I love today’s topic by Colleen M. Story, because it’s one that I think most writers think about…is storytelling our destiny? After all, writing isn’t easy and there’s a big learning curve. It’s easy to doubt ourselves and whether we’re up to the challenge. (But we are!) So read on for Colleen’s insight on how to KNOW the writing life is for you. ~ Angela
It’s one thing to enjoy writing. It’s another to believe that writing is part of your life’s purpose.
How can you tell which may be the case for you? Watch for the following seven clues.
1. You build your life around writing.
You’re not someone who writes when they find the time. Instead, your writing is one of the top priorities in your life, and you make room for it. You create a daily schedule that leaves you 30-60 minutes or more to write. You block off time on the weekends to educate yourself via books, workshops, and writing groups. You find a way to budget for writer’s conferences, editing, and marketing assistance.
If your schedule gets out of hand and leaves you no time for writing, you change that schedule the first chance you get. The writing gets done, no matter what.
2. Your biggest reward from writing has nothing to do with money.
Sure, we all love big royalty checks, but that’s not why you write. Your biggest reward when it comes to writing is the surreal way you can escape into your make-believe worlds, the satisfaction you feel when you type “the end,” and the way your heart warms when a reader loves your characters.
You come back to writing again and again not because you hope for fame and fortune, but because the joy you find on the page is unlike anything else you’ve known, and you crave it. Writing is your addiction and you don’t have any plans to quit.
3. Writing helps you find meaning in life.
When you look back on your life, you’ll think of your stories with a sense of pride. They represent the best of you, reflecting your greatest efforts and deepest thoughts.
When all the concerns and worries of life fade away, the time you spent writing will seem worthwhile because of the resulting stories you can share with others. Writing helps you feel like you did more than just exist while you were here—you created something valuable, something that can endure even after you’re gone, and that brings you peace.
4. Writing makes life a little easier for you.
Writing itself can be hard, and book marketing is certainly difficult for most, but on the whole, you find that writing makes life easier. As long as you know you’re continuing to progress with your writing projects, you can better manage that stressful job or frustrating colleague. Life’s little irritations are much easier to bear because you know that in the end, writing is waiting for you.
With writing, your goals are clear in your mind. You don’t have to struggle to figure out where you want to go next because you already know. There’s a clear road between you and your destination, and you’re eager to follow it.
5. Writing helps you get through the hard times.
It’s not always easy to write through a crisis, as we all found out during the COVID-19 pandemic. Writing can help you wade through your feelings after the fact, though, and can give you a much-needed escape when the world gets a little crazy.
You enjoy sinking into your make-believe world where you can allow your characters to triumph and justice to reign. You like that in your stories, you can play God and make things turn out the way you think they should. You find it refreshing that when all else fails, your writing is there, no matter what. After an hour of writing, you can face the real world again.
6. Writing regularly brings you new opportunities.
Your writing has opened doors for you. It’s helped you connect with other people you would have never known otherwise. It’s brought you new opportunities to expand your skills and develop your talents, allowing you more choices when it comes to developing your creative career.
Writing has helped you discover strengths you didn’t know you had and led you to feel more confident in your ability to create works of value. It’s encouraged you to step out of your comfort zone and learn new things, and that has helped you see even more ways to contribute.
Overall, when you look back over your life, you can see how much writing has helped you grow both professionally and personally, and you can envision how it will continue to do so in the future.
7. Without writing, life seems less…
Most people wouldn’t miss a beat if they weren’t writing. For you, it’s different. Without writing, life would lose some of its depth, and maybe a lot of its magic. Your days would feel less fulfilling, and perhaps more hum-drum. You’d feel restless and like something was missing, and find your attention wandering more than usual.
Writing allows you to find more in life, more in your experiences and emotions, and more in the events you see unfolding around you. It allows you to mine everyday experiences for their deeper meanings, and to pay homage to the little things that upon reflection, mean so much. With writing, life opens up its secret passageways and allows you a glimpse into the mysteries that endure. With writing, life is so much more.
Note: For more on overcoming self-doubt and deciding to be a writer no matter what, see Colleen’s new book, Your Writing Matters: How to Banish Self-Doubt, Trust Yourself, and Go the Distance. Get your free chapter here!
In her new release, Your Writing Matters, Colleen M. Story helps writers determine whether writing is part of their life’s purpose. Her book on author platforms, Writer Get Noticed!, was a gold-medal winner in the Reader’s Favorite Book Awards, and Overwhelmed Writer Rescue was named Book by Book Publicity’s Best Writing/Publishing Book in 2018. Her novel, Loreena’s Gift, was a Foreword Reviews’ INDIES Book of the Year Awards winner, among others.
Colleen frequently serves as a workshop leader and motivational speaker, where she helps attendees remove mental and emotional blocks and tap into their unique creative powers. Find more at her author website and Writing and Wellness, and connect with her on Twitter and YouTube.