Have you ever struggled with something…and suddenly, everything clicked into place? Maybe a random conversation helped you see your situation in a different way. Or you read a passage in a book – and it’s almost like the passage was written just for you.
That just happened to me.
Every Wednesday morning, rain, shine (or snow,) I jog with a remarkable group of women. I don’t mean easy, flat jogging. We’re sprinting up big hills, going fast and running stairs.
I’ve done this workout for over three years, and almost gave up a number of times. I was that person who was always in the back, while I watched my friends jog effortlessly way up ahead. We’d run timed miles twice a month, and my time would stay the same. I would tell people, “I’m not really a runner. I’m pretty slow.”
Needless to say, I was frustrated. I was trying so hard and seeing (what felt like) zero results.
Three weeks ago, Mary, my friend and trainer, said, “Heather, you are a runner.”
I actually disagreed with her. I even listed reasons why “I wasn’t a runner.” I wasn’t very fast. I didn’t like it very much. I felt like I held up the group. You name it, I was insecure about it.
Then she repeated, “Heather, you are a runner. Keep telling yourself that you are a runner.”
As I was driving home, I had that “click” moment. I am a runner. I am really a runner. I run Mt. Tabor every Wednesday. I’ve completed one 5K and entered another.
I am a runner.
Suddenly, the hills got easier. I felt stronger. I didn’t want to puke quite as often. My timed mile time started going down. Plus, I found myself jogging just for fun. Why? Because I am a runner – and runners run.
This story parallels what many freelance writers go through. When you first start (and sometimes, even if you’ve been writing for awhile,) you feel like you’re not a writer because:
– You haven’t been published.
– You have been published, but not in a well-known publication.
– You’re a copywriter, and a copywriter isn’t a “real writer.”
– Your novel/short story was rejected.
– You’re not making your income goals
– You’re not (fill in the blank.)
See the similarities? You may be busting your butt and writing 10 hours a day, but you don’t see yourself as a writer.
If this sounds like you, here’s your challenge.
Stand in front of the mirror and tell yourself, “I am a writer.” Repeat this over and over (it sounds silly, I know – but it works.)
When people ask what you do, tell them “I am a writer.” Period. Don’t say, “Well, I’m a writer…but I haven’t been published anywhere you’d know about..” Don’t make excuses. Just state the facts: You are a writer – and you’re damn good at what you do!
When things aren’t going like you want and you don’t feel like writing, tell yourself, “I am a writer, and writers write.”
You will be AMAZED at how quickly things will transform:
– You’ll feel better and more confident
– Your new-found confidence will help you land bigger and better clients
– You’ll have more job opportunities
– You’ll look forward to writing and your words will flow effortlessly
– You’ll approach challenging tasks with ease and a sense of fun.
In short, your entire writing world will change – quickly.
So remember, you are a writer – and writers write.
Now go out there and make things happen!
(Special thanks to Mary Drinkhouse for the inspiration!)
I’m running a 5K for the Oregon Humane Society on May 11th, 2013. If you want to donate, you can do so here. Thank you!