Write Like A MotherF!#@$!
That was the caption on a mug I saw on the web. I don’t know how I arrived at this website but you all know how that works—finding yourself at your next place before you’re ready to arrive. Uh hum, that little happy place (that’s sarcasm y’all).
Hmmm, if only I could. I detest writing. I find it an inexplicably painful process similar to going to the dentist and the gynecologist at the same time. I’m a speaker by nature. I rock the mic hard. It’s my oxygen. It’s the thing I can do all day every day. Writing feels like trying to win a staring contest with someone who has no eye lids.
I started and owned a magazine so I could “talk” about spirituality in the coaching industry, but talking and writing are very different processes. Every quarter it felt like pulling teeth to write the column. I’ve taken writing course after writing course. I’ve read books, implemented strategies and…nope, I still hate it. Unless I am emotionally charged, then I flow like Danube River, and while that’s a nice experience when it happens I don’t flow that much.
And then. And then I ran into Cheryl Strayed’s book, Tiny Beautiful Things. I read her words. I heard her voice and I heard myself inside of her. It was then I realized that I had never given myself permission to write the way I speak. Dozens of friends have suggested it. I always responded with I do, I do write as I speak … but I was unconsciously lying to myself. I had bought into some crap that as speaker on spirituality and consciousness that I had to look and sound pristine; like my OM doesn’t stink.
I hadn’t let it all out: the cursing sailor who lives within, the highly snarky witty raunchy humorous woman who goes for the crude because it’s so dark and delicious. Poor Melanie, you were behaving when that is not in your character. My writing was so sanitized as to be cleansed of my beingness. Boring doesn’t begin to cover it. It was cardboard. No wonder it was hard.
This is not a post on writing. This is a post on finding your voice and letting it out. Truth be told, I still do not enjoy writing, but I no longer dread it. Who knows, maybe I’ll fall in love with it; probably not. It’s not about the writing it’s about having my voice present. It’s about giving good ink when I can’t give a good talk. I’ll write. I will, though giving great ink scares the bejeezus out of me. Yet, I’d be remiss if I didn’t say what is being written inside me. It has to be birthed and so does your voice, my friend.
If you’re called to serve in any capacity, then you must have your voice in the choir. Sing into us, Love Bucket. Sing us your song on paper. Your words, your presence have a voice. Give great ink, Love.
Story time. Gather round.
A client called me today to talk about not having time to read her favorite books. She was so busy marketing she didn’t have time to read. (I’ll be writing on the lie of busy another time.) We’ve been coaching for a while on the topic of marketing her wisdom. I asked, “So how’s the wisdom sharing going?” “Not at all,” she replied. “Are the books you are reading inspiring?” “Not at all.” She continued, “I’m overwhelmed about the amount of information, who do I listen to, how do I make time to absorb it all and then apply it?”
Hear Ye! Hear Ye!
My soapbox appeared and I got on it for a straight ten minutes:
Girlfriend, if you are not inspired by these marketing writers, then you have not found the voice that speaks to you. Shut it down. Let it go for now. I’m a firm believer that whatever you read has to evoke your own wisdom, your own perspective, your own yes. I don’t care how spot-on someone is; if it doesn’t make your belly relax, your face grin and your heart want more, then stop. There are too many writers with differing views on the same subjects to confine yourself to boredom. I’m not talking about being entertained, I’m talking about engagement, eliciting your I love this, your sense of being challenged in a good, long, yoga-stretch kind of way. You should hear an aspect of you in their writing. It’s even better if they evoke an aspect of you that you didn’t know was within.
WiseOne, I continued, you’re looking for your tribe. Focus. Only read those folks who inspire your voice. Your vision. Your wisdom. Let go of trying to read everything new. You can’t keep up, you’re not supposed to. Whittle it down to two writers you L.O.V.E. and read nothing else for a month. As you read, listen to your own thoughts emerging. Anyone you give your attention to should be your muse, for your great writing to come… and then, my brilliant client, write like a motherfucker. Let out that wisdom. Pour it on the page. Worry not what it sounds like; let your soul love have a turn. Outpace the inner critic. You’ve been around the sun a few times – that counts. You have something to say. Find your voice and sing into us. Write like you’re trying to save me from a horrible trial. Come after us with righteous indignation. Write us a love letter of your truth. Gather your tribe in a circle of wisdom and light the fire from your belly to ours.
Call to do it your way action
And to you, my new tribe mates, I say the same. If you struggle with being visible, writing, or speaking, it’s time to find your voice and your tribe. They are your muse, your inspiration, and they will call you to the challenge of courage and grit. Belong, my friend. Belong to yourself and then to us. Your voice is sweet and succulent and oohhh, the difference you’ll make. Never underestimate your cellular voice. And in a moment of defiance of the critic, of sanity, go insane and write like a motherfucker.
Love, love, love (because good stuff is worth repeating),
P.S. I’ll be talking, videoing, blogging with you in a couple weeks. Check back with me, honey buns.