One year ago, we were ramping up for the first annual World-Changing Writing Workshop. As we planned and worked and wrote, I told Pace, “I do not want this Workshop to become an annual thing. I don’t want it to be a major focus in our business – or our lives. I’m not a writer, and I don’t want to focus on writing.”
One year ago.
I said, “I’m not a writer.”
This year, over the past four months as we’ve planned and worked and wrote for the second annual World-Changing Writing Workshop, I told Pace, “I want this Workshop to happen every year! I love it so much – I’m so glad there’s room in our business and in our lives for this to be a major focus. I love being a writer!”
I’m not even kidding.
When we started last year’s workshop, I was scared and upset. I was going through the worst year of my life, and I was only six weeks away from my hysterectomy. I hated writing because all I ever had in my heart to write was pain, grief, fear. I was full of anger – at myself, at my body, at Spirit, at the world. My words didn’t pour out, they trickled in a painful stream. I had to force them out, word by word. Each post took ages to write. My “daily” practice was an every-few-months practice. I didn’t even write for myself – didn’t even want to.
Half way through the workshop last summer, I had surgery. I missed two sessions and was groggy through the final session. I was sliding into the second half of my deep depression. The very idea of writing made me nauseous. I didn’t even look at my computer for weeks.
I hated writing. I decided I would never write again.
But writing is in my blood. I’m a storyteller by nature. I’ve been writing since I was old enough to pour my words out. I’ve written books, volumes of poetry, micro-fiction, blog posts. I’ve written for thousands and I’ve written just for me.
And I gave it all up.
Then, something strange happened. I discovered that I actually enjoyed writing just for me. I found a place to write that was private, that motivated me with dorky little badges and an ever-changing word-counter. My word-cork popped, and the words bubbled out.
They weren’t pretty. I was hurt, furious, terrified. I wrote a novel’s worth of “why me?” I wrote thousands of words on the injustice of my situation, railing against my path. Often, I would write until I burst into tears. I would write until I was gnashing my teeth so much my jaw ached. I would write and write until my hands ached, until my fingers gave out.
I was releasing.
I was purging.
I was writing.
I’d given it up, I’d decided I would never be a writer – but I was writing. I was writing upwards of 1,000 words a day. Some of it was private, but all of it was important.
You needed to hear my story.
The world needed my writing.
All of my grief. All of my hate. All of my fear, my fury at Great Spirit. My highs and my lows. My triumphs and my failings.
My tiny fragile muse, once so weak a breeze would send me spinning, donned boots and grabbed a sledge-hammer. I began to write in earnest. I turned my once-every-few-months writing practice into an every-single-day-no-matter-what writing practice. I wrote about my life, my feelings, my heart – and I put these raw, vulnerable words out into the world.
I turned myself inside out for you.
And then the emails started. When I would write about my despair, I would get emails from others who felt the same. When I would talk about hating Spirit, I would get comforting, loving emails from people in the same place. When I wrote, sobbing, about losing my dreams, emails flooded in from others sobbing on their end of the world. When I wrote about discovering the Writer inside me, others responded with cheers.
I was not alone.
I was writing for me, but more importantly, I was writing for you – and you were responding. Together, we were connecting. Together, we were changing the world.
I’ve been asked why we’re doing a World-Changing Writing Workshop. I’ve been asked how we can change the world by writing.
This is why.
Because we’re not alone – but we all feel alone.
Because every single one of us has a voice that deserves to be heard.
Because every single one of us has a story – and the world needs to hear your story.
Because writing is lonely, so lonely that people stop writing – but the world needs what you’re writing.
Because writing saved my life. I thought I lost everything – but I still had my voice. And in sharing my voice, in writing my heart out, I found a new life.
That’s why we’re doing this.