After some months, as I get back to the page to write my book, I'm learning an incredible amount about myself, what it is to be a writer and the creative process. What I'm discovering is that there is far more to being a writer than just writing.
Becoming a writer is a journey that will take many, many years to comprehend fully, but because I write, I am a writer. This is something I struggle with because I don't have any kind of qualification in writing, I just love it.
A couple of weeks ago a dear friend sent me this interview Marie Forleo conducts with Elizabeth Gilbert, where she talks about her book, Big Magic — Fear, Failure, & the Mystery of Creativity. When I watched this interview so many of my fears were put to rest. The biggest thing I realised is that I have no control over what anyone is going to say about my book, and I don't need to.
Since I watched that YouTube video I have devoured so much of Elizabeth Gilbert's content - more videos, books, her podcast, Magic Lessons. Then I have gone on to read, watch and listen to her TEDTalks, and other great writers and mentors she recommends like, Byron Katie, Ann Patchett, Julia Cameron, and so many more.
What I'm learning from Liz's work is that it's not necessary to have a degree in fine arts (she doesn't and nor do many authors), you just have to show up on the page. And the biggest and most surprising tip is to write as if you're writing to someone, rather than a demographic, and do it because you love writing, not to help anyone; just write because you love it.
When I read her books and listen to her videos she makes writing sound easy and fun. I know that's not always the case, and she shares stories about books that don't make it to print too, but more often than not, her work has me feeling inspired beyond belief.
To write, you have to connect deeply with yourself, and that is what I love about it. I love the feeling I get; a sense of aliveness, of the passion for words and the self-expression bubbling up inside of me.
Of course I've always known I love to write, but each time I take a break from it, I always come back with an even deeper love for it, which gives me such joy. Now, I own being a writer, whereas previously I hadn't allowed myself to. It fills me up when I think about how lucky I am to have found something I love so much, and that now I get to do it.
Whether you're a writer or have some other kind of creative passion, I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments.