When I first started writing with an intention to go beyond journal writing, I didn’t have much confidence. I had seldom successfully worked with an idea and followed it through to the end. The only times I did submit finished pieces to potential publishers, rejection letters followed. I was equally unsuccessful with contest entries. The few times I shared my writing with family members, the feedback I received was critical. I knew I had something to say, and yet I wasn’t feeling encouraged to keep going. The voices muttering in my head were flattening my creative ideas.
It’s obvious to me now that I have a very strong desire to express myself in writing. No matter what happened on the outside, I still wanted to write. If you’re reading this, I suspect that you do too. Take heart! I finally found my way into a supportive writing group where we were encouraged to take risks, and where our words were welcomed. Based on how much I benefitted from the small group circles, I decided to create writing groups where you can also have that transformative experience, shifting self-doubt into confidence.
In my circles, in addition to writing together, we also read our words aloud to each other. The first time I read my words to a group, it was a very scary experience. I’d never shared my words with anyone like this before, and certainly not by reading out loud. However, this process of writing and reading aloud was a game-changer.
The audience members, the other writers in the group, had all learned to listen for what was strong in the words being shared. At first, I was skeptical. Really? They’re telling me that these phrases stand out for them? That these words I thought were trite, that I was almost ashamed to read out for them, are memorable and strong? That the images I’ve created with my words are powerful?
It’s a good thing I trusted these people, because otherwise I would have dismissed anything they had to say as “just being nice.” After hearing enough supportive feedback, I started to believe in the power of my words. And with that growing confidence came the ability to commit to writing longer pieces. And eventually to write the manuscript for my memoir over a period of four years.
Everything I offer is based on my personal experience of achieving my writing goals, and what helped me get there. You may want to consider joining my next Step Into Your Story series, where you are encouraged to play with an idea before shifting to a more intriguing one, or you can focus on a particular writing project. Rather than writing from a place of questioning your abilities, you are supported in your strengths. You develop confidence from the powerful, encouraging feedback you receive. That is how you keep interest in your project. When you learn what is strong in your voice, in your stories, you will want to write more for your readers. They deserve to receive your words.
Step into your Story supports the development of strong writing and confident writers. This 5-week series is for you if:
- You have a desire to write, but you haven’t been encouraged by others’ responses when you share your words. Perhaps you don’t typically share your writing and find yourself losing interest in your projects. If your mind asks questions like, “Who would ever read this?” “What was I thinking?” or worse – “This isn’t very good; I’m wasting my time”, this is a great space for you to overcome your inner critic.
- You have tried to walk away from your ideas but keep coming back… your desire to write never goes away.
- You have great ideas for stories you want to write and you’ve never had time to focus on them. Consider this an invitation to devote yourself to the creative impulse for five weeks. This series will jumpstart your writing dreams by giving you all the tools you need to carry on with the wind in your sails.
- You find the “blank page” daunting. Together we write from prompts, so you will never need to scour the corners of your mind for inspiration. We read aloud our fresh writing to a supportive and respectful audience, learning to hear the strength of our own words, and we grow our writing muscle.
- You would hesitate to confidently tell people you are a writer. In fact, no previous writing experience is necessary for Step Into Your Story!
FOR MORE INFORMATION, AND TO REGISTER: