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The Journey of Shoes

Recently when I was in Asheville, NC, for a business retreat, I saw a designed trail of human, pig, and turkey concrete footprints in the downtown area. A Mama and her piglet led the way for a pair of turkeys not far behind. The footprints showed how they walked together.

I started thinking about how similar these footprints were to the journey of writers.

We may walk side-by side, but our stories leave different tracks behind. Some people journal only for their own amusement and satisfaction while others have something to say to the world. Still other writers have been dreaming up stories since childhood.

We all feast on this hope of bringing our stories to life, but we put on different shoes when finding our way.

Poetry. Blogs. Memoirs. Novels. Nonfiction. Short stories. Essays.

These forms are like the shoes we wear. Some shoes are sturdy, some are sparkly, some are classic, and some are trendy.

Seasoned writers wear shoes that are worn and comfortable while inexperienced writers pull shoes fresh out of the box and have to withstand the pinch of newness on their toes or heels.

You may not know the approach you want to take, but that’s part of the exploratory writing process.

We try on different styles of writing to see what we like and what feels good. Just like that six-inch spike heel is not for everyone. Or that steel-toed work boot. We may discover we are not poets but love the rhythm of language. Short stories may not be enough for writers who want to create whole worlds inside of novels or tell their story through memoir.

Some writers crisscross between fiction and nonfiction, or short and long forms of writing. This is where our paths diverge and how we share our unique voices.

Though our voices develop individuality, the act of writing and creating keeps us together on the journey.

We all face the same highs and lows in pursuing our art. Those who are writers by calling understand that the struggles and failures are part of the triumphs and joys that writing brings.

Even writers who have written for many years or published multiple books acknowledge that they still struggle on some days. (Don’t believe writers who tell you otherwise.)

But experienced writers soldier on, recognizing that the current difficulty will dissipate with time and hard work.

Early in my writing career, understanding this process diminished the doubts I had about my own journey.

I was on the right path. You are too.

We all have the same path to follow; we just wear different shoes to get there.

Fortunately, help is available so that writers don’t have to struggle alone to find their voice and story like they once did. Writing coaches provide guidance and support.

We all wear different shoes, but that doesn’t mean we have to make this trek alone.

It’s okay to ask for help. I encourage you to ask for help. Are you ready to start fulfilling your dream rather than allowing your vision to languish?

What shoes are you wearing and are they getting you where you want to go? Leave me a comment below about your writing journey.

Millard is a writing coach and project development editor. If you’d like to see how she can help you, email her at bonny dot millard AT gmail dot com and ask for a complimentary Project Discovery Call to learn more.


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