If you would have told me 15 years ago, that a HUGE part of my job would be to write, I would’ve bitch-slapped you 33 times.
I used to HATE writing.
But the Universe had other plans for me.
Unbeknownst to me – or lack of research on my end, can’t remember which one it was – I decided to get a college degree in an area that required EXTENSIVE writing: Women Studies.
(How a stripper decided on a Women Studies degree is yet another story. Because this one is about writing.)
When we weren’t discussing contemporary feminist theory, reading about gender in politics, or what on earth you do after college with a Women Studies degree – we were writing papers.
I could go off on a tangent here about the ridiculousness of required term-paper-length, or how proper grammar kills creativity, or something else here, but I won’t.
I WILL go off on that tangent.
Because it was the extreme structure that made me DESPISE writing.
In my mind, when I was done exploring my idea, I was done. Really. Done.
Whether that was 3 paragraphs or 50 pages, if I got to the core of my idea, it should have been enough.
: I have GREAT ideas – I geek out on noticing patterns and finding ways to improve everything.
(Packaging, transportation systems, grocery shopping carts, comfortable stilettos, the taste of green smoothies, etc.)
: I have a BIG imagination – I’m gifted at envisioning the possible – even if it seems impossible.
(Owning a skyscraper – The Lyremark – with nap-rooms on every floor; having a business partnership with Gwyneth Paltrow and Tracy Anderson – I like cute yoga clothes too; and instituting International Oprah Day – the whole country stops to gather round and have a Super Soul Sunday marathon.)
: I geek out on PUSHING the envelope – Just because it’s always been that way, or you have always been that way – doesn’t mean you can’t change it.
(In the 5th grade – circa 1981- I went head-to-head with my school. No girls baseball team? Girls were not allowed to play on the boys baseball team either? I didn’t win, but I like to think that my 10 year old voice made a difference.)
And if writing in college wasn’t restrictive enough, enter the world of commercial real estate.
: Big players.
: Big money.
: Big buildings.
I moved from big words and paper length to uber professionalism and complicated contracts.
The only fun I had was in writing Craig’s List ads for our warehouses. My fave?
******* AVAILABLE *******
Best Little Warehouse in Minneapolis
Call Erika xxx-xxx-xxxx
It was a BIG hit. And brought in a storm of calls.
So when I started blogging in 2008, I had NO idea how to be me.
: Should I be proper?
: Should I be professional?
: Should I be prolific?
: Should I be poised?
None of the industry standards worked for me.
And even though I wanted to share my ideas, explore my imagination, and push the envelope, I struggled to do so.
In fact, I had soooo much to say I felt I would I-M-P-L-O-D-E!
So, eventually I wised up; broke the rules, and made up new ones.
I invented my own writing guidelines.
It was 3 words.
PROVOCATIVE WITH PURPOSE
And I don’t just mean provocative in the sensual way.
When I wrote that, it meant I could say anything.
: Be as crazy as I wanted.
: Be as inappropriate as I wanted.
: Be as ridiculous as I wanted.
As long as it had a bigger purpose for positively impacting the planet.
When I follow my own rules, I’m writing from my heart. And I’ve gone from the girl who hated writing, to the writer who is blown away by the responses from her readers.
“A memoir writer who breathes fire into words”. – Srinivas Rao, Founder of The Unmistakable Creative and #1 Amazon best-seller.
Really. Blown. Away.
Now it’s your turn.
If you’ve ever had writer’s block; ever struggled with wanting to sound so smart and impressive that you ended up writing nothing, or felt like you’ll i-m-p-l-o-d-e if you don’t write your heart out, then DO this right now.
What 1- 3 words will you use to forget the rules and open the portal to your voice?
Your intentions set the stage.