You are a writer

Some of my fantastic friends from Portland Adventure Bootcamp. I'm the sweaty one on the right.

Some of my fantastic friends from Portland Adventure Bootcamp. I’m the sweaty one on the right.

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!