You've learned a thing or two in this lifetime. Maybe you know the secret to making the perfect souffle. Or how to be a stepparent to kids who refuse to say your name. Or maybe you want people to know how prayer has changed your life. Whatever it is, there is some message that you feel called to share in a blog.
But you're Just. Not. Writing.
You may be like Cindy, who told me: "I find it hard to give myself permission to write because there's no value in it." She felt that because blogging doesn't necessarily result in a paycheck or an immediate sale, it's therefore a hobby or an indulgence.
And Debbie said: "I want to share what I know but I'm not good enough. I'm not an expert."
Here's another thing I often hear: "I just want to write one blog a month. I don't have enough content to do more, and I wouldn't want to bombard my clients anyway."
I've found that there are 3 common myths about writing that are, frankly, BS. I used to believe these, and I wonder if you do:
- I have to be an expert. I've often called myself the reluctant blogger. I wrote a memoir about divorce and while I was writing it, I decided to post the first chapter on a website for divorced moms. In less than 24 hours my chapter, now called a blog, was syndicated to Australia and Germany and within a few days had gotten nearly 4,000 likes and close to 600 comments. Despite this, I'm not an expert on divorce (nor do I want to be) but I was an expert in MY divorce. I was the only person who experienced it the way I did, and that made me the only one who could tell that story.
- There's no value in it. How do you place a value on connecting with someone? Or a value on building trust with a client? Or how about a value on how you feel when you express yourself in a way that you've been wanting to?
- No one cares. I honestly thought that my story was cliche and that no one would want to read another story of betrayal and divorce. But my story has now been viewed more than 33,000 times on the internet. So you never know who will care, and really, if you reach one person, isn't that worth it?
I went to a Marianne Williamson lecture a while back. She's the author of A Return to Love and A Year of Miracles and many other books. She was telling about a conference she held on race relations in Los Angeles. She said that things were getting heated in the room, and at one point, a white man stood up and angrily addressed a black woman. "We've heard about all of this injustice again and again," he yelled. "This is not helping anything. Why can't we move on?" And the woman looked at him and said, "Because you've never heard it from ME!"
What a great mantra to keep as a writer. The world needs to hear it from you, whatever IT is. Only you can tell your story and we will not be satisfied until we hear it--directly, expertly, genuinely, bravely, imperfectly--from you.
Tammy Letherer is a writing coach who loves to help others find their voice, whether in a blog or in a book. She is the author of one novel, Hello Loved Ones, and a memoir, Real Time Wreck: A Crash Course in Betrayal and Divorce, for which she is seeking agent representation. Contact her if you have a story that deserves to be shared. Follow her on Facebook and LinkedIn.