Writers: Is Your Window Open?

People often have specific experiences or unique perspectives they want to share with the world. Yet something holds them back from sharing that through writing.

Do you feel your ideas are just too personal … or not earth shattering enough?

Do you stay cloistered inside your life’s little room, wishing you could open the window and shout out your feelings? But …

  • How embarrassing if heads turn with a scowl!
  • How humiliating if someone shouts back!
  • What if I don’t have anything interesting enough to say?

The fact is: People WANT to hear what you have to say.

Why do you think social media venues, texting, skyping, etc. have consumed our lives!

We want to not only share OUR lives… we want to hear the life stories of OTHERS as well.

Jeffrey Strickland recently published a LinkedIn Pulse post about our Backyards, the spaces in which we live, emotionally as well as physically. Yet many of us stay inside, not even daring to step out of our comfort zones even into our backyards.

But writing allows us a way to open a window and reach out with our voices to others. We are still safe in our life’s private room—but we’ve opened a window of communication through our words.

If someone hears your words and quietly disagrees—great! It means they heard a new view, something that just might later on resonate in their lives.

If someone responds negatively to your words, your two views allow others to see two sides to that concept.

One thing is certain: You DO have something interesting to say.

Here’s why:

Your View is Unique:

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No one will ever see the world the exact same way that you do. Every person’s life is colored by so many factors, not the least of which is their own personality.

My friend’s sister, one of the five siblings in their family, wrote a book about their early years. My friend anxiously awaited her copy, having told me the joys of growing up in a small and caring logging and farming community where they spent days working together with fellow farmers, enjoyed nights playing games with neighbors, and celebrated the pride of county fair ribbons for their efforts.

When the book came out, my friend ran over in shock. Her sister wrote about the hardships they’d suffered, the lack of cultural exposure, and the poverty they endured having to grow and preserve their own food.

Two widely different perspectives on the same life facts and situations.

Which window on their childhood is right?

Both are. And both are worth sharing with others. It validates what others have also experienced and expands the views of readers in the process.

Your Experiences are Specific:

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“Deal with it!” That’s what we are told to do about every situation that comes along our path in life and that is what we do—but each in our own way.

Sometimes sharing how you dealt with your personal experiences can help others deal with theirs.

For example, one writer-client of mine, Brian Benson, during a difficult transition period in his life, came up with ways to help keep himself balanced. He’d never written a book before—or even considered it. But he wanted to share what had helped him. He wrote a great little book called Brian’s List, that covered 26-1/2 ways to balance your life. No fuss, no heavy philosophy–just fast and easy-to-achieve life balancing gems.

In the recent TEDx talk he gave, “Be Yourself to Free Yourself,” he explains that writing and sharing that book of methods “gave me the direction I needed to re-invent myself.” It became a first step as he then expanded his life to don hats as an actor, director and speaker.

In the process of sharing his method for balancing HIS life, he has helped others achieve the same thing as well.

END NOTE:

Writers can learn these lessons by considering their personal windows:

  1. Look out a window occasionally to release your spirit from the boundaries of your backside in that chair. Lesson: Read books, both classics and hot-off-the-press editions, and on varying subjects.
  2. Open a window to get a fresh breath of air; wave at whoever strolls by. Lesson: Enjoy social media interactions—it can lead to so many important dialogues.
  3. Remember that everyone loves to window shop. Lesson: Your readers can enjoy what you offer without necessarily buying your entire concept.
  4. Clean your windows regularly. Lesson: Blink your mental eyes at what you think you know, to see with a fresh perspective.

Begin challenging your own assumptions. Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in while, or the light won’t come in. –Alan Alda

Having worked with writers as an editor and writing coach for years, I know that expressing yourself can be a challenge. But I can also tell you that writing your story, in your way, with your unique flavor, is the freshest breath of air you’ll ever experience.

I’d love to hear what writing YOUR first story, essay or article did to free YOUR spirit.

Open that window and share!


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