As a writer, I’m always considering what my characters want. I’m always asking what their motivations are. What will make them happy? What is a satisfying story for them? But I had never really considered the story of my own life. What was my motivation? What would make me happy?
I began asking these questions when I realized was drowning in unhappiness—but ever so slowly, one drop at a time. Things were FINE, really, except they weren’t. By the time I started Author Your Life, it was January 1, 2018. And here’s what I can say about that day:
I woke up the heaviest I’d been in years. Actually, probably the heaviest I’d been, ever. I can’t tell you what I ate that day, but I can definitely tell you I drank. Because drinking was something I found myself doing more and more.
My work writing novels, which had once been thriving, had also dried up, leaving me questioning who in the world I was, since being a novelist was the only thing I’d ever wanted to do ever. It felt inextricably linked to my identity, and I was sort of shuffling around, lost, without it.
And while I had a well-paying part-time job that kept a regular paycheck coming in and guaranteed we had things like health insurance, the gigs Rob and I had started on the side—me a writing business and Rob an ice cream store—were often struggling. We were getting by, but barely.
We were living paycheck to paycheck. We were both heavy. And while we liked each other a lot, our relationship wasn’t exactly thriving. I was drinking to numb all kinds of pain, though I probably couldn’t have said exactly where I was hurting at the time. It just felt like a terrible ache all over.
And yet, if you’d asked me how I was doing, I would have said fine. I would have said that everything was okay. (Sometimes, you don’t realize how numb you are until you start feeling things again.)
So I started writing a book I unimaginatively titled Lara’s Life. It was an experiment, a way to test whether writing about the life I wanted to have could actually help it come to pass. Every day I wrote about myself like a character, and I wrote the things I wanted to have happen to her. More joy. More abundance. More peace. More connection.
Now, a year later, I feel like a different person. And I can definitively say: Writing my life like a book unleashed magic that changed everything.
I’m still on this journey, but things are markedly different. My heart is happier. My relationships are stronger. In practical terms, I’ve lost 20 pounds, and our finances have never been better. I’ve stopped drinking. But beyond that, I went from being half numb in my life to embracing it and living it fully. I feel totally connected to my purpose and on a better path. My eyes are open and my heart is so, so full.
Writing my life like a novel — like a story I wanted to come true — changed everything for me. And I believe it can change everything for you, too.