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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Daily Tao ☯ 5.19.17

Back in 2016, when I was working on the book now known as LIE TO ME, I was struggling with my work. I knew I wanted to really tap into the creative universe, try something new and different, but something was holding me back. I have been doing this long enough to know that fear is resistance. 

I decided to really hit back at this resistance that was proverbially tying my hands behind my back. I printed three labels with the following reminders:

WHAT YOU SEEK IS SEEKING YOU

DON’T TRY TO STEER THE RIVER

WRITERS WRITE

I taped them on my laptop so they could inspired me daily, and put a starred reminder in my To Do List: Be willing to take one more step with TMA...

Today, I gifted my dad the laptop that wrote the book, as I have a new one that’s smaller, faster, and easier to write on. After we got it all set up for him, I peeled off the labels and put them in my bullet journal, so I’d never forget the inspiration they gave me. 

We writers take inspiration wherever we can get it. My Instagram account is dedicated to this sort of inspiration; that’s me trying to spread it out to the universe (remember, what you seek is seeking you). But I receive inspiration from you, daily. You read my work, you share it with your friends, you tell me when you love (or hate) something, you cheer the successes and comfort the failures. You are as important a part of my daily writing process as the little reminders I leave for myself.

As I sit here today, plowing through a synopsis, watching the snow-capped peaks and the flitting hummingbirds, I am struck by how much you help me on this creative path. So thank you!

Have a lovely weekend, and I’ll see you Monday. 

(Also, see our gorgeous new branding for these little dailies? Big kudos to The Kerr for keeping everything so gorgeous around here! She's up for Sunday Smatterings this weekend, too!)