30 Sep 2012

31 days to write your story {day 1} you actually are a writer

Welcome to 31 days – the beautiful brainchild of the Nester who inspires us to spend the month of October writing every single day on a topic that might inspire a community.

Continue reading for my day 1 post. Or you can browse the other posts in my series as they pop up below each new day in October.

Day 1: You actually are a writer

Day 2: What if I didn’t grow up planning to be a writer

Day 3: You *do* have a story to tell

Day 4: Just write, don’t worry if it’s just right

Day 5: Five Minute Friday

Day 6: What if you don’t have time to write

Day 7: Words have the power of life in them

Day 8: Because someone else needs your story

Day 9: How someone’s story can change us

Day 10: Describe the details

Day 11: It doesn’t matter if you don’t feel like it

Day 12: Five Minute Friday -Race

Day 13: If you wish you had an island to write on alone

Day 14: Use kind words

Day 15: What to do with your broken bits and pieces

Day 16: How to write yourself out of the dark

Day 17: Edit ruthlessly

Day 18: Save the scraps

Day 19: Look

Day 20: Because we read Jesus in the details of your life

Day 21: On remembering who we write for

Day 22: What if it isn’t successful?

Day 23: For the days when your blog or your life feel small

Day 24: Because stories are more interesting than statistics

Day 25: You’re gonna need your people

Day 26: Voice

Day 27, 28, 29: What words and girl power have in common

Day 30: When the storms come, keep writing

Day 31: Because I’ve been writing a story


Sometimes I think we over glamorize writing

We make it something that must reek of Hemingway, Lewis, or Lamott before we’re brave enough to share it.


Who says?

You see I think the quiet secret is that you can be a writer and no one needs to recognize your name to make that any more or less true. I think your story matters. The one you write at midnight in 600 word blog posts. The one you scrapbook. The one you piece together for your kids as you fill them in on what grandpa and grandma were like.

You are a writer.

You actually already are.

Don’t believe me? Want to spend 31 days with me as I prove that you can write your story?

Let’s do it – let’s forget our last names and write with loving abandon.

In the beginning, was the Word…..
~John 1:1


Are you writing for 31 days? Go ahead and tell me about it in comments.
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{ Leave a Comment }
  1. 1

    Love it! Looking forward to reading all of your 31 days. :) I’m writing on 31 Days to Humility: A necessary journey of tongue-biting and pride-squashing.

    I need it. :)

  2. 3

    lovin this series already!!

  3. 4

    I’m jumping in Lisa-Jo – 31 Days Seeking God. At the same time I am writing a book (can’t quite believe it myself), so your topic is just perfect for me. I’ll be here for all 31 days. Can’t wait.

    • 5

      It’s my first year doing it – but I’m actually looking forward to it – so much fun to follow along as the Internet explodes with 31 days of creativity!

  4. 6

    I love your topic and can’t wait to read more this month! My topic is 31 days of Encouragement for the Journey, and I’m probably writing more to myself than anyone else:)

  5. 8

    Ay, ay, ay… Well… At first I thought I wouldn’t do it because I figured I wouldn’t stick with it. But then I heard Him whisper into my heart “31 Days of Prayer for Peru…” and I couldn’t say no. Didn’t want to say no. Commit to write out a prayer everyday for this country we are living in and serving? Okay Lord, I’ll do it. Scared? Yep. Especially since I’m doing it on my Spanish blog. But certain God is going to do something big in my heart through it? Absolutely. ¡Vamos!

    Thanks for the cheerleading, Lisa-Jo!

  6. 9

    Oh, I love your topic. I was thinking about doing this….31 days of his story (my almost 8 year old with high functioning autism) but I’m not sure I’m brave enough!!

  7. 11

    Love your topic! Can’t wait to read more!

    Mine is 31 Days of Family Ties: Simple Ways to Strengthen Your Family!

