Stories don’t generally emerge from self-discovery style writing prompts. At least not directly. But sometimes, a probing personal question exposes a persistent inner villain - a calculating, weakling narrative that somehow threatens to sink all your strong, heroic stories.
Today, I stumbled across of a collection of expert advice on the heroine’s journey curated by a beloved colleague, Saundra Goldman.
It includes this prompt rom Natalie Goldberg, author of Writing Down the Bones:
Women are allowed to be powerful. You’re not going to find your voice being nice. You’re not going to find who you are. This is your lifetime. You want to say to yourself, “I want to live out of a more genuine, real, connected place,” and keep looking. And it takes time. Ask yourself, “Is this really something you want to do or is it another thing that makes you crazy?”
Questions for writing and reflection: How has being nice held you back? What are you doing right now that doesn’t feel genuine or coming from a deep place?
Last night, glancing over the daily stories I’ve written and shared in 2016, I started to panic. Goddesses, birth, fairytales, motherhood, and occasional mentions of football and entrepreneurship… what sort of lunatic businesswoman thinks that random, personal collection is going to bring in paying clients?
Apparently, this one does.
Playing it cool and trying to write what’s popular hasn’t ever worked for me. My power isn’t ever going to be found by writing nice posts that speak to my conception of the mainstream because I’ll end up feeling like a fraud who gets left high and dry.
All I can do is explore my power and exert the strength of my inner storyteller each day. I can dive deep and listen to the voice that says “you have something the world needs to hear.”
After all, how can I ever believe in your stories and help you make them sparkle and shine if I don’t believe in my own?