venice beach, dolphin, palm tree, beach, photograph, la, venice, signs

© evanjoseph.com

It was fifteen years ago this week that I moved to NYC from LA. I know because it was Fleet Week and I arrived to a city filled with hot men in white pants. In LA, I had a job with a big talent agency, but I’d come to the conclusion that I needed to be talent, not management. Admitting that I wanted to be on the other side of the desk terrified me, but so did staying trapped in a dream that didn’t fit.

So I decided to move to New York to be with my boyfriend (now husband,) and closer to my family in Maryland, hoping it would feel ok to be a writer there. And it did.  I began whispering stories to people. Every time I did, an opportunity popped up. This is a lesson I’ve had confirmed over and over since then. Carrie Butler and PK Hrezo asked a bunch of us to write letters to our younger selves to celebrate her blogoversary.  So here is my letter to me.

 

 

1999Dear Amy,

This year you’re going to party like it’s 1999. You are going to find your “write life.” So listen up. There’s a reason you’re on this planet. And you haven’t started doing it yet. You ARE a storyteller. Denial won’t change that. Stop hiding your dreams in the closet and get on with it. So…

WRITE. Just sit down and do it, first thing, every day. All the stories in your head are much better on paper, and when you are writing, all the issues and doubt will disappear. Otherwise the words will crowd your heart and your head. Start every story that’s in your heart, and finish some of them. Go…

hnt_01TELL PEOPLE WHAT YOU ARE WORKING ON. Only your parents will laugh. They’ll remind you that when you were a little tiny kid, you sat around writing stories, and didn’t do much else. Evan will take a story idea that you whisper to him on a long car trip, pitch it to a new media producer and an internet incubator and you guys will start a company based their interest. When people ask what you’re working on, they’re genuinely interested when you tell them. And…

IF THEY ASK TO SEE IT, SHOW IT TO THEM. Immediately. Because they’re excited about, they’ll understand that it’s still in a draft mode. They’re really going to like it, want to see it again when it’s finished, and they may even have a bit of advice. Don’t wait until it’s perfect because it never will be. And their energy will have diminished, and you’ll have to work much hard to capture it again. Just…

small typewriter

© evanjoseph.com

FINISH THINGS. Wrap projects up, put them down. Edit, create a clean copy, and make a plan. Keeping them hidden in your computer is almost worse than never having written them at all. Expand your ideas about delivery platforms beyond books, TV and movies and you will actually create new platforms for your stories. Don’t limit your ideas to books Take…

A CLASS OR TWO. You need the deadlines, structure and feedback for editing. But don’t get stuck in the process for too long. Incorporate the feedback you like immediately, ignore the rest and keep moving the project forward. And you will meet amazing people who will stick with you for the rest of your life. It’s magical to have friends who already know your dreams. They’ll encourage you, understand you, get you back on track if they need to and celebrate even the smallest successes. Always…

TRUST YOUR INTUITION. Especially when it comes to people and opportunities. You know which ones will carry you forward and which will not. Do not question your instincts, or feel guilty about them. You see things that others do not, and come up with unique and creative connections. This is ultimately what will drive you to create stories that only you can tell, the stories only you can share with the world. Remember…

The Penthouse Clocktower in DUMBO Brooklyn at Sunset

© evanjoseph.com

TIME IS DIVINE. You can reject the desk job mentality, and spend your days doing work that inspires you and is productive. Interesting opportunities will always come your way if you stay optimistic and open minded. And go marry that boy already. You guys make dreams come true for each other and your babies are going to be adorable. And lastly…

PUT YOUR STORIES FIRST. There will be plenty of distractions, many will even be essential to creating the career you want. But make the creative writing time the most important tentpole of every day. Make storytelling sacred, because that is truly the part that only you can do.

With love and light,

xoxo
Future You

4 thoughts on “The Write Path – a letter to myself

  1. Carrie Butler

    Yes! I am all for partying like it’s 1999. 😀 Thanks for participating!

  2. Chrys Fey

    When I first started writing, I was embarrassed to tell people what I was working on, and I definitely didn’t let them see it! haha It would’ve been nice if I had been more brave.

    “Put your stories first.” I like that. 🙂

    1. Amy Evans Post author

      I know exactly what you mean! I still feel like that on occasion. But yes – it’s all about the stories. When I can follow my own advice, my life slips into synch. Thanks for reaching out!

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