Every decision I make seems to lead me back to a pivotal crossroads—a career change, a cross-country move, and a stint in graduate school, each of which dropped me onto another crossroads. There’s a consistent theme of failure in my life, and I find myself walking in circles until I’m knee-deep in a ditch. While there are those who argue failure isn’t failure until one gives up, I would happily punch them in the face if they said that to me.
What I am learning from my many brushes with change and chance is it’s all so much more manageable with an empowered woman in my corner. It’s a different form of support than what I lovingly receive from my spouse (who happens to be a man). A woman knows what it’s like to be female in the creative community and writing industry. She understands how doubts can creep up my spine, paralyzing each vertebra until all that’s left is self-doubt and ash.
I reached out to my empowered woman in a desperate what-the-hell-am-I-even-doing moment. Her name is Christy Wolff, and her advice, thoughtful and provoking, helped me disengage from my doubts and anxieties.
Writerly advice, How do you think is the best way to get better at this lifestyle journalism? I don’t want to fall into the same old thing. I want to grow and improve and do interesting, creative things, so is it just “keep doing it; practice makes perfect” or is there something else to actively do?
To uncover the answers, we need to ask even more questions!
First off…WHO do you want to connect with? Who do you want to speak to and share with? Get specific. Real specific.
Ok, once you have your audience in mind…ask yourself, why? WHY do I want to share with them?
That’s a big question. It may take lotsa time to noodle over.
When you’re ready, write down what it is that ONLY YOU can say.
You’ve been sharing reviews of books and movies. You interview creative folks and share their stories. You shine a spotlight on content and products from around the web.
Does that set your soul on fire? Do you love it so much that you can’t wait to create another post?
If yes, then you have your answer – “keep doing it, practice makes perfect”.
If not, do something else.
Ashlee, you can do anything. Anything.
How does knowing that feel? For me, it’s equal parts terrifying and liberating.
I’m confident with my whole heart that you’re going to kick-ass at whatever it is you choose to pursue, or keep pursuing.
Take all the time you need to explore what it is you want to write about. Try new shit. Mess up. Make yourself proud. Start all over and try something new. Whatever you do, don’t stop.
You got this.
Love and hugs,
I read her email through tears. Sometimes it can feel so lonely out in the world, especially for writers who have chosen (semi) solitary careers. Christy breathed new life into me, and I feel like I can climb out of the ditch of my own making and start afresh. In so doing, I find myself standing in front of yet another crossroads. I don’t know which path I’m going to choose, but I do know that with empowered women like Christy walking alongside me, there’s no wrong choice.