“Aim for good enough Karen!”
Those are the words of Jacq Burns, my good friend and writing coach extraordinaire. The scene is our Writer A Bestseller Retreat here at Sharing Bali. I am tying myself up in knots over words that just won’t string together for a very short piece of work. Yes, that’s right, we’re not talking a book, just a short story about where I am in life right now. You think I would be able to get that one down.
I’m thinking…. good enough? This is a Writers’ Retreat!
Jacq further enlightens me…”People just want to hear your story. The real one. Not the one that you think people want to hear. In your voice. You share your story every day with your guests. Just get it down. Stop trying to perfect the words whilst you write. Say it as you think it, feel it. Get it all down and edit it later.”
Wise words. Ones that I have desperately tried to embrace, hoping they will put a stop to my stack of unfinished blogs, newsletters, journals and ebooks.
Surrounded by writers, pounding out pages and pages for their books every day, I could see what it takes. A love for the written word and a “shut up and write” attitude. There’s lots more to it, as I learnt during the course of the retreat. Writing is an art and a science.
I took a step back to work out what my struggle was all about. This is what I came up with:
Reason #1. Let’s be honest. I just don’t have the talent for literary excellence.
You either have it or you don’t. Manipulating words and sentences to literary perfection does not bring me joy. I end up with a lot of unfinished sentences that lose their natural rhythm. Kinda like over kneading bread dough until it has no life.
Reason #2. I think in pictures.
I prefer to start every story inspired by images. The words come much later. In fact I can’t start with a blank screen. I need an image to be staring right back at me. I have endless enthusiasm to search, edit, crop, recolour. Whatever it takes. My first ebook was an impressive 100 pages (impressive to me at least). I haven’t counted exactly but I’m guessing up to 70% is taken up by images. Beautiful ones of course.
Reason #3. It’s not who I am.
I am an Experience Maker. I like creating in the 3 dimensional world. I can juggle people, places, objects, places, designs and ideas into retreats, brands and spaces. Shapes, textures, smells, sounds and colours also tell stories in my world.
It makes perfect sense for my writing to be “good enough” for what I do, who I am. Story telling is so important in life and in business. Everyone relates to stories. Sharing Bali is a place where stories are shared everyday.
So from now on…. it’s just get the story down. Good enough really is good enough!
I learnt so much from Jacq on the retreat. As a “non-writer” (the only one not writing a book) I found I could apply everything to my writing needs… blogs, newsletters, my personal profile, interviews and the never ending social media feeds.
If you need practical advice and inspiration to write, and are ready to make it happen, the Write A Bestseller Retreat is for you. Some people use this retreat to write a short story or copy for their business, others are writing a book.
The next retreat is 9 – 13 November. I’ll be the one happy to finish 3 or 4 pieces of work. See you there!