How did Anne Rice know she should be a writer?

In an interview with The Week Anne Rice was asked how she decided to become a writer of the supernatural. Her answer? She didn’t really choose her work. It chose her.

There is so much truth to her answer. Ann didn’t make a decision to be a writer as a career so much as that career chose her. She noticed she became fully alive whenever she thought or wrote about supernatural topics. This was evidence she could not ignore. The career chose her.

I think there is a great lesson here for the rest of us. Rather than feeling overwhelmed by so many choices, studying our options, and then choosing the best one, why not let the evidence speak?

Here are a few really effective writing exercises to try to identify evidence of when you have felt fully alive. When you write, try writing off the top of your head without thinking too much — no self-censoring.

  1. What do you enjoy? What are you good at? What do you find meaningful? Try and find the overlap and see what falls into all three categories. You’re creating a list of evidence about yourself, shedding light on what work could be choosing you.
  2. When were you the best version of yourself? Write down times when you felt fully alive and in the moment. What were you doing? Where were you? Who was around?
  3. Imagine you live in a world where no one will ever find out about the work that you do. In this world where it only matters how you express yourself, and not what will impress others, what work would you choose?

Return to these exercises as often as you like. It can be very helpful to develop an evidence-seeking mindset, constantly sifting through and confirming evidence as you gain understanding of how you tick and what makes you come alive. You may find what work is choosing you!

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Art James Heller is a positive psychology life coach and career coach. He meets with local clients in Hillsboro, OR and clients from around the world by phone and video. If you’d like to learn more please explore the site, or get in touch to sign up for a free consultation.

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