We here at Life is Story believe that…well…that life is Story—everyone’s story matters, is worth being told, and worth knowing. Everyone has a story, but very few ever put that story on paper and in words. Whether your story is meant for the public or just for yourself, learning to write your story down holds a great power, one that Allison Fallon unlocks in The Power of Writing It Down. Listen is as she talks with Life is Story host Josh Olds about how to unlock that power for yourself.
The Interview | The Power of Writing it Down by Allison Fallon
This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity and conciseness.
Josh Olds: Now, a lot of writing books are geared toward answering the question, “How do I get published?” but this book, and I think this is what makes The Power of Writing it Down stand apart from the other books on this topic that I’ve read, is this book is just about the power of story. We hear a life story, we like that. But what would you say to someone who just isn’t sure that their story is worth telling?
Allison Fallon: Hmm, such a great question. You’re right, this book, the reason I wrote this book is because I, as a writer myself and a writing coach, I knew there are a lot of books out there, that were great resources for anyone who wants to get published or wants to improve at their craft, or who wants to learn how to write a better book or tell a better story. What there wasn’t, as far as I could tell, was a book that was for people who the kind of people I was meeting, day in and day out as I was traveling across the country—people who are like, I don’t really know what I want to do with my story, but I feel like I’m supposed to write, I feel like I have a story to tell.
Or like, I’m running a business and I have a message that I want to share and I want to get it out there in the world. Or, you know, I’m really passionate about this cause and I started this nonprofit and I want to tell more people about it. Or even just like, I like the process of journaling, because it helps me to process how I feel about my life, or what I’m thinking about a thing. There wasn’t a book out there for that group of people that said, not only number one, you are a writer, and you deserve to do this, but also, here’s how to overcome the inevitable obstacles and blocks that we all face along the way. So I wanted this book to be that book for people. And as far as the direct question that you asked was, what was it that you asked at the end?
Josh Olds: What would you say to someone who isn’t sure that their story is worth telling?
Allison Fallon: Yes. So the encouragement that I give to writers all the time is, first of all, I would ask the question, “What would make your story worth telling to you? Sometimes we have a list of things that are in our minds that we don’t even know about—they’re subconscious beliefs. You know, for authors I work with who are on a publishing track, a lot of them will say things like, well, if my book hit the New York Times list, then I would know it was worth telling. Or if I knew my book can sell 100,000 copies, or 50,000 copies, or 20,000 copies or whatever. We all have a different set of ideas about what makes a book worth writing.
And the stories that I always tell those writers are about the books that an author wrote, without knowing what the book was going to do. And then, you know, to their great surprise, the book ends up on the New York Times list or ends up impacting a really massive group of people.
But at the end of the day, the point is, it doesn’t really matter. Because the writing process…the first person who the writing process is going to change and transform is you. And so the clients I’ve worked with who’ve come to me who are like, you know, I don’t really know what I want to do with this, but I know I have something I want to say and we work through the process with them and help them outline the message that they’re trying to communicate and actually sit down and execute on it. I’ve had people say they would—even though they’re never going to publish this anywhere—pay the money ten times over again, because of the clarity that it has given them about their life.
The question that we asked ourselves of “Will this be worth it?” because I don’t know how many people will read it or I don’t know if it’s going to be a New York Times bestseller, it’s really what Steven Pressfield calls the resistance. It’s just an invented made-up idea that we have that’s giving us an excuse not to actually do the work of writing it down when we know we want to.
The Book | The Power of Writing It Down
Discover the power of (finally) getting unstuck, claiming your clarity, and becoming the person whose life you want to live–all through a simple self-care practice you can build into your daily routine.
For anyone who’s trying to make sense of their life, who wants to get unstuck from the patterns that hold them back, hear this incredible news: everything you need for the freedom you want is entirely within reach. This practice and pathway is free, it’s readily available every day of your life, it takes just minutes of your time, and anyone can do it.
Author, writing coach, and speaker Allison Fallon’s life transformed when she discovered the power of a daily writing practice. As it turns out, using your words is one of the most powerful means you have for unlocking your life. The Power of Writing It Down is your guide to this transformative tool available to us all. In as little as five to twenty minutes a day, scientific research shows this daily practice can help you:
- Identify your ruts and create new neurological grooves toward better habits
- Find fresh motivation and take ownership of your life
- Heal from past pain and trauma
- Relieve anxiety and depression
- Contextualize life’s setbacks and minor frustrations
- Live a more confident, balanced, and healthy life
…and so much more
Drawing from years of coaching hundreds through the writing process–from first-timers to New York Times bestselling authors–Allison shares tried and tested practices for getting started, staying inspired, and using this simple habit to shift how you feel and show up to your life. Pen and paper is simply the method, but the reward is the real magic: new depths of self-discovery, creativity, and intentionality for living.
The Author | Allison Fallon
Allison Fallon is an award-winning author, sought after public speaker, and nationally recognized writing coach. She has coached hundreds of thousands of writers – from NYT Bestselling authors to total beginners to help them finally get their books written and on shelves. Her most recent book The Power of Writing Things Down walks anyone – even those who swear they aren’t “real” writers – through a simple daily practice they can use to reduce anxiety, curb depression, improve their confidence and gain clarity in their life.