I’m a big believer in the transformative and connective power of telling your story. It’s been almost a year now since I began my practice of writing creatively on a nearly daily basis, and I have learned so much about myself in the process. While most of what I’ve written has never been shared publicly, taking the time to reflect on the events of my life and how they’ve shaped me has been truly invaluable from a personal development perspective. And while I was a little nervous about starting this blog and putting my thoughts and personal stories out there on the internet for anyone to read, I’ve been so moved and encouraged by the feedback I’ve received. I love getting an email or comment from someone who can relate to what I’ve posted, and this blog has helped to deepen the conversations I have with some of the people in my life.
Given all this, I was intrigued to hear about a project called Say It Forward. It’s a platform for women and girls around the world to share their stories. You can submit a story of any length, in any language, and submissions can be anonymous. The goal of the site is for women and girls to “encourage each other in overcoming the limiting beliefs that hold them back in any way.” Dozens of stories are already posted on the site. You can read the most recent ones or sort them by category, such as “Attempting Something New” or “Overcoming Addiction.” What a great concept.
Even if you have no immediate plans to publish what you write, I encourage everyone to set aside some time to write about your life. For me, a daily journal was a good entrée into writing about myself. Once I started writing daily, ideas began to flow freely. I keep a long list of topics to explore on days when nothing comes to mind. Sometimes I feel like I don’t have much to say about a particular subject or experience, and then I begin to write, and I discover that there is a lot more kicking around in my mind that I had realized. So if you’re worried about where to begin, I suggest that you start with a memory — any memory will do — and see where it takes you. If you want to share your story but are nervous about sharing it publicly, you are always welcome to send it to me.
For further reading:
- On Writing Well by William Zinsser (This classic book was helpful to me as I began writing personal essays and memoir pieces.)
- The First Three Steps to Writing Your Life Story
- The Healing Power of Telling Your Story
- 30 Journaling Prompts for Self-Reflection and Self-Discovery
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