  8. 12

    31 Days of Finding Joy… Being intentional about giving focus and attention to the little things in life that bring me joy. They can be found all around, but so many times the negative is what captures your attention and consumes your thoughts. Not these day! :-)

  9. 13

    Oh, Lisa-Jo! I love this! I have been contemplating for about a week on writing these 31 days around the word story — sharing story, inspiring story, seeing story, in a picture, a word…I don’t know. I have almost decided NOT to do it, talking myself out of it for a number of reasons…but you are inspiring me to just do it and not try for perfect but just do it. I did it last year and was better for the discipline!

  10. 14

    This sounds perfect for me! I am a 31 dayer this year, but am not confident in my writing at all. Hopefully your series will help!

  11. 15

    It’s been almost a year since I stopped sharing my story. Out of fear. Out of insecurity. Out of not being good enough. This series is timely for me. I’ve been longing to jump in with abandon instead of dipping my toes in the edge like I have for the past year. Thanks for committing to do this, I’ll be following along. :)

    • 16

      Oh, Melissa! I am so happy I saw your comment here because I have missed your voice…!! I do hope that you will “come back” again….you are so very special to this community and to me!

  12. 17

    I am totally in on this. As for a topic, I think it just might be agoraphobia. I’ve had it for over 20 years and need to speak about it to educate more people about it. I’ve been stuck in the same town for 15 years, if not more. I know God will be healing me, maybe this is what He is wanting me to do to start the healing?

  13. 19

    “You actually are already one.” I’m looking forward to hearing your take and encouragement this month. Thanks, Lisa-Jo!

  14. 20
    Kate Headley says:

    I will be writing about 31 Days to Healing. I’m 29 years old and my mother passed when she was 26. My grandparents raised me from birth and today they decided that they no longer want to be family because of the hurt and anger they have had towards me since high school. It was and obviously is still a hard blow since this conversation just took place 5 hours ago. And I’m thinking that these 31 days will be the road to some deep down heart healing.

    • 21

      Sometimes family aren’t relatives by blood, but they definitely are people that relate to us, in true, unconditional love.
      Love to you.
      From your sister in Canada

  15. 22

    I love this idea! I’ll be here, reading and writing every single day in October. I can’t wait to see what comes of it!

  16. 23

    I think I’m jumping into this. 31 Days of Believing I Can. It’s 9:18 on Sunday night and I just decided for sure to go for it. I’ve been mulling it over for weeks and had all but convinced myself that I wasn’t going to join in because I didn’t think I could do it.

    I’d like to introduce you to my friend and constant companion…her name is Irony. Please make her feel welcome.

    So, self confidence is my vice – the thing that holds me back from so much. For the next 31 days I choose to believe that I can. Hopefully by the end of the month, I will have established a habit of believing that to be true. :)

  17. 24

    31 Days of What I Like About Me
    I struggle to like me. It isn’t like I dislike me, mind you. I just don’t think about it a lot. I’m not a martyr, and I’m not a nobody, and I’m not extraordinary. Just me. But I’m thinking maybe if I spend 31 days focused on things I like about me, well, maybe I can be a little more comfortable in my skin. Join me in the challenge, if you like.

    Thanks, Lisa Jo, for the kick in the pants–er–inspiration.

  18. 25

    Okay, I guess I’m in. I have never blogged before but if you say we’re all writers, I’ll give it a whirl. My topic will be on aging. Hopefully on aging with grace. And I guess even more hopefully, I’ll be able to figure out how to do it! :)

  19. 26

    I’m looking forward to your series!

    I’m writing for 31 days on Joy in Motherhood. I am so excited about it I can hardly stand myself.

  20. 27

    I’m going to join! My topic will be Simplifying Life… I’m on a quest to take the clutter out of my family’s life. Thank you for the motivation.

  21. 28

    I’m excited to read this. I have a ton of writer anxiety.

