Write On: Redirecting My Focus after “Listening” to My Circumstances

People often thank me for the transparency that I express in my writing. I don’t know any other way to be— I keep it all the way REAL (sometime a little too real)—and that certainly translates into my writing. I think that anyone who writes or does any type of artistic expression needs to know that being transparent in your craft allows you to connect with your audience in a very tangible way. I enjoy connecting with people this way and I hope people enjoy reading it.

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I’ve been on a path to become a writer my whole life. I was nine years old when I wrote an award-winning essay. Since then, every choice that I’ve made has been strategic in utilizing my writing skills. I did all the right things to align my passion for writing with a fail-proof career trajectory that would (in theory) lead me to the pot of gold known as success. I majored in English, continued to strengthen my writing skills, completed writing-focused internships, graduated with a master’s in communication, and landed a job in communications.

I thought this was the path that I needed to take. When I came to D.C., I had grandiose dreams of excelling in communications. Sadly, that has not happened. I’ve actually realize that this field is not foe me: I don’t enjoy talking to reporters, I am not good at writing press releases, and it’s too stressful for words. I’m competent in communications, but certainly not exceptional. It took me along time to realize that. I tried to force it for almost five years. I had a come-to-Jesus-moment when I realized that communications may not be my calling, but there are other areas where my gifts flourish. I think it was really hard for me to accept that because I have this self-imposed pressure that I need to be good at everything. I had to realize that sometimes I’m going to be mediocre at some things and exceptional at others. Trying to be good at things that don’t come naturally is exhausting—you can’t force it. If you continue to try to force it then it will make you a very unhappy person. Trust me. 😉

So now what? After soul-searching, crying, praying, talking with friends and mentors, complaining, crying, panicking, crying (did I mention crying?) I went back to the basics: writing. I LOVE writing. I experience real joy when I write. It comes naturally to me. I’ve “stumbled upon” so many writing opportunities. I’ve randomly pitched publications and been picked up. I’ve received countless writing opportunities through social media. I never set out to be published, but it just happened.

It seems that my circumstances have been trying to tell me something all along, but I was trying to prosper and advance in something that I’m not meant to do. I’m meant to write. I love engaging topics that I’m passionate about through my writing, being analytical, spreading awareness about albinism, etc. Thankfully, I have not been neglecting my gift even though I was trying to advance in communications. I thought it was the only way to utilize my skills, but now it’s clear that there are other ways. I don’t regret my years working in communications. I’ve acquired great skills that I use often and that are transferable to other areas, but I’m definitely happy to no longer pursue opportunities in this area.

I’m still working on figuring out this “writing thing” as a profit-making career. I know I’ll probably need to work a day job as I pursue this and I’m fine with that. Along this journey, I’ve also found that I enjoy event planning. So I’m making several leaps at the same time, but I’m not scared. The good thing about this “writing thing” is that it has taught me to become fearless.

Questions to ponder: What are your circumstances telling you? Where are your gifts leading you? What dream did you abandon to realize your real purpose?

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4 thoughts on “Write On: Redirecting My Focus after “Listening” to My Circumstances

  1. Where was I when you had this “come to Jesus” moment? I am very proud of you for accepting your truth and not only accepting it but attempting to walk it out. You are an exceptional writer as you are an exceptional person. Please keep the dream alive!

  2. LOL! I think you were one of the people to help me come to Jesus. 😉 Denial is not a great place. Thank you so much for your support. I really appreciate all the kind words, phone calls where you let me cry, sermons, talks, dinner at Nandos, etc. We’ve had some fun times.

  3. Hi Brandi, I came to this post through your link in the Write Pitch course. I am so glad to see that someone else has experienced something that I have been too in my career. Throughout school and just after, I was doing internships/jobs that had a focus on PR and promotions, which I thought was a good use of my writing skills. But then I realized I really just want to write about issues that I actually care about, instead of promoting someone else’s brand or product! I hope that you continue to succeed by writing what you love!

  4. HI Emily, thank you for the support! I’m so glad you’re able to relate to my experience. It’s not great when you’re in the midst of it but it is wonderful once you have the aha moment! Thank you and I hope you continue to succeed in issues that you’re passionate about. We fellow writers need to stick together!

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