What drives your writing?
Susie E. Caron © 5/12/16
I woke up thinking about this topic overnight. I do that every now and then. A topic or title comes to me seemingly out of nowhere, and wakes me up. I’ve come to enjoy these moments, and tried to figure out ways to recall what clever thing came to my mind. That way I could write about it the next day. It doesn’t always work. However, I’m happy I remembered this one.
Here are my questions: Do you have a solid brand and consistent style? What drives you as a writer, author or blogger? Do you really know what makes it happen?
Lots of people want to write. Many write daily. Some blog. Some publish books in kindle or print.
What drives their work?
Last night, I also remembered a very wise professor from my first semester of graduate school for psychologists. I thought he’d talk about clients, patients and models of practice. I was surprised by the first assignment. He told us to go home and write down all our ‘personal beliefs and assumptions’. These could be about ourselves, others, about life in general, and about providing psychotherapy. He said to be brutally honest with ourselves. Then, he suggested strongly that we don’t bring it to class or show it to anyone.
I was curious but skeptical about the purpose of this. I wrote mine and uncovered many good, bad, and ugly things I'd long held secret in my mind. I was surprised as much about the good stuff as I was about the ugly stuff. It was unsettling in it's revealing, to say the least.
When we returned to class the next week he told us the purpose:
"You need to know your deepest self in order to put "self" aside when you work with people."
He explained that we are unconsciously driven by our hidden idiosyncrasies, our likes, dislikes, and prejudices. When we remain unaware of them, we hinder our work with people. That made sense to me. I wanted to work from my heart. I didn’t want to be driven by things unknown to me, especially if it wouldn’t help my future patients and clients. Apparently, things unknown to us can get in the way of clarity.
Now, as I think about this, I think this exercise will help writers and authors too. Writing out your private beliefs and assumptions will reveal the hidden, secretly captive, things that 'drive' you unconsciously. Once these are revealed they can no longer interfere with your writing. It's a healthy first step to writing freely, and can even help you to discover your brand.
If you're struggling to discover your style, voice, big why, target audience, brand, etc., etc., then give this an honest try. It's free and helps get to the core of you. When you do you’ll discover more about yourself, your idiosyncracies, your likes, dislikes, and prejudices. Some of what you discover will please you and make you feel really good about you. Other things, about yourself, will seem unpleasant, ugly and bad. Don't worry, you won't suddenly burst into flames when you find out some of your darkest thoughts. It's better to know them. They are part of what makes you uniquely you. However, they lurk in the corners of your mind waiting to block you, trip you up, and make you feel bad. So why not identify each one? Then you can tell them to 'go to their rooms and shut the door' because you are too busy writing to entertain them today.
You have many options as a writer or author to discover your particular writing style (brand, etc.) However, I think that writing out your personal beliefs and assumptions will help you to more easily clarify a lot: who you are, why you write and what you want to write, and publish. This can help you to write with more clarity and purpose.
Remember, i'ts only by really knowing yourself, warts and all that you can put self aside and really write from your heart.
So take the time today to write out your personal beliefs and assumptions. Here are some starters. You can write as many as you can think of for each and add more.
I don’t believe…
I really appreciate you and I thank you for reading this and my other articles.
What do you think about this? Send me a question or a note: email@example.com
Twee’ Means You & Me
Knowing ourselves so we can write from our hearts.
Susie E. Caron MA,
Psychologist-Master, Parent Coach, Blogger, & Author, committed to help you repair and rebuild your parent-child relationship for benefits that last a lifetime.
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