Please help me to welcome my blog guest, Janice Lynne Lundy, who is kindly stopping by on her whirlwind blog tour, hosted by WOW- Women on Writing. She is promoting her book–which I am in the middle of–Your Truest Self.
Writing as Your Truest Self
I never planned on being a writer. Mid-life, as we well know, takes us on interesting detours, some of which ultimately bring us home to our true calling.
A health crisis in the mid-1990s put me flat on my back, unable to do much more than read. And because I was gradually making the connection between my health and my emotional state, I lost, found, and reclaimed myself within the pages of self-help books. As fate would have it, I picked up a pen and started scribbling, primarily as a form of healing. Putting all of those toxic emotions on paper resulted in improved health, as well as my first book, Coming Home to Ourselves: A Woman’s Journey to Wholeness. There were two more works after that, then a “breakthrough” book, Your Truest Self, launched by a major publisher this past fall. I’m convinced, however, it was all the writing I’ve done for magazines over the years that enabled me to receive a publishing contract.
Truthfully, I’ve never counted how many articles have been published, perhaps 225 or so, most for self-help or women’s magazines. It was important to me that I “wrote from the heart,” penned columns on subjects I was passionate about, even if was paid very little. It felt wonderful to be creative, healthy, and alive, writing about what I was growing through, learning about myself along the way. Magazine writing also helped me hone my craft.
I realized, over time, I was a reflective writer, the personal essay my joy and forté. In the early days, I submitted to local newspapers. As my confidence grew, my writing did also, and soon I was writing for local magazines, then statewide and regional ones. Editors and readers alike seemed to appreciate what I wrote. According to them, I was honest, easy to relate to, “real.”
I write as my truest self, a woman who is not angst-filled or edgy. She is peaceful, generous, and helpful. I’ve learned that who I am in my essence—a spiritual woman having a human experience—is fairly adept at expressing herself, and that when I do so from a place of centeredness, some people like to read what I have to say. They seem to feel better after reading one of my articles. For a moment in time they are transported away from their worries; they get to take a little twirl with hope. In that, I consider my work a success. By embodying my truest self, I’ve enabled the reader to catch a glimmer of her own.
What’s the magic formula for getting published in magazines? My personal experience tells me it’s about being you, being your truest self, and writing from that soulful place. The trick is discovering what you’re good at, passionate about. Those stellar characteristics will shine through your writing when you know who you really are. So do you? Know yourself? Are you the real deal or are you trying to impersonate someone else?
Perhaps I’m being a bit sappy here, but I know for a fact that when you do the “work of self,” success inevitably follows. Live by your Truths. Live with integrity. Treat people the way you wish to be treated. Be generous.
Above all, be kind.
Thanks, Jan! Jan asked that everyone be made of freebies available at her website–and who doesn’t like freebies?