As I put the finishing touches to a Telegraph article I've been commissioned to pen, and read through several magazine pieces and a book chapter that I am fortunate enough to have been asked to write, I remembered listening to an esteemed speaker at Blogfest last year (it could have been a newspaper editor or Sandi Toksvig, so many wise and wonderful words spoken there) but whoever's advice it was stuck firmly in my mind.
'Bloggers ARE writers. If you are a blogger, you ARE a writer. Value your worth.'
That was the moment where a switch clicked in my mind. We must stop doubting our words, our abilities to reach out to others and to paint pictures with our stories.
I resisted saying 'just a Mummy blogger,' right then and there, and began saying the word 'writer'. It took a lot of practice. I didn't naturally seem to fit the title. It's sometimes hard to value your own worth.
It's easy to feel like a fraud, to doubt our abilities in the absence of professional training or certificates, but I turned to bloggers such as Vicki at Honest Mum who serves as a coach when the voices of doubt take over. Read her post Imposter Syndrome here and see what I mean.
Since then, since that shift in my own mind, my writing has centred less and less on my own blog and I've been asked more and more to write for others. I didn't chase this, it just happened, as if they saw the change in how I approached writing.
With more requests to write, and also speak, professionally, I have to say no more often. And perhaps there is something about saying no that adds value too.
Two further pieces of advice that stuck in my head are from LD Nurse Consultant Jim Blair, who said
'Don't spread your message too thinly.'
And Ken Radford OBE of People and Gardens who urged '
'Use your skill wisely'.
And so, with all that in mind, here's what I've been up to in recent weeks.
1 An article in The Journal of Family HealthHelping Hands explains all the wonderful early years support that got us on track when Natty was tiny. It was a wonderful way of thanking the Portage service, Health Visitor and Pre-school teams plus the medical angels who enabled us to be in the strong independent position we are in today.
Visit their site here.
2 A Pos'Ability Magazine ContributorStarting School appears in the current issue of this fabulous disability magazine. With advice from Contact a Family, Downs Side Up and Laura Rutherford, it's well worth a read.
|Pos'Ability realises that bloggers are writers|
|Writing for Pos'Ability Magazine was an honour|
3 A Chapter in Reasons to Smile Book compiled by Elizabeth Martine and Andrea Knauss
This uplifting, bright and positive little book features 56 stories written by a variety of families and tells of the joys and lessons learned by having a loved one with Down's syndrome. I wrote this chapter forever ago, but the wonderful little book have just been published. It is a joy to hold and will provide support for new families everywhere.
It is available via Amazon UK for £12.99
|New book celebrates Down's syndrome|
|Downs Side Up's chapter in Reasons to Smile|
So take your writing seriously if that is what you want to do, take a leap of faith and believe in your abilities.
You never know where it might lead.
You can buy our little book for children too, by clicking the image: