How Finding Your Place In The World Makes You A Better Writer

How Finding Your Own Peace Makes You a Better Writer

I met a woman recently who personifies everything I want to be when I grow up.

She was effortless. Do you know how hard that is? From her clothes to her hair to her demeanor to her sense of humor, everything she did and said was… effortless. 

Blew. My. Mind.

I mean, I read her, so I know she’s awesome simply through her words, and I will admit, way back when, my debut year, I fan-girled all over her, then gave her my card — why, I’m not sure. Did I think she was going to email me and we’d meet up for drinks? That we’d start exchanging letters or manuscript pages? I have no earthly idea why I did it other than sensing peace emanating from her like a fine perfume, and it attracted me. 

Can we bottle peace as a pheromone? Hmm…

Anyway, as a woman who is now solidly into middle-age, seeing someone so settled within her skin gives me hope. Too often, I still find myself mired in the typical female worries: What will they think of me if I I wear my hair up instead of down; my stomach is bulgy in those pants; oh my God did I actually just SAY that? 

I’m mellowing with age, truly, I am, but I still have a lot of what we now so glumly call social anxiety. Happily, though, I care less about the aspects I have no control over — fitting in, getting people to like me, concern about what people think of me as a person. Obviously I worry about what people think of my work, but not so much about whether they think that I am cool.

My friends think I’m a decent person. My cats think I hung the moon. My husband still digs me. My parents don’t stay up late into the night worrying if I’m going to amount to anything. I have a career I love, a car that’s paid for, and comfortable shoes that look snazzy. I’m not the most stylish creature, but I can pull off a red lip like a champ, and I know what clothes work for my body. I drink plenty of water and get lots of sleep.

Really, can a girl ask for more? 

Well, yes. When you’re settled in who you are, when you have your own point of view of the world, your work will automatically be stronger. Something to aspire to, for sure.  

Have you ever met one of your inspirations? Did you talk to them about how they’ve changed you?

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