    I’m doing 31 Days of a Music-Filled Life

  22. 29

    I love your 31 Day topic and can’t wait to read your posts!
    I’m doing 31 Days of Proverbs.

  23. 30

    Hi Lisa. I can’t wait to read your posts! I am writing on weight loss at p31wife.com. Love your blog!

  24. 31

    I’m so excited to read your posts for 31 days, I’m also doing 31 days but on Organizing life lol. I’m also a PR agent for authors so I know people can write amazing things and not even call themselves writers. Love your topic and can’t wait to read!!!

  25. 32

    Hmmmmmm, intrigued, but I don’t know what to write about! At this point, my family is my story, because they are involved in God’s work of molding me. Let’s see where this one goes :-)

  26. 33

    So excited to read this series Lisa Jo! I’m writing on 31 Days to Flourishing Friendships over at Grace for Moms. So many great series already on the link up. I’m not going to get anything done this month with all these blogs to read!

  27. 34

    Writers can’t hear enough that they ARE writers. Sometimes hard to convince yourself! Looking forward to this month with you!

  28. 35

    Sounds like a great topic! I can’t wait to follow along. I’m writing about 31 Days to Overcome Fear.

  29. 36

    I’m excited to read your thoughts. I think I need to resurrect the old blog and start writing again.

    For me…I long for beauty…and in the longing I often forget to recognize it where it is: the song of a bird amidst the sirens of the city, the one golden leaf in the pile of brown, the twinkling eyes in the crowded room of strangers.

    And so my 31 days will be 31 days of authentic beauty. Probably not great and extensive paragraphs, but a picture here and a sentence or two there…I want to start recognize the beauty (or grace as Ann Voskamp would say) in the everyday, simple and sometimes chaotic days of my life.

  30. 37

    I can’t wait to read your series! So glad you joined in this year. This will be my second year and I’m writing about 31 Days of Anonymity where I give others an opportunity to write anonymous letters to those they feel they need to. My heart is already touched!

    Thanks for all you do to inspire others . . . ahem . . . ME!

  31. 39

    Oh I can’t wait! I am writing on “31 Days of Coffee Talk With Jesus”. It’s all about Jesus sharing His heart with my readers.

  32. 40

    I’m ALL about writing your story!! Woohoo!!

  33. 41

    What a great website!

  34. 42

    Love, love, love! We all have a story, a story which shares HIS story and gives HIM the glory! Can’t wait…

  35. 43

    I am very much looking forward to this series! I got completely burned out on writing last year. I’ve written a few things here and there, but have spent most of 2012 just listening to others’ stories. I’ve been feeling the urge to get back into it but wasn’t sure how I wanted to continue.

    Just a couple of hours ago I decided to join in 31 days. I hadn’t really considered it (I actually forgot about it until I saw you mention it on twitter). But then the topic of being true to myself came to me. I already have over a week’s worth of ideas and I couldn’t be more excited!

    I’m ready to start telling stories again! And I’m looking forward to reading them, too!

  36. 44

    We’re excited to read your series, and although we’re too late for this year, we’re excited to do this next year along with all of you! We’re already talking about what our 31 days will be!

  37. 45

    can’t wait to read all the different stories!!

  38. 46

    I love that I found you through my special friend Beth Moseley. Taking the 31 day challenge too and looking forward to reading your post.

    Blessings! Maria

  39. 47

    I think I will find this series very encouraging. I am writing “31 Days of Time Saving Tips for the Homeschooling WAHM”

  40. 48

    I began writing an eBook this summer and still haven’t completed it. I will be reading your posts as this topic is so timely for me.

  41. 49

    Looking forward to seeing how you help bring out the writer in us all…I’ve really enjoyed the FMF series. :) I’m joining the 31 dayers and writing about Deep Love Diving.

  42. 50

    This sounds great, but I don’t have a topic yet! Does journaling daily count? Although, I have been toying with a children’s book idea that I keep saying I’ll write and never do. Perhaps now is the time?

  43. 51

    So, so excited to follow this series! Your blog is always so encouraging to me! :)

  44. 52

    I usually have my one month of focused, everyday writing in November, when I participate in National Novel Writing Month (50,000 words in one month, which is total insanity, but fun!). However, this offer just looks too good to pass up, so I’m going to join you. As for what I will write about, I think the theme will have to create itself as I go along.
    So here’s to the writer in all of us!
    Blessings to you, Lisa-Jo!

  45. 53

    This is awesome! I look forward to following along and trying to participate!

  46. 54

    I’m loving everyone’s ideas! Writing our passion is what we are called to do!

    I’m also writing on encouragement. There are enough naysayers in the world, let’s hear someone say, “You can do it!”

  47. 55

    I did it last year and this year I am doing 31 Days of Creativity but i am not linking to the Nester – yet – I need to sort some photo space first! I will be reading here – love it!

  48. 56

    Looking forward to this series! thank you :) I’m inspired to try the 31 days for the first time, and am doing “31 days of Truth – witnessed in everyday life”

  49. 57

    lets do it!

  50. 58

    Ok I literally just found this today this morning 10/1. But as my post today shows I have had a 6 month hiatus and I am coming back. So I would love some guidance. But I think I will do 31 days of Intention. I am working to be intentional in my home care, my relationships, my food decisions, and my time with God.

    Caite from caiteswhisper

  51. 59

    I love this idea. Will be following along with you over the next 31 days! I feel often that I am just a pretend writer… but I am excited to see what you have in store for us!

  52. 61

    I’ve been going back and forth on this all morning. Okay- I’m jumping in. Committing. I’ve been writing a book, a story of characters that I have loved for 10 years (off and on) now. I dearly want to finish. 31 Days of writing about it. And writing it.

  53. 62

    I’m in! I have chosen to offer up 31 Days of Praise. Thanks for the challenge, Lisa! Blessings! <3

  54. 63

    A wonderful idea! I’m jumping in with both feet, but terrified!

  55. 64

    I’m going to write for 31 days on my blog……….admitting that I love to write and that I don’t have to be a Hatmaker, Baker or Voskamp (my own literary heroes :) to be a writer or to hear God speak to me through my words. Thank you for always being encouraging and brave and embracing the mundane and hard things of life and spinning them into joy. So excited for the 31 days!

  56. 66

    LOVED this–“I think your story matters. The one you write at midnight in 600 word blog posts. The one you scrapbook. The one you piece together for your kids as you fill them in on what grandpa and grandma were like.”

    I love how you encourage each of us to share our storys! My heart is already blessed.

    I’m a newbie too, and I’m doing 31 Days of Support: for Your Special Needs Parenting Journey. I’m the parent of a special needs child so I desire to share what I’m learning on my journey to encourage and support others on a similar path.

    Looking forward to following along your series, and excited I’ll get to read one of my favortie bloggers (YOU) for 31 days in a row! =)

    • 67

      Oh love that we’re newbies together, Rachel. 31 straight days of writing ……eeeeeek….hold my hand?

  57. 68

    I am writing 31 Days on Mothering my tween, teen and nearly (I don’t dare say it) twenty-one-year-old. Most Mommying posts are about little bitty ones… love those, but I want to provide inspiration for Moms who might be thinking this mothering marathon isn’t what she thought it would be!

    Love this concept, Lisa Jo. I had never heard of it until reading on 5 Minute Friday!

    • 69

      Yes I think that would be great – to keep teaching us what life looks like post diapers and potty training. We need that. We sure do.

    • 70

      Like Lisa-Jo said, moms need help after just the preschool years. I also have a tween and teen and there are times that are peaceful and times that are not!

  58. 71

    Really looking forward to reading this series! This month I’m writing “31 Days of Building Community” – http://simplyaddcoffee.com/31-days-of-building-community/

  59. 72

    Wow–31 days . . . I can do it . . . I already write everyday but my topic today . . . was about being honest. http://joyfulmombaude.com/2012/10/01/lets-be-honest-im-fat/

    31 days of being honest with myself! and then posting it all?

    ok–I’m in!

  60. 73

    I love your idea and your first post. I am definitely going to follow along and even signed up for emails, something I rarely do because I get too many emails!

  61. 74

    31 days is a big task but I think I am going to take part as well. Thanks for the encouragement. I am going to write about….31 days of lessons learned by age 30!

    Here we go!

  62. 75

    Excited to read along!

  63. 76

    I am a writer simply because I write. No other reason is necessary. Sounds like a fun challenge! I”ll be looking forward to reading your posts!

  64. 77

    Hi ladies, I have been a bit of a “lurker” and wanted to jump in on the 5 minute Fridays for a really long time but just haven’t for a variety of excuses. This caught my eye though, and I am going to take it a totally different way. I am going to write about something I really love – Cooking! Ive never written just for fun, so this will be a discipline in writing for FUN. Wait, did I just use discipline and fun in the same sentence? :) Good luck everyone!

  65. 78

    I’m looking forward to this series and have signed up to make sure I don’t miss it. Thank you for committing to help keep us writing.

  66. 79

    I’m in … 31 Days of Focus on the Positive!
    How and where do we link up, please. :)

  67. 80
    Shannon G. says:

    The goal for me is to put 600 words down every day! I am a writer, time to honor the intrinsic nature of myself.

  68. 81

    31 days of praying scripture…because I need that to be second nature someday.

  69. 82

    I’m jumping in! I’ve been trying to do a blog re-start, so I think this will be a good place to do so. :)

  70. 83

    Looking forward to the next 31 days of inspiration! Thanks Lisa-Jo!

  71. 84

    I just found your 100 Things I Want to Teach My Daughter post through Pinterest and loved it. I’ve been feeling the need to start writing again. I use the excuse of being too busy, but I know I can find the time. I believe my topic will be 31 Days of Letting Go and Finding Joy.

  72. 85

    I’m in! I just skiped over from Ann’s http://www.aholyexperience.com/ with 31 Days of Crazy Joy.
    I will name mine the Oct 2012 31 Days of the Crazy Quilt I call Life

  73. 86

    What a wonderful series. Can’t wait!

  74. 87

    so excited! At first, when I saw this idea, I wasn’t going to do it – I thought, writing for 31 days is going to be tough… and what topic would I even write about?!

    But, then, the Lord spoke to me last night about something that needs to change in my life and I had my topic. 31 Days to Intimate Prayer … I’d love it if you’d join me, as I’m sure I’ll be learning a lot! :)

  75. 88

    I really want to do a 31 days, but I don’t think I can swing it. But, I am going to do an offline version–just for me–on a concept I call “The Broken Gospel.” It is a book that is inside of me. I will be fleshing out some thoughts each day this month. Thank you for the encouragement to awaken the writer in me,

  76. 89

    Joining up for 31 days of Embracing Motherhood. Check me out? I can’t wait to read your posts on writing, thank you for your encouragement.

  77. 90

    I just found out about this over the weekend, and I still can’t decide what to dooooooooo. I want to but it scares me and what on EARTH would my topic be?? And I’m already a day late…ARGH. Can. Not. Decide.

  78. 91

    I love this post. So encouraging. I am soooo looking forward to your series. It’s amazing how much encouragement the writer in us requires to be brave, and not to over-think.

  79. 92

    I’m doing 31 inspiring days. I look forward to following your series.

  80. 93

    Awesome! Excited to follow along :)
    I’m doing 31 days of Simple Truths from Simple Stuff, basically mini devos that come to me as I’m living life.

  81. 94

    31 days of writing about my people

    meaning the family God’s given me, both my blood and by choosing, and all of it by His grace and love and Spirit. i’m excited to see how much God reveals Himself through my appreciation of creation around me, especially in the faces i love so deep.

  82. 95

    Recently found your blog via The Nester’s 31 Day Challenge…I’ve joined the challenge this year too and can’t wait to come back for more in your series!

    In Gratitude,
    31 Days of Preparation with The Homesteading Cottage

  83. 96

    I’m in! A day late, and a dollar short, but I’m in! I’m relatively a baby blogger, as I have only been at this “seriously” for about a year. I don’t completely understand the linky stuff, so I will probably just do it on my own. (I really do need to get someone to show me how to link correctly.) I am going to do 31 days of Real. Nervous, excited, and can’t wait to get started!

  84. 97

    I’m excited about this series! :-) I’m writing about 31 days of margin – because I need to make some margin in my life so I have space to write . . .

  85. 98

    I’m writing about 31 Days of Balance. I’ve dealt with debilitating vertigo for the past twenty years. There, I said it. It’s debilitating. Trying to run a business and a family, when some days I’m barely out of bed, and pretending to everyone outside my inner circle that I’m fine and “normal.” I think this writing will be just for me, a guidebook or reminder on how to keep things going between the days that I’m perfectly fine all the way to barely functioning . . . and back.

  86. 99

    Thank for this topic Lisa! So excited to read and write this month! I’m writing on what it means to be real and to live more authentically in different areas of our lives. I’m a little nervous at the number 31. That’s a lot of days in a row. I don’t know if I’ve ever done something for 31 days straight. But here we go, right?!

  87. 101


    Great topic…can’t wait to read your thoughts. I jumped in with {31 Jours} 31 Days of French.

  88. 102

    I am super excited about your series! I have been writing for several years but only last week did I have a euphoric clarity, where God declared me enough, now. I am a writer.
    I am signing up for the series. I am doing 31 days of decorating with (re) purpose. I hope I’ll have time for my own instead of reading everyone else’s exciting ideas :)

  89. 103

    So….you struck a nerve in me. I’m a former collegiate athlete, golf instructor and event planner. Nowhere in there — as in seriously nowhere — is the word writer. Yet here I am. Writing. And loving it. Can’t wait to follow you this month. Great start.

  90. 104

    that’s me, 2 days late but wanting to hop on board. starting on the third day isn’t too late, is it?
    Yes I want to be a writer. I’ve written little things here and there. A poem about my town was published in our weekly newspaper. Writing helps me process my thoughts somewhat. And express some of my feelings; good and bad, happy and sad, raw and spent, broken and bent.

    28 days of my story. In all it’s fame and glory. A wife, a mom, a sister, a friend.
    Loyal and trustworthy to the end.
    Layers and layers of life to unfold.
    like skin on an onion, peeled and old.
    Each day tells a part of what’s in my heart. I’m hoping to find enough words that rhyme.

  91. 105

    Without my blog and internet experience I would never have the nerve to call myself a writer. But I feel that part of me growing. Will be checking back for inspiration. Such a great topic. There were so many tempting ways to go with this project. In the end, I went with 31 Days: My Personal Pursuit of Happiness.

  92. 106

    Hello I am visiting via the Nester’s 31 days series. Your series is so inspirational.

    I too am participating in the series. My topic is “Decor To Adore~ finding your style”. I would like to invite you to stop by anytime.

    Have a beautiful day and a wonderful fall season.

  93. 107

    Everybody has a story to tell and the 31 days writing streak is a great way to discover the talent within

  94. 108

    Maybe I will get tot do this next year! October is Down syndrome awareness month and I have been telling our story with our daughter, but I am not writing 31 days (although that is a challenge for us Down syndrome bloggers for October) Maybe this will help me next year huh? It will give me direction. :)

  95. 109

    Hi! Thank you for this blog! I’m a new writer and blogger and need all the help I can get.
    Have a blessed night!


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