April 21, 2023
This is the cover for the new book, which will be available in November of 2023.
Meanwhile, I’ve been tasked to create what will become my new brand, to use that dubious marketing term. Interestingly, this chore has become a spiritual quest for self-acceptance, the very thing that the Word of the Day Practice is all about.
This unappetizing chore has become the very thing I want to teach others, and I’m having to teach it to myself first. I’ve been an NYU writing professor and a private coach for 25 years, but now I want to act as a guide showing people the way to transformation through using the Word of the Day Practice. How to accomplish this?
I’ve been consulting with several marketing people about how to create a bridge from my old identity to my new one to find the best way to prove that my techniques are applicable to life as well as writing.
A dear friend laughed when I shared my struggles and said, “You’ve already crossed the bridge and are being a guide. You’ve been giving inspirational webinars and holding a morning practice for a long time. You helped a lot of people at Burning Man, and why do you think you’ve had so much success as a coach?”
I had a moment of clarity and suddenly understood that my problem was self-esteem, not marketing! I saw myself as “just” a teacher and was unaware of my own transformation. Wow.
Suddenly, the arduous branding process became as simple as accepting that self-acceptance was what I had been teaching all along, which was why I had so much success! I’d only directed my efforts at writers until I recently realized that the teachings also applied to life.
It was my turn to laugh: I was trying to become something that I already was!
This conversation made me sit back and examine how I saw myself. Since the Word of the Day is all about self-acceptance, I realize that my lack of awareness of my own transformation might be due to old bad habits of thought and some false core beliefs about what I was told about myself as a child.
Why would I see myself as less than I am? Well, that is a question that I have asked many of my students, but I have not addressed that question for myself. What I came up with wasn’t pretty, but I’m going to share: I was told that I was and always would be a failure. With each success, I had to grapple with either proving my parents right or succeeding and proving them wrong! My solution to this impossible situation was to succeed but not to enjoy it or recognize my own self-worth. Worse, I allowed myself to succeed but then would always do something to not see it. If I got an “A,” I’d beat myself up for not getting an “A+.” Somehow being miserable about success placated those imaginary judges.
I had a very big success last week, and instead of being happy, I got depressed and angry. Luckily, after completing that morning’s Word of the Day cluster, I recognized that this was that old habit at work, keeping myself small to assuage those monsters in my closet!
When I told my friend, he said, “It’s like you cut yourself because you’re not used to not bleeding.”
It was an uncomfortable moment of truth. Suddenly, a flood of memories showed me the subtle ways in which I have constantly been sabotaging myself in many areas of my life. I committed at that moment to stop being my own bully. Without the Word of the Day Practice, I would still be on the hamster wheel of self-inflicted misery!
Please join me at the next Webinar on April 26. You can sign up at Eventbrite here.
Here’s to your writing success,
Professor Marilyn Horowitz