Shine is my word for 2015. I must admit, I didn’t like this word when I felt it was God’s direction for the New Year. Shining feels like it means everyone will be looking at me. I’ve spent my life behind the scenes, writing about others.
Since writing about my 250-pound weight loss in my memoir Sweet Grace, I have been speaking, coaching and being interviewed on television and radio. I am finding I like all of these things, but I still don’t want everyone looking at me. I really don’t.
Then, God gives me the word for the year. I always know it’s the word because when I hear it, it resonates even though I may not like it. See, I don’t aspire to shine. It’s never been on my rather lengthy to-do list.
However, on one level the reason I know this is my word for 2015 because it stretches me. I am more of a planner and implementer, but not an upfront person. I like to be in the background doing the work or telling others what to do.
In November I went to Tribe Intensive, a weekend filled with tons of good information for writers led by Jeff Goins. It was held at an extremely busy time for me, the middle of November. I was working hard on Sweet Change book and really had no extra time, but it was one of those God things. I knew I needed to attend.
During the weekend, Jeff talked about what kind of writer you are which will determine how you build your platform. The choices were The Journalist, The Prophet, The Artist, The Professor and The Star. The Journalist asks questions. The Prophet tells the truth. The Artist sees beauty in the ordinary. The Professor teaches something. The Star connects people, builds community and is famous.
I thought I could fit in any category, except the star. Then, he further defined the star as the type of person who shows the world, “I did it and so can you.” My heart fell to my stomach. I knew was me and it scared me.
Not the Former Fat Lady!
I knew I could be any of the others. I am and always will be a journalist. Speaking truth is a core value of mine as it is the prophet. I am very visual and see beauty in everyone and everything. I am also a teacher and love giving step by step instructions. But a star? It didn’t seem logical that the former fat lady would ever in a million years become the star.
I sort of accepted that definition, but really placed myself more in the journalist category. Still there was this nagging thought in the back of my mind that The Journalist definition was too easy. It was akin to just getting up in the morning and putting on my favorite jeans and t-shirt. It was something I could just fall into because I had done it for 40 years.