“Oh, Marisa!” exclaimed a new client. “We worked together so long ago, but I have had your name filed away in my mind. When I saw one of your Strong Stories I knew that I had to call you.”
Right there - that is the proof that forty days (and, often, nights) of collecting experiences from daily life, current events, and my own memory and sculpting them into stories has been worthwhile. Writing all these stories is in fact good for business. Gee whiz, content marketing does work!
Thing is, I’m not just powering through #365StrongStories to impress potential clients. My dedication to marketing just isn’t that robust! No, in order to devote up to an hour of each day conceiving, writing, image wrangling, and posting these stories, it’s got to more than a visibility gimmick.
I have dedicated myself to writing and sharing a story every day in 2016 because I want to show you that it’s possible.
You can look at the world with fresh eyes each day and tell a meaningful, authentic story that changes the reader in some small, vital way.
A Creative, Rebellious Act
But there’s another reason I launched this project. Let me share an an anonymous quote that has been following me around the internet:
“In a society that profits from your self doubt, liking yourself is a rebellious act.”
Here’s my truth: I’m writing and posting a story a day because I like what I write. I also happen to like the act of writing and the satisfaction of having written something.
And damn, to like myself and my writing enough to do it each day without fail is a personal rebellion for me right now.
It’s rebellious to send my two year-old to go find Daddy in the kitchen because I’m trying to get all the ideas on paper before dinner. It’s a rebellion against what mothers are “supposed” to do when I train my first grader to “respect the hand” and walk quietly away so mama doesn’t lose her train of thought.
This creative rebellion may just be about survival in a distraction-plagued world.
Thanks to 40 Days of Experience, Here's Some Insight into the Next 40 Days
It’s a delightful coincidence that I can speak from 40 days of creative practice at the moment we begin another 40-day cycle. Today is the first day of Lent, a time that is generally about sacrifice rather than creation.
To be honest, there has been an element of sacrifice inherent in this project. Giving up wine with dinner, Netflix and a snuggle with my husband, and desperately needed sleep - sometimes I do that grudgingly. Not infrequently, I’ve had to chose my commitment to my own project over my kids. And sometimes we’ve eaten frozen pizza so I could hit publish before I hit the pillow.
Guess what? Everyone still knows I love them and still manages to eat a balanced diet. And I’ve never had to give up anything that was too precious to lose. There’s a really good chance I would have spent that “quality time” sneaking peeks at my phone anyway!
Overall, #365StrongStories has been a creative celebration - even on the days I curse myself and this terrible, demanding project.
When you honor a daily promise to show up to the page and actively partner with the muse, you’re actively erasing self-doubt.
This is your invitation to create rather than sacrifice
It doesn’t have to be a yearlong project. It doesn’t even have to last 40 days. It doesn’t have to be about stories or even about writing.
But do consider how this period of the year that is significant to so many people can help you start a personal creative rebellion and kick meaningless sacrifice and self-doubt to the curb (regardless of religious affiliation).
I'm just inviting you to doing something every day that makes you like yourself a little better.
Have you seen the stories in my series? Subscribe to the weekly #365StrongStories Digest so you can catch up on these quick reads each Saturday morning.