When I became a coach in 1999, I went out and bought a suit. I wanted to be ‘professional.’ As a young coach, I felt the need to dress for success, and I thought the suit would ensure that I was taken seriously.
It didn’t take long to realize that for me, professionalism was something else. Professionalism was being completely present for my clients. It was honoring my word and living my integrity. To survive in business, life and writing, one must be authentic. You cannot adopt someone else’s business practices. You cannot take their same steps through life and you cannot parrot someone else’s writing style.
Writing not rooted in your soul goes nowhere. It’s a struggle and it leads only to misery. It’s what we call ‘selling out.’
I’ve a confession to make: I’ve been struggling with my writing for some time now, specifically these newsletters and my blog posts. Current business wisdom tells me to write how-to articles that shepherd people through the writing and publishing process. These articles should have sexy titles that get you to open the email and should have plenty of keywords that you search for so I am established with Google’s algorithms as an expert.
And I’ve written those articles – hundreds of them. And the truth is, I can’t do it anymore.
Because writing is much more than ten steps to… or five ways to…penned in 500 words or less. Writing is soul work. Writing is a path to our deepest truth. Writing takes us into the rich terrain of our lives to discover what we are and what we have to give. It’s a magical and transformative tool that enlightens, empowers and guides us. Writing isn’t always easy. It’s not always received and it’s not always a tidy marketing tool.
This I believe: if you have the impulse to write, you must follow it. The urge to write is a deep calling. The desire to write is a profound invitation to access your soul’s wisdom.
I know this because this is what my clients experience. Our conversations acknowledge the soul work we do together. This is why writing can be so scary and why we may need hand holding to brave the page – it’s important work to be honored and respected.
I’ve been writing for
sixteen twenty years now. I’ve written essays, poems, how-to articles and books. I’ve attempted screenplays and am still writing my novel. Good writing works us, comes from our deepest desires and passions and helps us live authentically.
The writing I’ve been doing for Original Impulse has become the equivalent of putting on a suit. And even though that suit I bought eleven years ago was red and quite sexy, it wasn’t my suit. And those how-to articles may have helped people, I know I can offer more by writing from my soul.
My work is to be a leader and my writing is one way I lead unconventional women to lead lives of creative daring. I can no longer tolerate dreading the writing I do for my work and for you. My soul insists that I brave deep and inspiring essays that enliven and encourage us.
Who knows what that will look like! I only know this: writing is soul work and I must honor that in me and in you. Perhaps you’ve been struggling with writing that isn’t your true voice, subject or soul expression. Join me in acknowledging the power of writing to guide, to heal, to learn and to teach.
Today, identify your current perspective about your writing. For instance, my perspective had been: Writing is a marketing tool I can use to build my business and help others.
Then, consider the new perspective I’ve asserted here – writing is soul work.
- How does that perspective impact you?
- How does it help you overcome your creative fear?
- How does it help you make time to write?
- How does it help you choose what to write about and how?
I’d love to hear your responses to these questions. Please comment below or send me a note.