Choose Your Own Writing Adventure by Emily Pattullo | Resources | Developing Your Craft
Emily Pattullo

Emily Pattullo

Life coach Emily Pattullo on how writers can imagine and create their own writing life, just as they create the lives of their characters . . .

How is it that as writers we have little trouble imagining and writing a story about others, and yet when it comes to our own life story we often get stuck at Once Upon a Time…?

I’ve thought a lot about this (and as a consequence have now written about the process): the (relative) ease with which I write a novel about complex characters facing big life challenges, and yet, when it comes to my own life, how hard it sometimes is to get beyond the first page.

What does my character want? What does it look like? What is stopping them from doing that? What is their greatest challenge? How can they overcome it? These are questions we might ask of our characters, but how often do we ask them of ourselves? That we might take a journey like our characters do, that starts at the beginning, a place where we contemplate our lives, and leads to identifying what it is we truly want, and then what might be holding us back from getting that. And then go through the steps it takes to move through our challenges and end up in a place where we have the opportunity to completely redefine ourselves and what our life looks like going forward. The life we have imagined for ourselves in the way that we might imagine it for our characters.

Emily Pattullo 12 Creative StepsDo we care as deeply about ourselves as we do about them? Do we give as much attention to ourselves as we do to our characters’ journey and ultimate triumph? What if we took the time to really feel into our own life journey and the steps we need to take in order to live a fulfilling life? Where would our imagination take us? There are so many important questions that we have the opportunity to answer with every creative step we take.

As a life coach I have walked clients through such a journey of self-discovery. It’s fraught with lurking demons and fierce battles, but also buried treasure, hidden superpowers, and surprising allies. The important thing I’ve found is to remember that it’s a journey; not a rush to the end without really exploring the steps it takes to get us there. After all, a story that skips straight from the beginning to the end without a journey isn’t a story at all, and certainly not one that anyone would want to read. So, I encourage clients to live their life as an epic novel, one that will make people want to fight alongside them, celebrate their victories, feel their pain and sadness as if it’s their own. Because maybe their bravery will inspire others to be brave too, to also take on challenges that they might otherwise have been too afraid to.

It’s taken a long time for me to realise this for myself. To not always think that others’ stories are better told, better lived and more impressive than my own. For much of my writer’s life, I have tried to emulate others’ successes: to get an agent, be published traditionally, have a Sunday Times Best Seller, because that’s the ultimate in ‘success’ as an author, isn’t it? But what I now realise is that the real gold is in the experience, the journey, and not just the outcome. And the whole time, it has actually been about me and how I see myself; that I wasn’t prepared to enjoy the journey, I just wanted to rush straight to the end, which was where I thought the treasure was buried. But where’s the adventure in that? Where’s the experiences, the challenges, the friends we make along the way? All of which ultimately becomes excellent story book fodder!

So, I took myself back to the beginning of my journey, asked myself what I truly wanted from my life. Not what other people have or don’t have, because that’s relevant to their journey, their story, but what is right and true for me. Then I asked myself what was standing in the way of me getting to that place: What were my challenges? What changes did I need to make? Where was the joy? And I journeyed through each of the steps, culminating in me facing my greatest nemesis, realising my true potential and self-worth, and from there creating a new life from a position of certainty and completeness.

Now I live and write from a place of knowing that it’s not about what others think of my creations but how much I enjoy creating them. And as a result of that, my enthusiasm and passion for what I do requires no instant gratification because it’s all in the process and the journey it takes to get there.

And I realise that makes it sound like there is only one journey, one path, and one destination, but as we writers know, there are many and they are varied. And I personally intend to take many, many more. Because, after all, why should our characters have all the fun? And why shouldn’t we also get to choose our own adventure?

(c) Emily Pattullo

About 12 Creative Steps to a Fulfilling Life by Emily Pattullo:

Emily Pattullo 12 Creative StepsWrite. Draw. Imagine.

Take a look at your life right now and explore in detail what might be holding you back.
Face your greatest nemesis and realise your true potential.
Challenge yourself to be better in this integrative process that walks you through the stages of growth and expansion.
You are the creator of your own life experience – so start creating!

Includes additional exercises that invite you to go within and feel for the answers.

A creative journey of self-discovery, examining your life as it is now and exploring the steps you need to take in order to live the life you truly desire.

We came here to experience a joyful and fulfilling life in which we create our every moment from a place of love and abundance. But we have got so caught up in the opinion of others, social expectation, and conforming to an outdated paradigm, that we have forgotten how powerful we really are and that we have complete control over our life experience.

This journal invites you to take a look at how you feel about your life right now, and what you would like to change about it. It is a step-by-step process in which you have the opportunity to really explore what it is you truly desire. It requires some deep inner reflection and honesty on your part to make choices around what is currently serving you and what it’s time to let go of.

It is a chance to face your nemesis, your inner self-critic, the one who is standing in the way of your greatest potential.

Take up the challenge and become the superhero of your own story!

Order your copy of 12 Creative Steps to a Fulfilling Life by Emily Pattullo online here.

About the author

Emily Pattullo is an award-winning author and certified life coach. She is the author of two novels and a non-fiction self-help journal. She has worked in magazine publishing in London and then briefly in New Zealand, as well as run her own writing, editing and proof reading business.
Her passion lies in human potential through creativity. And she is the first person she knows to have been replaced by a robot.

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