Susan, what is the single best piece of advice you would give any writer just starting out (or still struggling along)?
Here’s Susan’s answer:
That you were called to write for a reason. That craving and yearning you have to print your words is REAL and is a pathway to your greatness. It’s not just about the right agent, publisher, book cover. It’s about WHO YOU BECOME while writing the book.
Even with the hectic pace of the chat, those words felt like the warm sun on my face. I want to stop and soak them in. So I did the next best thing: I went back to the transcript after the chat and cut, pasted, and printed Susan’s words so I can see them every day.
I can get so caught up in my goals that I forget why I write. I write to become a better writer, to share my message with my audience, but I also write because of who I become when I write. Maybe that’s the biggest reason I’ve had this longing to write since I was a kid.
When I write, I become someone who pays close attention. I become someone who reflects on life’s experiences, making meaning out of the most trivial happenings (like the flight of a hawk across my back yard) and the most important (like the fact that it took me nine years to get pregnant and have a child of my own). I become someone who considers others’ perspectives. I become someone who can see both sides to every problem.
When I write, I become more creative, more present, more fun. I become someone who takes the worst thing that ever happened and makes it into the thing that led to the best thing that ever happened. The bad thing was just back story, at least the way I tell it, and that makes all the difference.
When I write, I recognize my own failings and use them for good. I tell my stories in service to others and in service to myself. Every time I write I see that whatever feeds my soul also feeds others. I stop calling myself selfish and start calling myself a human being.
When I write, I am enough.
I am enough.
Diane MacKinnon, MD, is currently a full-time mother, part-time life coach, part-time writer. She is a Master Certified Life Coach, trained by Martha Beck, among others. She is passionate about her son, her writing and using her mind to create a wonderful present moment. Find her life coaching blog at www.dianemackinnon.com/blog.