25 years ago I was a mediocre Lang Lit student who rarely completed a project on time and exerted as little effort as possible. My journalism classes were easy enough to skate through and my creative writing courses at UNM were rudimentary at best, and yet I did the bare minimum and I got by. Needless to say, writing wasn’t my strong suit.
I was in love with the idea of being a writer and even more loved the idea of living the lifestyle of a famous writer without all the notoriety of an actor or performer. I always assumed I’d be a writer, but never knew how I was going to get there unless I actually started writing. I really didn’t know how to write and definitely didn’t want to put forth the effort to learn a new skill at 43. I’m not lazy; I just couldn’t see myself becoming something that I was not.
Nevertheless, I wanted to be a writer, so a little over a year ago I submitted some of my “work” to Women on Business editor Susan Gunelius. It must have been one of those serendipitous things that I even found her site as she was looking for contributing writers. Much to my surprise, she accepted my writing and welcomed me to the team. I was given a choice of days, given some guidelines and one of the expectations was that I have a referring blog to toggle from. I sat at my computer that night, figured out how to create a personal blog and committed to a weekly Monday article beginning two weeks later. I figured the two weeks would give me time to actually write something for the first time in my life…sometime on a deadline…and something that someone else would find interesting.
WOW, who submits work to become a weekly writer without having old articles to fall back on or revive in a pinch? I guess I do. 52 weeks ago I made a commitment to being a writer…and I have become one. In one short year I have thought of, struggled with, conjured, edited, waffled over and produced an article a week for the award-winning www.WomenonBusiness.com. Me, the C student who liked taking short-cuts and reading Cliff’s notes was following through on a writing assignment in a big way. ANYTHING is possible!
Anything IS possible, which is my very point here. I wasn’t going to get a book deal just by believing I could write; I wasn’t going to get any better at it by NOT writing; I was only going to do it if I well, DID IT! Now for my disclaimer, I’m not always good and I haven’t gotten a book deal…BUT I don’t stand a chance if I never begin in the first place. Sometimes the opportunities are there and the intentions are there, but unless we take the first step into DOING, nothing is going to change. And acting “as if” we’re already a writer (painter, singer, actor, insert your passion here) is the only first step you need to worry about. The rest just comes. The opportunities reveal themselves. The story gets told and you have a chance at the happily ever after you dreamed of as a kid.