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I Saw My Students as Their Books

I lead a writing workshop every Tuesday night at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Maryland. I listened last night as everyone shared about their lives and I heard book titles:

Two New Things Every Week

Antarctica for the Risk-Averse

Around the World in 365 Days

The Last Real Gunship Battle

The Bad Things I do For Fun

Why I Love Traveling Alone

Boring is Interesting

My Ten Years of Service

The Princess and the Dragon

Every one of my students has had an experience of a lifetime, or multiple — a unique and fascinating story to tell. And none of them think they’re “real writers“ yet. That’s my job.

I remember attending my first real writing retreat with Laura Munson in Montana a couple years ago. Here’s how I describe the Haven Writing Retreat: I went there thinking I was a writer and I left there knowing I was.

I realized last night that as long as I have a story to tell — I’m a writer. The way I tell my story can always be improved. I can learn the skills. But the simple fact that I’ve lived- that I’ve been on adventures, loved people, worked, contemplated life, been a (fill in the blank) — those things make me know I have a story nobody else can tell. Nobody!

Am I a writer? If I choose to be. Is there great material for a book in me? For sure! It’s a matter of choosing courage over mediocrity.

I could tell some of the students were excited by the idea. My enthusiastic “You all have a book in you!” was convincing a few. You can’t mistake the bright-eyed look of hope on someone’s face.

You also can’t mistake the look that often comes next. The one where the eyes gaze away or down in an “I’m not sure I’m good enough” kind of way.

Thing is, the journey of writing’s a path to realizing that worth; to healing your voice. Deciding you’ve got a story to tell is the open door. Only you can walk through.

I admit sometimes I reach over the threshold, grab people by the wrist and try to drag them through. But it’s only because I know what’s on the other side; freedom and joy beyond imaginable proportions.

Is it really that good? Is telling your story, pulling back the curtain on your life and letting people see you standing there naked and a little drunk worth it? Am I gonna wish I’d died instead?

Maybe yes. And yes. Worth it.

I’ll leave you with one last motivation. Who are you NOT to share yourself and your story? Why would you hide the message that could possibly change my life for the better? Too afraid?

Your fear is boring.

You could change the world with your story.

What’s yours?

Feel free to be brave and leave your book title in the comments!

Laura Di Franco, MPT is a holistic physical therapist, published author, poet, blogger and black belt with over two decades of experience in healing. Her transformational programs combine the empowering tools of body awareness and therapeutic writing to help you learn the language of your intuition and gain the clarity you crave for your life and business. Laura’s enthusiasm is contagious and the spark that’ll inspire you to make the change you’ve been afraid to make. She’s the sherpa you’ve been looking for! Want a workshop that’ll give you practical powerful tools you can use to heal yourself today? Find them at www.BraveHealer.com And more free inspiration on my Facebook page HERE.

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