When I was in grade five we were tasked with writing a story and typical of my nature, I set out to right a chapter book. Why, at age 10, did that seem like a good idea?? Probably because no one else was doing it. In the end I was in tears because personal computers didn’t exist and I had run out of time to hand-write it all in perfectly legible printing to be handed in for the top grade I was expecting. I had worked and worked at something that just didn’t seem to work out the way I wanted it to. But I learned a couple important lessons: don’t bite off more than you can chew and don’t give up because it didn’t work out the first time.

After closing the door on my first blog which I’d spent two years growing, I faced another difficult decision: whether or not to give up writing altogether. All I could think was that I had failed; I was quitting and giving up on a project I had built as an opportunity to explore a creative outlet. But when I posted my final blog on Kiki Petite Style, I knew that I had made the right decision when I received an overwhelming rush of responses from my readers.

There was a part of me that knew I couldn’t give up on writing but I was shocked that other people (besides my parents) agreed with me! I had more comments and personal feedback from my readership than ever before - people didn’t want to see me go and were relieved to hear that I would be shifting platforms, not disappearing altogether. I felt gratified in knowing I had made the right decision. Even better, I was congratulated for being candid and affirmative in my decision to do what was best for me. I had kept my ears, eyes and heart open to how the blog (Kiki Petite Style) was affecting my well-being. It had lost its way and taken me with it; I needed to refocus and more closely define my purpose.

Though I decided to take time to gather my thoughts, emotions and writing, I have never felt so encouraged to keep going. And not only when it comes to blogging, but more importantly when it comes to being myself. No excuses, no compromises, no pretense - just me. Possibly the most important lesson I learned from writing over the past two years is that being true to who you are is the essence for success. I heard it from people a million times before, but it wasn’t until I was writing about more emotional topics that I really understood what it meant. I had thought I was being genuine from the get go because nothing I was writing was false or fiction. I was honest in my words and ideas. But it wasn’t until I formed those into thoughts and opinions mixed with real life experience that people really responded to my writing.

The more I wrote, the more I realized I enjoyed sharing stories. Stories about work, life, fashion, travel… whatever inspired me really. After all this time, I realized that people were in fact interested in what I had to say and often entertained by how I said it. Writing has widened my breadth of interests, allowed me to open my mind to new possibilities and helped me to take advantage of every opportunity to learn and explore. It has made me vulnerable as I often worry about where my thoughts might lead and what the words might say because writing, I’ve learned, often leads us to the truth. The truth about something we feel or something we fear… writing is never an easy process especially when it’s about you and your own experiences. But what it does do is force you to feel emotions, dig deep in order to explain those emotions and fully live them. It has helped me to solve problems, face challenges, or overcome difficult situations all while leading me to better understand myself and who I am.

Maybe that’s the lesson in all this: that it takes time to understand and identify the things that make you you. It may not be easy and a few (many) tears may be shed along the way, but the process that makes us grow, makes us stronger. Though I don’t plan on writing any chapter books or novels any time soon, I have learned that what I enjoy most is sharing stories. I hope you continue to visit the site, follow me on social and share in my journey of storytelling.

“Far from simply serving as entertainment or diversion, stories are a universal language about the purpose of life itself.”

- Arianna Huffington