To that end, I work on my writing daily. There is power in the written word, more power than some people give each utterance they make, each letter they write, each email they send, each Facebook note they write. To whit, when you “think” it, you have written it down. It is now a part of the book of your life.
Recently, I was chosen as Woman of the Year in the Pet Industry. The org WIPIN is a professional group of women whose companies focus on pets. I am honored to be a member. The announcement, the “And the Woman of the Year for 2015 is… Yvonne DiVita,” sent waves of shock and surprise through my heart. I remember looking at Shawna Schuh, the dynamic woman who runs WIPIN, and then at the other women seated at my table during the sit-down dinner, as if I’d heard the name wrong. Me? I thought. Me? How can that be? The other candidates were so impressive! Me? I thought again.
And then I rose to make my way to the podium.
The acknowledgment of my work in the Pet Industry, by a group that is defining how professionalism works in this $55 billion industry, gives me pleasure for many, many reasons. But the most important thing Shawna told me, and Lorien Clemens, the 2014 winner, confirmed is this: “You wrote a good story.”
It was in the telling of the story that I achieved this honor. I repeat my blog post title, “I am, therefore, I write.”
We use the word “story” a good bit, these days. Marketers tout the importance of story in their work. Mentors push their charges to tell a good story. Mastermind groups tell stories, around the table. My story, your story, the story of life – these are the reasons we exist. Storytelling is an innate human event and should be part of our daily focus.
My story, as I told it to the judges of WIPIN, in a document filled out online (the judges remain anonymous for this award, which seems just and appropriate, to me), centered around my desire to share and promote the human animal bond. My world would not exist without the presence of an animal in it. If, for some strange reason, I lost both of my dogs, and our cat too, succumbed to a mysterious illness, I would cease to be me. I might continue breathing, moving about in the space I occupy here on planet Earth, but I would not be me. I would be a lost soul in search of solace.
As a Woman of the Year in the Pet Industry, I receive valuable coaching from Shawna. She is someone I have looked up to for several years. That may seem trivial… ‘several years’ as opposed to ‘since 1999’ or some such. Truth be told, Shawna is active and involved in working with other women to promote and share their success and has been for a lifetime. We think of lifetime, here, as the amount of time you have been happily performing the tasks that define your life and career. Shawna’s is centered around success and leadership and as such, she has been happily performing such tasks for a lifetime.
To date, I have had one session with Shawna. I count that hour as one of the most energizing ever. Shawna’s first comment to me was something like this (since I did not write it down, I must paraphrase; do forgive), “One area we’ll be working on, Yvonne, is language. Would you agree that words have power?”
The obvious answer, and one I hope all of you agree with, is, “Indeed!”
“Excellent!” The enthusiasm Shawna brings to her work is apparent in her tone and in every word she utters.”Then, you’ll agree that we should always be aware of the words we use, whether it’s in speaking or writing. Is that right?”
“I couldn’t agree more!” The sudden rush of energy made me sit up in my chair.
Do you see what was happening there? Shawna, given her amazing intuitive abilities, knew I would jump on board as soon as we brought language and words into the conversation. It doesn’t matter if she does this with all of her clients (I suspect she does!), what matters is that she KNOWS how important words are to my world, given the story I told that helped me win my award, and the fact that I write all day long. What matters, then and now, is that WORDS have power. Words build character. Words move mountains. Words can make you or break you.
I’ll write more about my sessions with Shawna, but for now, let it be known that “I am, therefore, I write,” and within my writing, I work to show the power of the words we use every day. Within my writing, I use the power of the words we use every day to move what mountains I can, and to add solid building blocks to my character.
And, let me add that though we use keyboards more than pen and paper, these days, the act of writing with a pen, on a piece of paper, can be illuminating, uplifting, and inspiring. You can find me jotting down ideas or thoughts, or content I was to SAVE, using pen and paper. I’ll give a plug to a company that was kind enough to send me pens, recently, because I enjoy their pens tremendously. Yes, this was free product, but the decision to share them with you is mine alone. No money or expectation exchanged via the emails.
Zebra pens. Nice name, wouldn’t you say? Don’t be fooled. They aren’t about the animal, though you’ll see some great cartoon images of zebras on the site. They are about the grip, the ease of use, and maybe the attractiveness of the object. I can’t say that part is visible on their site… except for in the imagery. But I can say I love the design on my pens…it makes it easy to pick them out of a mugful of various writing utensils, gathered via the many conferences I attend. The Zebra pens are unique and easily identified.
They do flow nicely. They write nicely. They perform nicely. Let it be known that I am particular about my pens. I find a pen I like, and that’s the only pen I want to use… forever. Since pens don’t last forever, I tend to change pens every few months…and generally end up dissatisfied with whatever new pen has replaced my favorite old pen. Now, I can just order more Zebra pens, in a variety of styles and designs. To me, that’s a win-win.
I am a writer. I write with keyboard, pen, and even pencil. I write because it fulfills me. The tools I use are important. The room I write in, is important. There is no world for me, that does not involve pen and ink… of some sort.
(I was given free pens from Zebra pens and I chose to include them in this post. I mean every word of praise. They are great pens!)