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17 Questions for the Writer’s Soul

17 Questions for the Writer’s Soul

Mike Doane

Plus a Letter to My Younger Self

After completing The Crossing for NaNoWrimo, I fell into a bit of a writer’s slump. Luckily my fiancé purchased Tyler Knott Gregson and Andréa Balt’s new writing course, Write Yourself Alive, for me as an anniversary gift. Here’s how my first day went.

To kick off the course, Tyler and Andréa asked us to answer 17 questions that got down to our hearts and souls as writers. As of today I’ve completed two novels (unpublished as of yet) and make my livlihood as a writer marketing software. But surprisingly I’ve never asked myself why. What runs through my lifeblood that compels me to write? It was absolutely exhilarating to tap into my inner self and ask the tough questions. They helped me reaffirm my position as a writer and helped define where I should spend my energy to excel my career as a writer forward.

Then I moved on to day 1’s writing prompt. I was to reflect on the past 10 years of my life and write a letter to my younger self (I was 15 then — that’s quite a bit of growing and maturing!). Here’s what I came up with:

To you, my younger self, I have a few words.
  1. This life is finite, and in it’s every hour you’ll find disappointment. But always remember the beauty. If you look, you’ll find it.
  2. No one is worth it but you. Be kind and considerate, of course, but always remember you come first. This is the secret to happiness
  3. Start today. If you wait five more years you’ll feel behind. Forget about the fear, leave behind the discouraging voices. There’s no better time than now.
  4. Pain is required for growing. Embrace it, for it is the soil that holds your roots firm, the water that quenches your thirsts. Pain prevents you from withering — don’t bury it.
  5. You won’t end up where you think you’ll end up. Life is not a series of goals, it is a journey. Stay on the path and move forward. When you come to a fork, go with your gut. When you come to a mountain, climb it.

Short and sweet but still a revealing exercise. I think I’ve grown already (personally and as a writer) and I can’t thank Tyler and Andréa enough for putting together this course!