. By telling a story, you are positioning yourself, branding yourself, and helping your audience to know what you know, and can offer them. Positioning, branding, and sharing the benefit of your knowledge (or service or product) are what marketing is all about.
Cover Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash