Becoming A Writer

» Posted by on Jan 4, 2013 | 24 comments

Becoming A Writer

As I was getting ready to send out my first newsletter for this year, making sure it was filled with tips on how to make this year count and how to get through winter happily etc, I had a sudden feeling deep inside that made me stop short. It was a feeling of disappointment, like a little part of me had stood aside from it all and said ‘oh not this again’. It’s hard to be offended with yourself, so I thought I’d better try and understand what it was all about.

When I started my blog in 2011, and my website a few months ago, the aim was to have a special place where I could share openly and write from the heart. I wanted to draw in likeminded souls who would be touched by what I had to share and who might feel inspired by it. The comments I get in response to my blog posts certainly inspire me.

Something’s Missing

But there’s been something missing. I started to realise this after I launched my website, and so that belligerent part of me I mentioned earlier actually sneaked off to start a secret blog. My name wasn’t mentioned anywhere and the posts were never publicised. Amazingly I have followers there, male and female – I have no idea how they found this hidden blog, but it’s a place where I write truly uncensored and from the heart.

I long to bring that kind of writing across to my main blog but even the thought of that brings up a sense of horror, along with phrases like ‘can’t do that!’ and ‘noooo don’t!’ and ‘danger danger!’. It’s kind of exasperating because all I ever wanted to be since I was very young was a writer. But how can you be a writer if no-one is allowed to read your writing?

I remember studying creative writing at university and the lecturer complaining that as she got halfway through one of my stories I had effectively slammed the door on her. I knew exactly what she meant – it was the point at which I realised I was making myself vulnerable and so I switched into ‘safe mode’, wrapped up all the loose ends and finished it off with a safe and sanitary ‘the end’. She was devastated.

A Mission

So this week I went on a mission – I asked all the bloggers I could find how they avoid the issue of feeling too vulnerable, and without fail they all said they don’t, they struggle with it constantly just like me. Of course I’d thought I was the only one in the world.

So then I approached one of my favourite bloggers whose writing is so beautiful and raw and honest it makes me cry, and I asked her how she puts her heart out there like that. She generously replied immediately with loads of encouragement and wisdom, and guess what? SHE had the same problem in the beginning too. I don’t know why I didn’t consider this. She wrote continually for two years, resolutely ignoring the criticism and watching her writing grow over time, learning to trust herself and her voice. 

So I know what to do now…and I can feel my heart starting to race even as I write this…I’m going to start taking a few more chances with my writing. It’s as though I write with my psychologist hat on here most of the time, but the thing is I stopped being a psychologist earlier this year (I’m still registered but I’m no longer seeing clients while I focus on building Claim Your Treasure).

I’m making the transition from ‘I’m a psychologist’ to ‘I’m a writer’ and as with all important transitions, it’s both hugely exciting and greatly terrifying. But how can I ask my readers to claim their treasure and reclaim their truth if I’m not doing it in the truest way possible for myself?

Some of my newsletter subscribers may unsubscribe as a result, and some of my blog visitors might stop visiting, but as my lovely mentors and fellow bloggers reminded me, that’s a GOOD thing. That means I’m making room for the people who do benefit from being here, and allowing others to go and find what’s right for them. 


A Poem

So to finish off here, I’m taking a deep breath and sharing a poem I wrote as a teenager (I stopped writing poetry many years ago but maybe it’s time to start again). And in the next few days I plan to share here some of the writing from the secret blog I mentioned, even if it’s only a paragraph.

I shared some of my artwork on this blog last year, but that felt nothing like this – I’m going to have to hit ‘publish’ quickly before I change my mind!

Natural World

I know you well, said the sun

I have watched you grow

I have followed, said the stream

when you turned to go


The night said I have listened

when you called my name

the sea said I have sung to you

when to my side you came


The wind said I have lifted you

when the road was steep

The moon said I have smiled upon you

while you were asleep


I have cooled you, said the rain

when your temper left

we consoled you, said the flowers

when you were bereft


I have led you, said the path

as you travelled on

and I will hold you, said the earth

when your time is gone.

© Leanne Chapman


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  1. That’s beautiful. I love the transition of the poem as each element speaks. So gorgeous! Please share more. I know it’s hard. :D I write too. Poetry, for me, is the hardest of my writing to share. I want people to love it and get it but I am terrified someone will ask me why I just wasted the time. This is a very good poem.

