Katie from The Cat Bed invited me to be part of this inspiring group of women sharing their writing on the internet. I met Katie when we were both training as art therapists, and we bonded over our love of writing and, of course, cats.
I started writing at a very young age. I remember winning prizes in primary school for stories, book reviews and spelling bees. I loved words, and I read just about every book in our school library as well as the local library. I especially loved fairy tales. English was my favourite subject and the one I did best in, except for the days we had to do speeches. I much preferred the written word to the spoken one, and still do.
I thought about being a journalist but ended up becoming a psychologist which, fortunately, still allows me an outlet for my writing. I’ve written articles for magazines and I started my self-development blog two years ago. It took a long time for me to be able to write freely though, and even when I did, I could never show anyone my writing. It felt like taking my clothes off in public.
I remember doing creative writing class at university and the tutor complaining that my story got to a certain point and then slammed a door shut in her face. She was right, it was the point at which I realised she’d be reading it at some stage. I tied it all up neatly and hid myself away again. I’ve done many a writing course or mentorship since then with the same result.
It wasn’t until I discovered Julia Cameron’s ‘morning pages’ that I learned how to write honestly and with heart. Three handwritten pages in my journal every morning that even I didn’t read back, that could be about anything and didn’t need to contain good grammar or punctuation. It was this process that helped me start writing my blog, and even then I contacted a favourite blogger to ask how she could be so vulnerable with her writing. She said it had taken two years of writing consistently for her true voice to reveal itself. She also said she simply deleted any negative comments.
I also learned from my students when I ran groups and workshops on creativity and body image that our stories are powerful healing tools and others need to hear them. I grew up being told my story should be kept quiet, that no-one wanted to hear it, but I began to realise that I was telling it to people who didn’t want to hear it because it meant they might have to do something about it. These days I tell aspects of my story to people who need to hear it, and that makes all the difference.
What am I working on/writing?
I have about a dozen books in my head – parables, memoirs, fictional novels – but right now I’m focusing on building my personal development business, sharing my thoughts and experiences honestly through my blog and FB business page. I want to use my voice to reach my ‘tribe’ so I can share with them the tools they need to overcome the curve balls life has thrown at them. I feel as though my mission on Earth is to help people see themselves as they truly are, through writing and other creative methods.
How does my work differ from other writers in my genre?
We all have a unique voice. but unless we learn to trust it, we end up trying to copy the voice of others. There are many writers online whose words just speak directly to my soul and I’ve tried to write exactly like them in the past, but it doesn’t work. I remember Stephen King saying he started out the same way, and that it’s ok to do that because it helps you find your own voice eventually. I’m still discovering what makes my work differ from others, but I know the answer lies in sharing my own experience as authentically as possible.
Why do I write what I do?
I write because I can’t not write. I think my head would explode without getting things down in my journals as often as possible. But I also feel it’s a valuable way of connecting with other kindred spirits and helping us all feel less alone. Sometimes the spoken word isn’t enough. People often say social media has alienated us all from each other, but I think we’re more honest in some ways when we have to write what we feel instead of speaking it directly. So I write to share my deepest lessons on this planet and hopefully to touch and maybe even heal some other like-minded souls along the way.
Next Week’s Blog Hoppers
Brida Anderson is the author of “Hedge Games” (Urban Romantasy). She also writes Steampunk and blogs – when she isn’t running after her two boys (8 and 3). Until a few months ago, they lived at the edge of a big city, a few streets away from the forest, with an over-active border collie and at least one family of sock-eating gnomes.
Last spring, Brida relocated to the Middle East with the whole family, for three years. Not exactly the perfect environment for a red-headed author with fair skin writing about elfish forests … 😉
Alyssa Marr is a copywriter for women entrepreneurs who desperately want the words on their website to both sound like their real, offline self and attract their dream clients.
She wrote her Effortless Copywriting Guide to help you clearly communicate your awesomeness across your entire website, so that your dream clients will be clear about it too + will leap at the chance to work with you. Get yours here.
Website :: alyssamartin.me | Twitter :: @alyssaink | Skype :: alyssa.martinShare