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20 Life Lessons Being A Writer Has Taught Me

inspirational life lessons

Some important and inspirational life lessons that I’ve learned during my time as a professional writer..

On June 14th, 2014 everything started to change for me.

I remember sitting at the side of a Starbucks in Brickell Village. It was a sunny Friday afternoon and as beautiful as most days were in Miami, Florida. I was working remotely after almost exactly one full year in my first big-girl job. At the time, I was also devastatingly heartbroken.

I distinctly remember typing away right before 4pm (I remember this because it was right about the time that sunny afternoons often held a chance of rain). It was then that I got an email from Thought Catalog that they published my article. I reread the email, slower the second time around, and immediately stopped breathing.

I thought to myself, “my first article, published… like on the internet and everything!”

I felt frozen in time and emotions I couldn’t name were amassing and about to gush out of me. I felt tears well up and felt my hands shake. I eventually regained enough composure to click the link in the email that led me to my article.

I remember reading it as if it were someone else’s words. I remember getting to the end and being surprised that it was my name on the screen. I grabbed all of my belongings and started to run home as storm clouds began to hug the horizon miles away.

What I also remember was the sheer fear that everyone was going to hate it and make fun of me. After I put it up on Facebook, my excitement was replaced with terror as I waited for people’s reactions. Throughout the afternoon and the night, I watched the comments roll in and authentic support blanket my worries until they dissipated.

At first, I wondered if anyone other than my friends would read it. Again, I continued to introduce new worries; yet at the end of the night, I remember my mouth gaping open when I saw that five thousand people had read my article since it published. Five thousand!

It was June 14th, 2014 that everything started to change for me. Today, it’s September 30th, 2018 and I am still working on taking that same leap of faith in myself that I already made years ago. Today, I’m in a coffee shop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and it’s also a beautiful and sunny day.

This morning, I attended a workshop at Thought Catalog headquarters with Brianna Wiest. Brianna is a writer who has always inspired me and who I’ve been following for many years. This morning, she reminded me who I was, how I got here, and what I need to do next.

Throughout this entire journey, I’ve collected 20 life lessons that writing has instilled in me.

  1. Everything is different in retrospect. The way you perceive the present is likely not how you’ll see it in the future.

  2. Some things will never change. Some habits are fitting while some lessons need to be re-learned.

  3. Not everyone is going to like what you have to say. Feedback is hard, and criticism is even harder, but both are necessary for growth.

  4. The risk of not doing something is far higher than the risk of doing it. Fear followed by idleness is doing a disservice to your soul.

  5. Fearing success is worse than fearing failure. Greatness is only one “f*ck it” away.

  6. Everyone has a story. Sharing your story inspires others to share theirs too.

  7. Inspiration is everywhere. Get outside, walk around, talk to strangers, lose your map, follow your intuition, see the world, and always look up.

  8. There’s no such thing as a finished product. Life is always intended to be a constant series of edits.

  9. The art of vulnerability leads to a masterpiece. You’ll never know how beautiful your heart is until you put it out on the table.

  10. Brokenness fuels beauty. The most beautiful parts of life usually come after you climb out of the rubble - more powerful and courageous than before.

  11. Nothing ever ends; instead, it evolves. Every story in your life opens up to a new page with plot twists at every turn.

  12. Coffee and wine are necessities. It’s never too late for coffee, and it’s never too early for wine.

  13. You’re never truly alone. Everyone is trying to find themselves and figure life out, but not everyone is good at talking about it.

  14. The universe has a plan for you. Trust your destiny through the curved roads, the potholes, and the views that always make it worth it.

  15. It’s tough because it’s going to be worth it. The more uncomfortable you feel now, the more magical you’ll feel in time.

  16. Needing support or affirmation is okay. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help, advice, or assurance - you don’t have to do everything alone.

  17. It’s never too late to change. Every day is an invitation to change yourself or change the world - that change is purely a choice.

  18. The most important thing you can learn to say is “no.” You make time for what you want to make time for, and that means eliminating engagements that don’t serve your soul’s purpose.

  19. Laughter never gets old. Laugh off the negative comments, laugh off the mistakes, and laugh off the bad dates. Laugh until you cry because true feeling is immeasurable.

  20. Real life writes the best stories. Don’t just narrate your life, live it.