Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
The previous quote is absolutely not mine as I pursed it from the timeless poem, “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost and this snippet explains the journey that I am about to share with you so well.
I don’t know if everyone works the same way and when I am writing a blog post, an article or just about anything, I just riff and let the thoughts come and write whatever my heart and mind are telling me to write. Admittedly so, it took me a long time to be able to write what my heart and mind were telling me to write as I was so worried for so long about coming off too strong, being too weird and being ridiculed for my writing and/or beliefs that I constantly had stopped myself from writing anything and sure as hell didn’t voice my opinion on most topics.
Ironically enough, for those who knew me when I was a teenager and in college, I rarely if ever voiced my opinion on anything as I didn’t want to be controversial, I didn’t want to upset people, I didn’t want to offend people, I didn’t want to be seen as a loser and mostly because I did not have confidence in myself. Writing has been one of my greatest forms of self-expression and has helped me to be able to communicate things that scared me, things that I couldn’t vocalize and emotions that I was too scared to talk about.
Life is interesting in this way as I don’t think that I would have been able to write so well and express my thoughts, views, emotions, feelings and opinions so well if it were not for meeting Tatum Fjerstad at the 2014 Mont Tremblant Wanderlust Festival during a writing class that she was leading. I hadn’t written anything in my life other than papers for school and I had never even journaled before taking this class and the space was setup for us to write about whatever was on our minds and so I did. And I got the opportunity to share many of the things that I wrote about since it was a small group and we were asked to share.
The other participants in this class thought that my writing was funny and they felt like I could tell a good story, so after the class ended I approached Tatum, but approached her to discuss the lack of sustainability efforts at the Mont Tremblant Wanderlust Festival and not my writing. During that festival, I working in sustainability and proposed the ideas of helping Wanderlust with its sustainability efforts at their festivals and to discuss the opportunity to leading a speakeasy on sustainability. Tatum gave me the name of the person whom I could speak to about leading a speakeasy and after she did this she asked me if I would be interested in writing for Wanderlust as she just launched their media division and was interested in having a sustainability expert join the writing team. I told Tatum that I would be open to that and she asked me to send her two writing samples at some point in the next two weeks.
When I returned to New York, an obvious problem arose — I had no idea what a writing sample was or even where to begin — so I looked up writing samples online and submitted two writing samples. Tatum got back to me shortly after she received my writing samples and told me that she would like me to write for Wanderlust and I was shocked because I did not think that my writing samples were very good. A few weeks later I pitched my first article about sustainability and I was so intimidated writing it. I had written so many run-on sentences and truly felt like I had nothing to offer in the piece, but I submitted it anyway.
By my third article, I was still writing with run-on sentences and struggling to get what I wanted to say out. So Tatum pushed me to go further within and find my voice. I was scared of doing so and I took on the assignment and was finally able to bring my passion for sustainability to this piece. I resubmitted the article and Tatum was thrilled because I found my voice and wrote a kick-ass piece.
I ended up writing another 20+ articles for Wanderlust and became their trusted sustainability writer. I even wrote a number of articles which had nothing to do with sustainability, articles where I exposed my heart in some pieces, and truly found my ability to express myself through writing. I was shocked as I had struggled to express myself throughout my life.
Through writing I learned how to vocalize my feelings, I learned how to put my passion down on paper and I learned how to connect with people on a deeper level. I came in to this life assignment with no perception, concept or idea that any of these things would be possible through writing and I walked away with a brand new ability to communicate. So if you are thinking of writing for yourself, to promote your business or to share your opinions, I recommend that you take the road less traveled and start because you never know where it may lead you.