Updated: Sep 17, 2022
A couple weekends ago I had done an online event for InterNations' Dubai group community. In the first fifteen minutes we have introductions and I ask the attendees what they hope to learn from attending "Writing a Book: What You Need to Know." I don't create slides; I don't believe in it. After the participant numbers grow, I start the meeting basing my presentation on how I wrote my novel: "Finding Moksha: One Woman's Path in Uncertain Times." I talk a lot about the fear and uncertainty I had, my perfectionism, my worries of not being good enough. I talk about the drafting and editing processes. Largely I talk about the shame I experienced as I wrote and wasn't sure I could finish it or even wanted to. I often wanted to give up and sometimes the manuscript and all the edits sat on a shelf for months, within view, but tucked hidden away in my mind as I let my daily responsibilities take center stage away from my true love: creative work. After I talk about my creative process I read the first chapter and wait for the questions. I have to get better at pausing. The first chapter ends with a lot to think about. The silence scares me and I want to soothe, crack a joke, change the subject, take the focus off of me. I want to let my attendees shine and give them the inner peace and self-compassion I work to hold onto in those vulnerable moments.
My talk is based on what they want to know and I cater my words for them and follow the eye contact as the conversation unfolds.
Toward the end of the event one of the attendees raised her hand. "I don't remember when I attended your last talk, but it was that encouragement you gave that willed me to finish, writing and editing and self-publishing my book. I did it all by myself." She held it up on the screen for me to see the cover. If I could have cried, I would have. My hand went to my heart. I was speechless, filled with joy and gratitude all at once. The words I'd spoken during another talk touched someone, had inspired her to create and finish a life goal. Were we not separated by the Atlantic Ocean, I would have hugged her. I was proud of what she had done. She translated the title from Portuguese and I wrote it down on a piece of paper in my surroundings. I was proud of her and I was moved by her being inspired by me!
My wish is that my experience gives others a sense of belonging in these creative communities. I seek out inspiring words in articles and in speakers' events I attend. That day I inspired someone. Maybe there were others. The gift that first time author gave was one that left me speechless and in awe. She and the others on the meeting reminded me that I inspire others, too, by talking about vulnerability and talk about being my true self. What I love about these talk is encouraging others to seek out their inner child, to follow intuition, the little voice inside themselves and to create and feel that joy.
Who will you inspire? Who have you inspired and what happened that day?
—© Amanda L. Mottorn, 2021. Author of Finding Moksha: One Woman’s Path in Uncertain Times and Artist at Modern Moksha Designs & Publishing.