A friend and colleague of mine – we’ll call her Lynn – is a huge fan of my book Dear Universe, I Get it Now. She’s talked to me about my book on several occasions, read it with her book club, and invited me to speak with them when they finished it. She’s recommended it to friends and even worked through the questions at the end of each chapter. I am humbled and touched by Lynn’s love of my book as this is the greatest honor any writer can receive. So when Lynn wrote to me and asked if I would be willing to speak to her granddaughter – who we will call Maddy – my response was YES PLEASE. Especially since Maddy had recently turned 10 and shared with Lynn that she wants to be a writer when she grows up. (Maddy is my kind of girl.)
Yes, let me talk to your granddaughter so I can let her know that this dream of hers is possible.
Yes, give me a few moments with her so I can encourage her to not be dissuaded.
Yes, allow me to give her permission to move forward in this pursuit in a way I once needed to hear it.
Yes with all my heartbeats.
Maddy prepared for the call. She came up with a list of questions about my book based on the excerpts Lynn had shared with her. Dear Universe I Get it Now isn’t meant for young readers, but there were a handful of chapters that were about my childhood experiences and my love of writing (which is basically what the book is about) and so Lynn had carefully selected those sections she thought Maddy was mature enough to understand.
On the call, Maddy carefully selected which questions she wanted to ask the most. And this was the one that floated to the top of the list.
“In Chapter 3 you end the chapter with, ‘Those boys could have their sword, their bow, their twin sai, and nunchucks…I would go on to develop the very real art of storytelling. My weapon was a mighty pen, and I would learn to wield it.’ What does it mean to have your pen as a weapon and to wield it?”
My heart burst wide open. If I could figure out how to explain this to Maddy at 10, what might she go on to do with her gift and love of words? And then it occurred to me, what might YOU (yes, You, reading this right now) be more able to do if you, too, understood the answer to this question.
And the answer is this:
When we have the ability to convey meaning through words, we hold more power than anyone else. Because that meaning we’ve established could be what transforms another person’s life or perspective. That meaning could move someone to action, to make a change for themselves or others. To stir in them something they’ve previously ignored or didn’t even know was there.
When we are able to hold a person’s attention long enough to hear our position or our argument, to be moved to a new place of seeing or hearing or feeling, we create a ripple effect. We see this in politics and government all the time in the way that we are drawn to hear their argument and are persuaded to give them our vote. We see this in “fandom” for our favorite podcasts or TV shows. While these are spoken word examples, it doesn’t make the power of writing any less true. Someone had to write those speeches or scripts. Someone had to think those thoughts and then find a way to deliver them to listeners and audiences.
And when you gain a following based on how you influence a crowd, and that influence comes from the way you’ve strung words and ideas and thoughts together, that is power. When your gift with words translates into influence and transformation, for the single person or the masses, you have power. You have wielded your mighty pen.
Any time you have power, you have a choice of how you use it. Whether you use it for the force of good in the world or you sell it to the other side. Wielding your pen is in the choice you make about how you use the words that flow onto the page. It’s in the reason you’re trying to convince someone of something.
Now, just think. You have a story, or a message – something you’re dying to say. Something you’re being tapped to share with the community you’re already cultivating or you have something you’re called to say in order to start creating that community. Think about what the power of your pen can do for you and for them in actually writing down the words. In actually sharing your stories. In actually speaking your truth. In actually capturing your methodology, framework, ideology, and/or experiences.
What corner of the world will you make better? Whose life will you forever change? And most importantly, how much stronger and braver will you become in owning and sharing your stories? And if you were to become stronger and braver, what more brilliant and badass work would you do in this world?
If you are ready to discover the power in your story by sharing it with the world, join me for my monthly Writer’s Block Party. Not only will you learn how to wield your mighty pen, but you’ll have a blast doing it. You may come feeling blocked, but you’ll leave equipped to conquer any writing barriers. Let's develop a personalized plan to get your book done in the next 6-12 months. REGISTER HERE.