Knowing How to Write
But that’s not exactly what happened..
The more I learned, the more unqualified I felt. I was too focused on the “right” way to write, and began to lose touch with why I was trying to learn about writing in the first place.
I would look at my shelves of writing books and think, “How awesome is THIS!” But — I wasn’t writing (Kind of like collecting recipes and feeling like such a great cook when you haven’t tried a single dish.). I was in a perpetual state of edit before I even got to the page. Of course I realized how ridiculous it is to try to improve at anything without actually taking the plunge, but I was obsessed with doing it correctly.
One day I was thinking about why I follow the blog writers I do. I was thinking in particular about why I love the writings of Chris Brogan, Leonie Dawson, Dooce, Susannah Conway, the Ridler Sisters and others. There was a very simple answer, and it had little to do with their technical mastery of the form or their linguistic and grammatical skills. It was all about heart. These writers put their heart on the page, in their own voice.
I wrote my first book, How to be Organized in Spite of Yourself, with a co-author because at the time I didn’t know how to write without sounding corporate. I didn’t know/trust that I had my own voice until I decided to take a chance on my second book, Organizing for the Spirit. I had so much fun being me! I still worried that maybe I wasn’t doing it right, but that concern evaporated when I started Flow Formula. I realized that I didn’t even care (too much 😉 who liked what; it was about me speaking my truth, in my own words, so that hopefully I could find the people who needed to read it.
I still think it’s important to hone your craft, and I love looking at all of my writing books on my office shelves. But NOTHING else is more important than owning your truth and conveying that truth in your OWN style. And then you go back and make it as good as it can be.
Knowing how to write is really about being able to set down your own story for your own peeps. It’s a big part of why you’re here in the world.