    • Thank you so much for your feedback and kind words Arwen – I chose an old one but I still wanted to write a paragraph or three justifying that I wrote it as a teenager and why it’s so rhyme-y and so on, but I let it go :) I’m just happy you liked it and that you understand the difficulties of sharing ♥

  2. That poem is gorgeous, Leanne! I’m also never quite sure how much of myself to share in my blog.

    Back when I was on LJ, I’d share almost anything with the world – but I’m never sure how that fits in with the business nature of my blog now. Oddly enough, for me, it’s not about worrying about being exposed or vulnerable – it’s more about wanting my blog posts to give my readers value, and never being sure how much of sharing myself is doing that.

    I don’t think there’s any one right answer, but I’m hoping that as I get more experience as a business blogger, I’ll just kind of… figure it out as I go!



    • Thanks Tanja, I know what you mean – if this was a blog just for the sake of blogging it ‘might’ be easier, but like you I also want to offer people tangible support and guidance. I still think I can do that more deeply if I reveal more of myself though, because that after all is what my business is all about. You’re right, we just figure it out as we go! Thanks for sharing :)

  3. It’s beautiful, Leanne, just beautiful. Time to let the sun shine through you!

    • Thank you for your lovely words as always Vickie x

  4. Way to go Leanne! Love your poem + reading about your journey of vulnerability… will find your way…’s not always an easy road to travel, but it is the most significant one……much love! gina

    • Thanks for your support and encouragement, Gina :)

  5. Hi Leanne,
    I like the poem! Huh more then l”ike”. And your post made me think (that´s always the very best, isn´t it). I too know this struggle and a little voice is telling me that I do blog too much with a business hat on. So your decision inspires me. Thanks,

    • Always happy to make someone think a little, especially when they relate personally to what I’m saying :) Thanks Nora

  6. Hi Leanne,
    This is a beautiful poem, so elegant and with beautiful imagery about nature.
    I can relate to what you’re saying about having two different sides to you – that’s such a Piscean thing, to swim in two directions. I,too, have poems stored away and have been a writer in secret, though I want to share more as time goes on. I can’t wait to see more of your work. I love stuff that’s written from the heart. I think reading your work will inspire me to write more.

    • Hi Clare, I hadn’t thought about the Pisces quality of swimming in two directions but that explains a lot of things I write about actually! I hope you can share your poems one day, I for one would love to see them, just like I want to read your books :) xx

  7. So happy for you! What a beautiful and powerful step you have taken towards expressing your True Essence. Way to show up and Claim Your Treasure and then share it with those that will benefit. My clients often tell me they get the most out of hearing my personal experiences and how it ties into the content I am teaching/sharing. I wonder why our minds don’t always grasp that? Thank you Leanne for being brave because I know that by you stretching your comfort zone it benefits us all :) LOVE your Poem and look forward to more!

    • Thanks for your support as always Jill – our personal stories are so rich and yet we’re often discouraged from sharing them. It does take courage and it does involve stepping out of the comfort zone yet again, but that’s something we’re both getting used to by now hopefully!

  8. Leanne, thank you firstly for the reminder re turning away in fear from our true path. ‘Psychologist’ (and all that sadly goes with that in our country) hasn’t fit me for a long time either. Sharing in your courage is a great help.

    Secondly, and truly – your poem is beautiful. It spoke to my heart in a most true way. And that is true writing – and it’s rare.


    • Thanks for your lovely feedback Emma. I’m so glad my poem spoke to you. I think we’re in a similar place on our journeys. x (PS I was able to fix your auto-correct issue lol)

  9. Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous!! I feel it, I’m immersed in it, soooo beautiful! Please keep doing more :-)

    • I will Vanessa :) Thanks for your support and encouragement!

  10. What a comforting, positive poem. You should be really proud. I’m tempted to write it out and keep it on my journal. Thanks!!

    • Awww thanks Louise, that makes me feel good :)

  11. What a lovely beautiful poem. I am so glad to have found your blog. Thank you for sharing.
    Hugs and sparkles

    • Thanks Alicia, I love yours too!

  12. Leanne, I loved this post – yes, vulnerability is terrifying for everyone, and yes, practice makes it easier! I am so happy for you that you’ve realised it’s not ‘just you’. And I LOVE that poem (and I don’t normally like much poetry), I really hope it stays up because I’ve shared it on facebook and twitter, and I’ll be back to read the poem again! xxx

    • Donna, thank you so much for the encouragement and feedback, it means a lot – and also for sharing the post with others. I’m glad you liked the poem! :)