I loved writing from an early age but abandoned it over a lifetime for family and career.
But when I changed my profession at the age of 59, writing became an unintentional, accidental full-time passion.
Falling in love with writing meant that I showed up for it and by showing up, I fell in love. Circular, I know.
This love gave me gifts that I couldn’t have imagined.
I soon noticed that if I listened carefully, I could hear my thoughts, sense my feelings and capture them on paper.
Images and scenarios spontaneously dropped onto the page. Dialogue became easy and writing became playful, expansive and energizing.
I paid attention to urges and ideas that came to me realizing that if I followed them and wrote about them, I’d have a deep sense of accomplishment and fulfillment.
Writing became inspirational and I learned to trust the writing process and myself.
Of all my discoveries it was letting writing lead me that had the most impact on me.
Instead of telling myself what I should write, I listened for what writing wanted for me.
Surrendering to writing and being led by it was radically different from anything I’d experienced before, and not at all the same as telling myself what to do with my thinking mind.
Instead of directing and controlling everything, I allowed my imagination to move through me – and that’s how writing got easier and what I am excited to teach you.
There are many how-to write programs and classes out there, but what participants have asked me for more than techniques was how to get writing and keep writing.
From this intuitive and organic way of writing I found that I had much to say about subjects I had not considered. I came to value my voice, and to value others’.
In my workshops, every voice matters deeply to me.
I hope that your voice matters to you, too. I want that for you. Your voice and the unexpected discovery of your words and ways of expressing will be worth everything you put into it.
A Bit More
Many of you probably have a similar story of early beginnings. At 12, I started writing in notebooks where I could speak the unspeakable.
In high school, I wrote my heart out in the poetry club.
I finished a BA in English and even got published in a poetry magazine. But when I completed my undergrad degree in late August and rolled right into a graduate program in September, I was 21 and exhausted from all those years of studying without a break. I left grad school after two seminars. It was not going to be my path.
Though I took many creative writing courses as an adult, my career became the focus as I worked in a private college and private corporations leading training and development, change management and organization development. Later, I led province-wide change projects for British Columbia’s tertiary healthcare system.
These jobs were all creative endeavours with constant variety. But writing was not my priority.
Then, in 2009 after moving to Vancouver, I took it up again, beginning with Marlene Schiwy’s women’s writing groups and retreats. Those programs and gatherings restored my imagination and to this day, they continue to be sources of learning, nurturing and creativity.
Listening to women read their reflections and observations still makes my heart burst. It is inspiring to recognize the uniqueness and commonality of our shared experiences.
A blogging course in 2013 started me on a weekly publishing trend on my website. And a year later, when I felt that my writing had improved significantly, I became a contributor for HuffPost.
Then in June 2018, as part of a business accelerator program, I learned how to create an abundance of content in a way I’d never imagined. My coach, Jason Goldberg, warned us that we’d have more content than we could ever use. And he was right.
Since then, I’ve had an explosion of continuous ideas and creativity. And I want to pass that along to you.
More than anything else, I want to emphasize something that you hear often but perhaps discount or dismiss. It is never too late to do what you care about. You can still surprise yourself.
In 2013, I got steadily more attached to my writing – at the ripe age of 59. So, don’t give up before you begin.
Some of us find meaning in writing, and fame is not what lights us up.
Every life is important and significant. All that’s necessary is that you be willing to sit down for what shows up.