10 Jan 46. Write Your Gift
If you’re not sure you have the right book idea or you want to write a book but have no idea what to write about, turn to your gifts.
You have a unique combination of gifts, given only to you.
In this episode, you’ll discover how to hone in on those gifts and choose one to write your book about.
Don’t keep it to yourself. Share your gift with the world in your book.
Mentioned in This Episode
Hey there and welcome to Nothing but the Words, I’m your author coach, Candice L Davis.
Today, I want to talk to you about writing your gift.
I come from a background of literary fiction. For many of us writing in that genre, the writing is the gift.
Choosing the right words, designing the white space on the page, creating a rhythm from passage to passage, developing dynamic characters.
For many fiction writers in any genre, the storytelling is the gift.
But you don’t have to identify writing or storytelling as a gift to become a successful author.
Whatever your gift, you can share it in a book in a way that serves your readers and serves you, the author, in some way.
Writing your gift assumes, of course, that you have a gift.
I have yet to meet a person who didn’t have a gift.
Every man is my superior in that I may learn from him. I’ve seen this quote attributed to Emerson and Carlyle, so I don’t know who said or wrote it first.
I do know that it’s fundamentally true. Every person I cross paths with, including you, is someone I can learn from. Your knowledge is superior to mine—and to most other people’s knowledge—in some area, in some way.
There’s a street in our city that I often drive along when I don’t want to take the freeway.
It’s dotted with truck stops, strip clubs, and cheap motels.
And it’s notorious as a place where drug dealers and sex workers hang out.
One day, as my husband and I drove along that street, remarked to my husband that some of the people I saw standing on the corners or crossing the street through the middle of six lanes of traffic represented such a tremendous underutilization of human potential.
I wondered if their early lives had been different what they might have become, what they might have contributed to the world.
I wondered what they might yet become given the right resources and opportunities.
I imagine some of them will find their way to a better life, and some won’t.
But one thing I know for sure is that every single one of them has gifts.
They have knowledge you and I don’t have.
If I had to survive on the street, the struggle would be real. That’s not my gift, nor would many of my gifts help me out there.
If you haven’t decided what to write your book about yet, if the book you’re trying to write isn’t working, I want to encourage you to write your gift.
In truth, we’re all given multiple gifts.
Choose the one you most want to celebrate right now.
Write about the gift you most want to share with the world where you are in this moment.
One of my clients is a gifted stylist, but she didn’t write about how to build and run a successful salon or how to hone your skills behind the chair.
Instead, she focused on her gift for overcoming and wrote a book about that.
One of my coaching clients owns and runs a successful insurance business. But he wrote his first book not about entrepreneurship but about how to nurture resilience in yourself.
You are not a cardboard cutout. You have multiple gifts. Choose one.
If you have a business you want to grow, or you’re building a brand, write from the gift that will help you achieve that goal.
Just because you’re a schoolteacher that doesn’t mean you have to write about kids, or teaching, or anything relevant to your job.
You have other gifts in other areas.
Write about the gift you most want to step into and share with the world.
That doesn’t mean you have to leave your job or your business behind—unless you want to.
If you’re so locked into your vocation that you can’t see your other gifts, take a step back.
Make a written inventory of your accomplishments, and start with your earliest memories.
Sometimes, your gifts have been with you all along. They might have been overlooked, misunderstood, or even belittled, but they were there.
I was coaching a client earlier today, and she mentioned that, as a child, she had a vivid imagination.
She often dreamed up inventions that would solve some of the problems of modern life.
She lamented the fact that no one in authority in her life thought to give her the opportunity to explore science and technology.
But she still has those gifts. She may not be a scientist, but she IS a creative problem solver.
So inventory your accomplishments, and add to that list the things that came naturally or easily to you as a child.
How are you applying those gifts today?
What comes easily to you now that other people might struggle to do?
For much of my life, I took my gifts for granted. I assumed what came easily to me came easily to everyone.
Homeschooling my girls was easy for me. Crafting a story comes naturally. Maintaining the focus and discipline to write a long book isn’t a big deal
And I assumed everyone else did all those things without a problem too.
Don’t make the mistake I made for so long.
Rest assured that much of what you could do with your eyes closed and one hand tied behind your back, many, many, many other people struggle with.
If you and I met for coffee, I’m willing to bet I could identify some of your gifts before you finished your macchiato.
It’s always easy to see what other people do well.
Inventory your accomplishments. Acknowledge what came easily for you as a child and what you do without struggle or strain now as an adult.
And ask the people who know you best what gifts they see in you. Be open to hearing what they recognize that you might not see in yourself.
Choose just one of your gifts and let it dictate the book you write next.
Share your gifts with the world in a book, and those can’t help but make room for you.
That’s all for this week’s episode. If you enjoyed it, follow me on Instagram @candiceldavis (Candice with an ice). I’ll be sharing more writing tips and helpful resources as we welcome 2021.
Thanks for listening to Nothing but the Words. I’m your author coach, Candice L Davis, and I’ll see you next time.