It’s that time of year when we may be tempted to pile on more and more activities and tasks on our To Do list because it wouldn’t be Christmas without buying just the right gift for our entire family, making Grandma’s fat sugar cookies, whipping up a batch of holiday fudge, or baking that special banana bread. Get the picture? On top of all your usual obligations, now the holidays add on more commitments where you may feel that something has to give. Will it be your writing time?
I was working with a client recently who was feeling the stress making those hard choices of deciding which things to keep and then which of her something else of her many commitments would suffer. She admitted that her amount of writing time has suffered tremendously. But she also shared that she felt so much better when she was able to journal and the writing got done. Interestingly enough, the amount may have diminished, yet the content was more meaningful and felt deeper. And a specific issue surfaced which concerned her so we discussed how to share about specific experiences when you know some feelings may be hurt because the reaction could be “oh, she’s writing about me.”
Here’s my response:
Remember: Your story matters and no one else can tell your story from your perspective.
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It’s National Life-Writing Month…write about yourself…look to the events in your life that have shaped you to be the phenomenal individual you are as rich content matter. Write about anything and everything. Memoir, a slice of life, explores any experience of being human and is shaped by your individual perspective. Whatever you have done, whatever happened to you, whatever concerns you…it is your choice what to share and what not to share. At this point, some reluctant writers may not begin to write because they are afraid of what other people will think. The fear of judgment by others along with your own inner meanies challenges the significance of your content and keeps many from picking up that pen. When those judges try to shut you down…remember…your story is unique and has value because you have value.
Life-writing is your story! It’s all about YOU, and no one can tell your story but YOU! You are the only one who can say to it in the way you want it to be said. Your story is one person’s crusade, adventure, or tale of survival.
You are the only one who can tell it in the way you want it to be told. Your story is one person’s crusade, one person’s adventures, or one person’s tale of surviving. Life-writing includes autobiography, memoirs, letters, diaries, journals (written and documentary), anthropological data, oral testimony, and eyewitness accounts. It is not only a literary or historical specialist, but is relevant across the arts and sciences, and can involve philosophers, psychologists, sociologists, ethnographers, and anthropologists.
Think about writing…
what the family dynamics were before you were born,
What part of your life story will you share today?
photo credit: Dreamstime.com
In honor of Family Day, this post is a story of a family. Come along as this “slice of my life” memoir gives you a glimpse into when my husband and I embarked on our journey to parenthood over three decades ago.
As a little girl, I changed my doll, Baby Tears, diapers and dreamt of having a real baby of my own someday. I never imagined how our quest to have a family would lead to so many unanswered questions.
The why (unexplained infertility) became how (adoption interviews and reams of paperwork). Next, the waiting game. I chose to spend the time getting my college degree during that almost four-year period. Finally, our who, a 6-week-old bundle of joy with sparkling blue eyes and blond fuzz the same year I graduated from college.
“Not flesh of my flesh, nor bone of my bone,
But still miraculously my own.
Never forget for a single minute,
You didn’t grow under my heart – but in it.”
— Fleur Conkling Heylinger
I believe parents and children are divinely matched heart-to-heart. As a result, they become a family. True, social workers had more to do with our “match” than DNA when it came to the agency’s process of creating our family. My daughter and I have a mole in the same spot on our left arms, a fact that I regard as Spirit’s kiss and proof to me of our special bond. Spooky coincidence? No, synchronicity at work I assure you.
Whether you argue Nature vs. Nurture or grace, gratitude and gumption in generous proportions determine the love, compassion, and empathy necessary to create a strong family bond, I’m forever grateful that we are a family.
Family holds our hearts and helps us cope with whatever comes tomorrow.
I invite you to use everything you’ve got to connect with those who are waiting to hear your story. You never know what part of your story is exactly what they need to hear to know that YOU are the solution to their dilemma.
What do the words “wheeling forward” mean to you?
Carefree times with the wind blowing your hair in all directions as you speed down a paved path towards a favorite picnic destination?
Or, careening down uncharted trails in search of a soft place to land?
July is Women’s Motorcycle Month. Many years ago I was invited to go on a double date with a new friend and her boyfriend. “We’ll go motorcycle riding at sunset,” she said. “It will be so much fun!” I agreed to the date, but didn’t reveal to her two critical details: 1) I’d never actually ridden on a motorcycle, and 2) a more significant fact for me…this would be my first date.
I was so excited about a real date. I was also nervous about the motorcycle part. I’ve grown up around motorcycles, so I hatched a plan to gain some time in the saddle before the date and gain some confidence as a knowledgeable rider.
My father was part of the Army’s 4th Cavalry during WWII. No, he didn’t ride a horse…he rode a Harley. He passed that love of two-wheeled speed to my brothers. They shared ownership of a Honda. I had no idea how big the “bike” was in my future for the date, but I was determined to do some field research before I took to the open road. I innocently asked my brother if I could sit on his motorcycle. Instead, I got a motorcycle driving lesson, with disastrous results. I crashed into a tree, bashed in the headlight, and had to have 13 stitches to close up the gap in my knee.
Your story of “wheeling forward” may involve your own version of stitches…representing a hard lesson learned. The message I’d like you to take away from this glimpse into my history is that we must be willing to say “yes” to things outside our comfort zone in order to experience life…the sweet and the not so sweet.
By the way, I did go on the date, although not on a motorcycle for quite some time. I guess it turned out okay…we’ve been married forty-five years.
Please share your “wheeling forward” story with me on my Facebook page I’d love to hear from you.
photo credit: Dreamstime.com
And do you harbor a dream of making a difference with the words you hold in your heart?
To inspire someone with a story you have crafted?
So many women feel that they don’t have a story, and it doesn’t matter if they share their story or not. I promise you someone is waiting to hear your story. Yes, I know that’s a very bold statement. I also know that the same Source who created you gave you everything you need to achieve your dream.
I am on a mission to support the women who have been silent too long to claim their voices and share the story they are here to share. I’ll use my gifts honed as a journalist for 30-years to help you discover that story. First, you have to do something for yourself.
You can’t sit around and wait…you’ve got to take action to make your dreams come true. Sign up to attend the 16th Annual Cedar Falls Christian Women’s Writing Workshop (June 14-16) with keynote speaker/author Jocelyn Green.
I’m honored to be among those invited to share their expertise with the participants on the grounds of the Riverview Conference Center in Cedar Falls, Iowa. You will find me wearing multiple hats as a speaker, writing coach and panelist over the course of the 3-day event.
- Thurs., June 14 at 11:15 [Speaker] my talk/workshop “The Pen’s in Your Hand – Unleash Your Story Worth Writing”
- Thurs. and Friday, June 14 & 15 at 12:10 [Writing Coach] sign-up for individual coaching sessions
- Saturday, June 16 at 10:15 Q & A [Panelist] on the final day of the workshop where we will discuss any lingering questions of the attendees