Can you remember the life story that taught you a life lesson? How about an article that showed you a new way of thinking, or the short story that made you feel emotional – good or bad? Perhaps another time you even laughed so hard your ribs hurt. I’ll bet certain writings and writers come to mind.
It might be an inspirational poem, a non-stop adventure, or a heart-wrenching personal struggle, but when you finished you knew it was time well spent. The author had the guts to write life rather than simply string words together. Whether it was their experience or someone else’s, they found a unique way to communicate it.
They believed their words had substance. That’s what I call writing in color, and that’s hard work. It needs to be free of clutter and polished. Words that are full of life are infused with who you are. Writing in color requires believing that people will connect with you. It means moving beyond yourself and thinking about whose life your words might enrich.
Do you trust that…?
1. Your good experiences are good enough.
You may not have the success of Max Lucado in the area of inspiration or the sales record of Tom Clancy for military suspense, but in your writing journey you have learned things that are valuable. You’ve experienced things that people can relate to. Trust that what you have to share has an audience, whether in story form or how-to article. You just have to discover it, and then find your unique angle.
2. Your challenges are relatable.
We tend to downplay our difficulties. This can be good; it helps us get through them. But sometimes you need to tell your individual story. You may not have the experience of sleeping under a bridge and then rising to become a well-known business speaker and author, like Andy Andrews, but there are folks that will relate to your life experiences. It’s harder to write about those experiences, but few writers connect by sharing only their happy days. Your difficulties and specific challenges may be what someone needs to hear – today.
3. Your heart is beautiful.
You might not think it is, but your human experiences have made you who you are. If you are a mature person, your experiences have helped you make important decisions, form concrete opinions, and develop worthwhile relationships. People have helped you learn along the way. Decide to give back. Allow others to learn from you. Your life matters.
If you do…
…Be faithful. Everyone who has been writing for some time has had someone tell them that their “timing was perfect”. The book came at the right time, the post was put up on the day they needed to read it, or even the card, letter, or note arrived the day the receiver longed to know someone cared.
But, the writer knows the truth; the card was sent a day or two before, the post was conceived at a different time, and the book was worked on for several years. The writer was simply faithful to write, and to get their words into print. They knew they could do no good otherwise. Words need readers. Your experiences are “good enough.” Your difficulties are relatable, and your heart is beautiful. Send your words out.
You’ll be amazed at what they can do.
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