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This blog post is more of a stream of consciousness than a structured article.
Sometimes, we need to pause and share what is on our hearts while it’s still fresh in our minds. That is pretty much what I am doing right now. Even though it is a little bit of a “data dump,” I think these words might be what someone needs to hear/read right now.
So, here I go.
I’m proud to share that, after way too many years of stress, dealing with complex and demanding clients, and constantly feeling like I’m racing the clock, I finally found My Secret Sauce with my writing business. But let me tell ya, it was a journey to get to this point.
For as long as I can remember, I wanted to write stuff. Even in grade school, I found myself writing and drawing things my teachers were impressed with. Being shy and low on self-esteem, I would blush and dismiss their praise. Even praise can feel like a personal attack when you are a hyper-sensitive kid.
My turning point came in eighth grade when my excellent English teacher tapped on my desk and said, “You have writing skills. Try not to take those for granted or sell yourself short.” At that moment, something clicked, and I began to write even more–even if no one ever read it. At age 15, I wrote my first fiction book, which was likely pure crap. But boy, do I wish I would have saved that manuscript instead of trashing it out of embarrassment.
For years, I secretly longed to be a published author and would walk through bookstores getting dang near emotional because I wanted MY name on a beautiful glossy book cover too. I didn’t have the confidence back then to understand that I could be that author. I just needed to be brave enough to take the first step.
After I graduated, I stuffed my writing dreams into a hypothetical drawer. I found myself stumbling (along with all the other 20 and 30-somethings in the world) on the treadmill of life, which included marriage, kids, and work. I lost myself a little bit during those years.
Fast forward a few decades, and I find the old me reemerging as a newer, happier, stronger version. The New Me is older and wiser and has no longer tolerance for the rate race. Another thing that has evolved alongside me is my writing dreams and the confidence to go after what I want.
I’ve always loved to write because of the creative part of it, but also because it makes me feel fulfilled and accomplished. Writing something gives me a feeling of gratification that not many other things do. My writing ability is like therapy; if I don’t write a little every day, I feel weird. This has served me well when it comes to my freelance writing business as well.
I think a good indication of success is the ability to evolve. Companies and people need to grow and shift with the times and the needs of the public to thrive and continue. Many years ago, someone told me that, as business owners, we have a choice to shift and change or be left in the dust. Dinosaurs couldn’t evolve and change with their surroundings, and we all know how that worked out for them.
I’m proud to share that my business has evolved over the years. Back in the day, gigs on Fivver and article assignments that would have barely paid for three gallons of gas by today’s standards were what I was willing to do to get a foothold in the freelance writing world. But as the years ticked by, I said “yes” to new opportunities and up-leveled to writing feature magazine articles, paid blog posts, and press releases.
I loved interviewing people for magazine articles. It honed the skills needed to dive deep into their journeys, feelings, personas, traumas, and accomplishments while pulling out the “Nuggets of Gold” that makes an impactful story. I found fascinating people and thoroughly enjoyed helping to tell their story. It was good work and it sustained my writing career for many years.
Eventually, I did became a published author- five times to be exact. But I knew there was more and that I hadn’t reached my glass ceiling yet. Something deep inside of me knew that a new writing adventure was waiting for me; I just had no idea what that would be. I kept my mind and options open and sure enough, exactly what I was looking for fell right into my lap.
And when that moment came, I am so proud that I was brave enough to say “yes” to a new opportunity while also summoning the courage to say “no” to clients and gigs that were keeping me small. Because I felt the fear and did it anyway, I have found my true calling, and that calling is helping other people tell their stories.
As a nonfiction ghostwriter, I have worked with some of the most wonderful people and their stories will make the world a better place. This, I know for sure. But let me be clear: their stories are still their stories; I’m merely the “guide” that helps them organize their thoughts and get them down on paper. I genuinely believe that everyone has a story inside of them. Still, very few can get that story out onto paper in a way that is enjoyable to read, educational, and entertaining. That’s where ghostwriters/writing coaches come to the rescue.
I know what you’re thinking. Ghostwriting sometimes sounds right up there with telemarketing. But I promise you it’s not. We are merely shepherds of a story. We are scribes. We are the nurturers and coaxers that work to get a story out of someone and organize it in a pleasurable way to read. Ghostwriting is not about making up a story and slapping someone’s name on it. Not even a little. I’m sure that kind of story exists, but not in my world.
I feel so unbelievably lucky to be able to get up and be excited about work every day. Not everybody has that pleasure, and I get it. But if you are like me and crafting words makes you feel fulfilled and uplifted, do whatever you need to honor that.
I was brave enough to keep exploring, trying, and saying yes to new possibilities and opportunities and you can too. If I hadn’t had the courage to say yes to my very first ghostwriting project (that was an unexpected, happy accident) almost two years ago, I would not be on this path that I truly feel blessed to be on right now.
Feel the fear, and do it anyway. That’s what life is all about.