The One Must Have Tool In Every Great Writers Toolbox

Rick Martinez

And the moment you realize it’s been waiting for you all along…

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I’ve been on a writing journey for some time now. Unofficially for many, many years. In fact, I like to tell folks my love of the written word began in the 6th grade.

But officially for right about five years now.

And making decent money at it in just about one year.

Of course, “decent money” is a relative couple of words. J.K. Rowling may give me a pat on the back and whisper some words of encouragement. But Bob, that guy who is just picking up his pen for the first time, will wanna know how I got to this point.

So yeah, “decent money” is relative.

But I digress…

I’ve been taught a lot, listened a bunch, and I’ve learned even more.

And through it all, one thing has stood apart from all the other tactics, strategies, hacks, systems, and processes around.

One thing that I, and now you, finally realized was right in front of us from the outset.

That thing?

The best writers mimic life.

And it shows.

If you’ve ever watched a great movie, whatever movie that might be to you, there are some commonalities for sure. The biggest is that you’re continually engaged.

Like engaged to the point where you don’t even want to go to the potty or get a free refill on that tub of popcorn.

The more significant point is this, though.

There will be others who found that SAME MOVIE, the one that captivated you, boring as heck.

They’ll even share how they had trouble staying awake during it, which will seem preposterous to you.

“Seriously?” you’ll say?
“What about that part where he jumps off the 44th floor and has to strap on the parachute as he’s falling?”…”nothing?”…
Nothing.
She’ll mention the movie last week, and that part where Laura and that Canadian Mountie break up, the rain is pouring down, and so are the tears…”nothing?” she’ll ask?
Nothing.

You see, the best of the best writers don’t just tell stories, but they tell stories about life.

A life that is about one degree different than the life you’re living.

That’s why it resonates so profoundly.

The stories come from a real-life experience at some point in time, and you, the writer, basically get a second crack at it.

The great ones take that moment and massage that thing until it makes you laugh, cry, scream, jump, or even better…it makes you do all these things in the same sitting.

Those writers compel you to wonder “what if.” And better yet, they leave you wanting more.

A lot like life, a great movie keeps you hooked not only because you hear the story about the ‘hero,’ but you also watch the saga of their closest friends unfold.

Or unravel.

And to be clear, I don’t mean all the greats write movies. I mean that all the greats compel you to play your own movie in your head and put yourself in the story as if it was written about you.

So as you think about writing. As you consider what it takes to break into the greats or simply take it up a notch. As you think about the “what if” of being a great writer, remember your story is the key.

You’re not just an accountant…

You’re not just a nurse…

You’re not just a programmer…

You have a life filled with experiences that nobody on earth has.

Kids…

Spouse…

Bills…

Issues…

Terrible things…

Incredible things…

Our lives have gobs of sub-stories going on that the regular world will never understand, and oh boy, while we surely wouldn’t ever want that on a big screen, it’s no doubt a story that must be told.

Feel me?

The best writers capture ALL of this in their storytelling which is why we love them so much.

And that brings me back to you.

You have dreams, desires, and motivations, and I’ll bet dollars to donuts not many folks will get that.

I’ll also double down on that bet in my belief that there’s also a whole lot of people that will absolutely get it.

Which is why they will need to hear that story.

The great ones ascended not so much because they know words better than you. Instead, they took the bold step of creating, writing, and then sharing their stories with the world.

The one tool that’s been there all along.

Your story.

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I'm a freelance writer and a nurse, exploring the world one beer, donut, and experience at a time. Writing about the travel nurse industry and healthcare, with the occasional emphasis on donuts. #NomNom

San Antonio, TX
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