I’ve taught the “From Spark to Flame” writing approach (also known as the Writers Taffy Machine) in a workshop setting to hundreds of aspiring writers through the years. At this point, if we were in one of those workshops, I would ask you to close your eyes for a brief guided visualization. I know that can be kind of hard in a Bloginar setting, but let’s see what we can do to come close to duplicating the experience. So read on and allow yourself to imagine the following:
Imagine you’ve already learned everything possible about writing for magazines, and you’ve applied the principles and followed the advice for the past six months. Over this half-year, you’ve become a “mail-watcher,” a sure sign you’re heading down the path of being a writer. The arrival of the mail has become a cherished moment, one filled with anticipation, but usually followed by disappointment.
Today, you take the mail from your box and rummage through the mound of circulars and bills, looking for that special envelope. But today is different from all of those other days because at the bottom of the pile is a letter you don’t recognize. You stare at it for a moment, unsure whether or not you’re seeing things or if that envelope you’ve been waiting for is really in your hands. Finally, with fingers trembling, you tear it open.
Take a few moments to imagine opening your mail and finding that special envelope addressed to you from one of the magazines you’ve contacted over the past six months.
In the 25-plus years I’ve been writing and getting paid for my work, the thrill of receiving a check hasn’t diminished. Does that mean I write only for the money? Hardly! You’ll find that there are many, much easier ways to make a living—like practicing veterinary medicine, my first profession for more than fifteen years. I sold my practice to pursue my second dream career as a writer, speaker, and personal coach.
I know of few occupations that are more fulfilling, satisfying, or fun than being a published writer. But I’m going to encourage you to become more than just a writer, more than just a freelance journalist. I’m going to encourage you to become a Visionary Writer On Purpose.
Why not use your gift of writing as a way to express your purpose in life, and in the process, write articles that contribute to and make a difference for others? So, if you’d like to experience the thrill of that first check, knowing that it represents a difference being made in the world, read on as we explore the magical profession, hobby, and pastime of being a Visionary Writer On Purpose.
Next time we’ll explore the Writers Taffy Machine.
Now, it’s your turn. What did you glean from the Magic of the Mail exercise? Share your questions and comments.