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Book Title: Your Writing Matters: How to Banish Self-Doubt, Trust Yourself, and Go the Distance by Colleen M. Story
Category: Adult Non-Fiction (18+), 260 pages
Genre: Non-fiction Writing/Publishing
Publisher: Midchannel Press
Release date: July 2021
Content Rating: G
Does your future as a writer feel uncertain?
You write day after day. You dream of bestseller’s lists and royalty checks, but despite your best marketing efforts, those dreams remain out of reach.
You wonder if you’re wasting your time. Does your writing even matter?
Author Colleen M. Story, a long-time professional writer and writing coach, helps you decide whether you truly have a writer’s DNA. She examines why you feel pressured to make money with your work, why the search for a readership is both motivating and discouraging, and why it’s so common to doubt yourself along the way.
Step by step, you’ll gain a clear-eyed view at the challenges a writer faces in the outside world, while taking your own journey inward to discover what writing really means to you.
Should you continue on this path, or adjust your course now before it’s too late? Don’t waste your precious time in indecision. Let Your Writing Matters guide you to your truth and you’ll never look back again.
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Colleen M. Story inspires writers to overcome modern-day challenges and find creative fulfillment in their work. Her book on author platforms, "Writer Get Noticed!," was a gold-medal winner in the Reader’s Favorite Book Awards and a first-place winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards. "Overwhelmed Writer Rescue" was named Book by Book Publicity’s Best Writing/Publishing Book in 2018 and was an Amazon bestseller. Her novel, "Loreena’s Gift," was a Foreword Reviews' INDIES Book of the Year Awards winner, among others.
Colleen frequently serves as a workshop leader and motivational speaker, where she helps attendees remove mental and emotional blocks and tap into their unique creative powers. Her first course, “How to Finish the Creative Projects You Start,” is available on Teachable.
Go to Colleen's website for free chapters of her books.
connect with the author: website ~ twitter ~ goodreads
My name is Colleen M. Story, and I’m a writer.
If that sounds like the first step in a recovery program, it’s probably because it kind of is. It took me years to be able to say those words out loud: I’m a writer. For a good chunk of the 1990s and beyond, I wrote short stories and novels without telling anyone. I couldn’t admit it, mainly because I wasn’t gaining from my writing the one thing I knew society valued most of all: money.
Eli Cook, assistant professor of history at the University of Haifa, wrote in The Atlantic, “By the early 21st century, American society’s top priority became its bottom line, [and] net worth became synonymous with self-worth. . . .”
My writing wasn’t making money. I had no proof that the time I was spending on it was worthwhile, so I hid it away like a dirty little secret. It wasn’t until I got a corporate job as a copywriter that I could finally lift my head and admit I was a writer, because at that point I had a salary to go along with it. So when people asked me what I did for a living, I could finally say, “I’m a writer. Here’s my card.”
But inside, I still felt I was cheating—or even lying—because corporate writing wasn’t “real” writing to me. I joked with my family that I was writing words people read in the bathroom. The back of the shampoo bottle—that is what I wrote. Ditto for the small print on the moisturizing cream. And let’s not forget the copy in the skincare catalog: “Rescue dehydrated, stressed-out skin. Apply this creamy, luxurious mask, wait 10 minutes, then rinse. You’ll notice smoother, softer, healthier-looking skin—immediately!” Gets you right there, doesn’t it?
Of course, many of my projects were more serious than that—research-based writing on heart disease, for example. But I still didn’t feel it was “real” writing. To me, real writing meant storytelling, which I continued to do on the side. But very few people knew about it.
It was many years later when I learned I wasn’t alone. I’ve interviewed over 300 writers on my motivational blog, Writing and Wellness, and spoken to many more at writing conferences and other literary events. Almost every single one of these bona fide writers struggled (or continues to struggle) to truly identify as a writer, particularly when not making money from it.
Our culture doesn't help us, either. In the words of Rodney Dangerfield, we writers don't get no respect—unless we have the success that can be measured in terms of money or notoriety. You may have made the mistake of admitting out loud that you are a writer, then quickly learned it's best to keep that bit of information under your hat. Often the second after you mention it, people skeptically narrow their eyes and begin that familiar interrogation: "Oh, have you written any books I might know?"
I wonder why no other artist has to endure this question. People will ask painters what medium they use or musicians what instrument they play. But writers must undergo “the test.” If the other person hasn’t heard of you, the implication is that you’re not a real writer.
“Any books I might know?” The question is moot, as if the person had heard of your books, they’d likely recognize your name as that of the author’s. But we writers dutifully answer something about our obscure titles and watch the listener’s eyes go flat as they fake their impressed smiles and nod uncomfortably.
This whole humiliating, torturous exchange doesn’t happen with any other profession. Mention you’re a banker, and you’ll never hear anyone say, “Oh, granted any loans I might have heard about?” Tell someone you’re a doctor, and they don’t ask, “Managed any illnesses I might be familiar with? Pandemics, maybe?” People assume these other professions are real because they have critical value—as in a salary—attached to them. Writers, on the other hand, have to hit it big before they’re granted the same respect.
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