Are you willing to be wrong about writing?

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Are you willing to be wrong about writing? Good!

I’m here to tell you—YOU’RE WRONG.

(and give you some TIPS to prove it to yourself)

Writing is one of those creative, expressive tasks that provokes a lot of emotions.

Wherever you are, whatever you’re feeling about writing, I’ve got you. Whatever you are telling yourself about writing, I’ve said it, and say it still, and I know that most of the time, I’m wrong.

Are these scenarios familiar?

Scenario: You saying that writing is too hard for you. You’re wrong.

Scenario: You try to convince yourself that your story isn’t important enough to write down. You’re wrong.

Scenario: You try to sell yourself on the idea that you shouldn’t write about your life, because it might offend or bother someone else. Oh my, you’re wrong.

My friend, if you’re yapping at yourself, verbally flailing around saying “I can’t”, then I ask you,  are you willing to find out you’re wrong? 

I’m here to tell you – That’s not you talking, Honey. That’s our shitty, nasty, self-serving friend Fear. Fear uses shouldn’t, mustn’t, can’t and better not, like no other limiting belief does.

How about you and I tell Fear to get back into its box in the trunk and ride this trip out from there?!!

The more serious coaching message is coming now…

The time rolls around when you need to lose the excuses and put not just your perfectly manicured toe in the water, but your whole damn body. Put the force of your whole person behind the pen and PUSH it down the page.

Try this: Write a paragraph about how you are sad, pissed off or heartbroken.

Oh, you know you can write that. (Betcha can’t stop at a paragraph.)

Or, try this: Write a few lines about feeling angry and how what happened was a much longer story than what he said it was. Write the full details, just to feel better that the truth has been put into the air, that you told your version.

One feeling, one story, one point to be made.

That’s how life writing begins. Way to go. Now just do it again.

One feeling. One story. One point you want to make.

I know that once the pen lifts off the page, Fear lifts the lid on the trunk and you aren’t sure you’ll ever be able to show anyone this, or that you can ever turn this into a book. Please, savor the feeling of putting you on the page for your own peace of mind, healing or sense of closure. Savor now.

Let’s worry about the other stuff later, okay? At the risk of a little repetition, here’s more of me talking about Fear, in an interview I did with Lara Heacock at last year:

You won’t sense you are extraordinary until you put yourself out there, until you put some part of your story out there, if only on the page in your personal notebook, locked away in a desk. I always say, you’re extraordinary the second you open your mouth and tell your story because you realize that it is incredibly interesting and meaningful to other people. Your perception is extraordinary, even if what you’ve lived doesn’t seem to be. We just might be wrong, when we make pronouncements about our stories, because we are speaking out of fear.
What has been a reality kicker for me as a writer is that I still so often misperceive my own experience. My inner critic says, what’s the big deal about what happened to you, it’s no different than it’s been for anyone else. It sure as hell hasn’t been common, but if it was, great.
I have to remind myself to tell the story anyway, because I’m likely wrong. It is enough to tell the story because you have it to share. We have neither a full nor fair perspective on our lives. That’s why coaches, editors and other readers are so critical to our writing life stories. Sometimes, we are the worst and most harsh judges of ourselves. We get a lot of things wrong because of fear.
How do we counteract the limits that fear is placing on our writing? Ask yourself this: What do I want from my story?
Have you got some part of you that needs to get out? Have you got something that you really feel like you need to say? Most people will say, “I kind of think if I talked about this, it might help other people.” Almost inevitably, some part of our willingness to talk is purely charitable, storytelling is sharing, it is giving. It starts there, but the hard work that keeps you going is the feeling good about writing it. You’ve got to put some ink on the page for no other reason than to see what it feels like.

If you’re willing to be wrong…and I know you really, really wanna be.Write an opening paragraph for the book you have always wanted to write…and post it over here at the private Facebook group where other folks are trying to see what some ink on the page feels like. I’ll be putting my latest opening paragraph over there too.
Feels good, doesn’t it? 

drop me a line at and share your fears…

let’s commiserate a little.

Can’t wait to hear your story.



2 Responses to "Are you willing to be wrong about writing?"
  1. Avatar Mandy says:

    Yep, definitely a person that struggles with fear. In fact, just got through two weeks of dealing with it in regards to a new job. It can be hard to make a change, to do something you aren’t used to doing … and sometimes simply to realize that the struggle is all in fear rather than things you can or can’t do.

    I loved your suggestion of starting with one paragraph about something most people are really emotional about. I was reading another blog today where they were talking about just showing up and I feel like this post kind of fits in with that idea. You can’t get anywhere if you don’t start.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing. I loved reading your inspirational post. 🙂

    With Love,

    • Patti M Hall Patti M Hall says:

      Although starting is the thing that is most challenging–about conquering fear and also about writing–there is no wrong start, and I take great comfort in that. Thanks for the thoughtful reply Mandy.

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