One particularly gloomy day last September, I went to bed stressed over our car dying and having several real estate deals falling apart at the same time. (This is considered NORMAL real estate life, I knew this going into the business but before actually going through it, well, you can “know” something but not FEEL IT if you know what I mean.)
While falling asleep with this stress on endless loop my mind kept whispering…
“Jen, why aren’t you writing…you should be writing…start writing.”
The voices in my head were loud and clear, and truth be told somewhat annoying at that moment in time because writing which is something I LOVE—isn’t exactly easy to get paid for. It takes lots of time researching and submitting and hoping and praying and I’ve been out of that loop for some time.
Again, it’s something I LOVE and always want to focus more time on—I have 1000 essays and stories and books in my head, on pieces of paper, in journals and in saved files on the computer. But this was not the time. I did NOT have time to write! SHUT UP INNER VOICE.
And then I slept. Hoping for clarity and guidance.
I woke up the very next morning to an email from my friend Alicia, asking if I wanted to write for the Springville Times.
No kidding. My friend, who happens to be the editor, emailed me, knowing I loved to write and knowing I loved Springville, asked if I would be interested in writing for the paper.
I believe she was completely clueless over the fight I had with myself in my brain overnight but with that my answer was YES. OF COURSE! This makes perfect sense!
But, I have no idea how to cover a local meeting. And oh my goodness—my grammar is off and my style, my style and voice is most excellent for blogging but how do I do newspaper stories that aren’t editorial or PR releases? And when are the deadlines again? I mean the drop-dead deadlines, cause I know myself too well. I wait until the last minute and I don’t want to ruin a friendship—or business relationship!
SHUT UP INNER NEGATIVE VOICE JUST DO IT.
So I started writing, 1-2 articles a week. If anyone would have told me last year that I would be attending local Board Meetings and reporting on them for the paper and ENJOYING IT I would have laughed. Yes, I’ve actually come to enjoy covering the local meetings believe it or not. In addition, I have a million ideas of topics I do want to write about, sometime in the future. And, oh yeah, I’m getting paid.
All of this makes me very happy. And was not even remotely in my plan or future plan until that one random day when I listened to my inner voice and said YES when the opportunity came up the next day. (Coincidence, I think not.)
Lesson learned? Allow yourself to be open to the possibilities. Start listening to those inner voices in your head! Trust yourself.
ALSO CALLING ALL WRITERS (especially the sleepy ones waiting on someday …) I’m pretty sure your local weekly newspaper is looking for freelance journalists and writers RIGHT THIS MINUTE if you inquire within. No, the pay isn’t going to make your rent or mortgage, but it might keep the internet on until that novel of yours is published. Seriously, just do it. It keeps your writing brain in check of deadlines and word counts and fingers moving and words flowing out into the universe…these are all very, good things.