August, 2013

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Am I a writer?

Writer citrus

I was reading a blog post today by Jeff Goins about following his dream and being a writer. And this part of the post got me thinking.

A few years ago, a friend asked me an important question:
“What’s your dream?”
“Don’t have one,” I said.
“Sure you do. Everyone has a dream.”
“Ah, I dunno… I’m living it, I guess.”
“Really? Hrmph.” And then a long pause — “Because, well, I would’ve thought your dream was to be a writer.”
As soon as I heard those words, something in me stirred. Something that had been there all along.
“Well, uh, yeah…” I gulped, “I guess I’d like to be a writer… some day. But that’ll never happen.”
I sounded so sure, so certain that at 28 years old, I knew where the rest of my life was headed. Shaking his head, my friend smiled.
“Jeff… You don’t have to want to be a writer…”
And then he said nine words that changed me life:
“You are a writer; you just need to write.”

This got me thinking of my own journey and the right to use the term ‘writer’. Do you have to earn the right? Or can you just be one?

It all boils down to that feeling we all have from time to time of being a fraud. Even the most successful people have a ‘fraud’ moment from time to time. I recently read the book by Sheryl Sandburg, Lean In. She speaks openly and honestly about her ‘fraud’ experience. She then talks about whether you lean in to the moment or lean out. Reading her experience gave me confidence, why? It demonstrates that we are all human, you could be the COO of Facebook or me and still have the same emotions in similar situations.

Julian Smith in his book Flinch, states “The flinch is the moment when every doubt you’ve had comes back and hits you, hard. It’s when your whole body feels tense. It’s an instinct that tells you to run. It’s a moment of tension that happens in the body and the brain, and it stops everything cold.”

Whether you ‘Lean In’ or face the ‘Flinch’ both require you to have faith and confidence in your ability.

Writing is something I love to do, it’s so expressive, creative and true. There is something scary and liberating about putting pen to paper and sending it out into the world. Citrus Content is still in its early days but my passion for writing is growing. I am constantly armed with a notebook frightened of missing a line, a story or any kind of inspiration that magically appears in my mind.

In many ways starting Citrus Content is like unlocking a door or even flood gates. What has been held deep inside me is now racing to get out. Words are like drops of water forming together into a dramatic waterfall. I feel alive.

So instead if feeling a fraud and flinching, I am now going to embrace the four words and proudly state “I am a writer“.

Resources

Jeff Godins expert via
How I Stopped Waiting to Become a Writer, Quit My Job & Launched My Dream

Julien Smith, Flinch

Sheyl Sandberg, Lean In