Teach You What I Didn’t Know: 5 Tips to Get You Writing / by Meg Nocero

Meg Nocero

“The  journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” Lao Tzu

In the Beginning

As a child, I always wanted to be a writer. I suppose in reality I was as I would spend hours each week creating stories. To bolster this creative path, my family loved to go to the movies, attend the theater and enjoy spending hours in the bookstore. I had lots of wonderful places to go to find teachers and inspiration. Even our home felt like you stepped into a library where the walls of most rooms were covered ceiling to floor with books- my father would tell us that they were his good friends. It was no surprise to me that I loved to play with words, live in my imagination and create interesting and exciting characters; ask my sisters- they will confirm this as one of my basic truths- I loved to read to them my stories. So Yes- I have to admit that it feels amazing to acknowledge that since 2015, I am the award-winning published author of my first book The Magical Guide to Bliss: Daily Keys to Unlock Your Dreams, Spirit & Inner Bliss, an organized adventure of 366 steps that correspond to one calendar year.  This book presents daily quotes and reflections that are paired with magical keys, which will unlock the doors you’ll encounter on the road to bliss. Learn the art of seizing the day in January, and by the time December comes, you’ll be witnessing awe-inspiring magic and miracles!

So you may ask, what took me so long? While the dream was there as a young girl, I admit it did take me quite a while to get to where I wanted to go. I suppose some of us take longer learning to crawl before we walk. I never was a fan of following other people’s directions anyway. But when I learned about paying attention to synchronicity, the veil was lifted and in no time I began to run, following my passion and bliss and having more fun. While each step up until my first book’s birthday built a foundation, I could have used a guide or mentor to see the straighter path- probably why I am a professional empowerment coach today- one teaches what they most want to know.

When embarked on a journey of higher education at Boston College, you would think that I would choose English as my major. Nope! Because I excelled in Spanish in high school, I picked Romance Languages instead. I figured learning new ways to communicate would open doors where I would be able to meet different people and explore other cultures. Besides, I had a wanderlust to travel the globe and I was lucky to have parents who supported any plan if I could articulate an educational purpose. So, off to live in Rome, Italy for part of my Junior Year and then Guayaquil, Ecuador on a Mission Trip on Winter Break right before I graduated. Both experiences did not disappoint; I returned with stories of the amazing people, places and adventures. 

Not knowing my next step after I graduated, I embarked on a two-year Master’s program in International Studies at the University of Miami hoping to figure out how to put my undergraduate degree to use. While Miami, Florida is known for its Latin community, I knew that fluency in the Spanish language would not go to waste; I was hoping that a concentration in InterAmerican Studies and International Security and Conflict would open doors as well into the world of diplomacy. Adding more stories to my arsenal, when I started to explore the Foreign Service as a next best step, the likelihood arose that I would not be able to bring my Shetland Sheepdog Alfredo Luigi with me, so I decided to go to Law School. And, there after three years, I graduated and started to practice. At 29 years old, I was no closer to publishing my first book, my magnus opus. But, I must say, I had a lot of life experience that goes a long way to great stories. And looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing. While you need to live the good stories to write about them,  would have appreciated a little guidance along the way.

It all Began With A Lap Top

It was not until 2006 that I committed to actually walk my writing journey of a thousand miles. Not really knowing where to begin, the one step I decided to take was to purchase a good laptop to travel with me wherever I wanted to go. So on one busy Saturday, I marched into Best Buy, picked out the fastest MacBook at the time, bought it with a pink case to boot.  At the register, I looked at my husband and stated as confidently as I could, “Today begins my writing journey! On this computer, I will write my book.”

Now, almost 15 years later, I still have that pink cover, I did finish and publish that book, and on a newer model completed my memoir, Beautiful Butterfly: How Grief Enveloped Me, Transformed Me, and Freed Me to Live the Life I Wantthat will be published in the Fall of 2021.You could say that thoughts make things; declaring out loud soon became my magical truth. I held myself to that goal. And, knowing that writing and publishing The Magical Guide has helped so many, including myself, I set out to use the wisdom gained to encourage and teach you what I didn’t know so you can tell your story. Hopefully, with just 5 tips, I can invite you to go from “I always wanted to write a book” to “my masterpiece is now about to be on show.”

5 Excellent Tips to Teach You How to Start Your Masterpiece

Story telling has been the greatest journey of my life. Here are 5 Excellent Tips I came up with to help get you started:

1. Start to write. Writers write. It is that simple. You have to make writing a habit.  Schedule yourself well and keep this time as sacred. For me, each morning, I grab an inspirational book and my journal and away I go. For thirty minutes, I get on a stationary bike, I read and write whatever comes to mind. Find your special place. Delight in the books that are page turners and take notes on the ones that inspire you. This will help you figure out your genre. As you begin, get a timer and set it for at least 10 minute;  put pen to paper and off you go. Three pages free hand on whatever comes to mind. Do this for at least 3 weeks and you have mastered a writing habit for life.The journey has just begun. 

2. Keep a journal by your bed. Dreamcatchers, this is one of the best places to capture ideas. I go to sleep thanking the universe for any inspiration. When I wake up, if the dream was a doozy, I write precisely what I remember within the first minutes of daylight. You can even keep a journal by your shower. When your mind is most still, the story will just spill out of you.

3. Carry a small notebook with you. Use a notebook or use your phone, but always be at the ready to capture ideas as they meet you. From all sorts of topics, if it is something that I want to remember for later, I jot it down.  I don’t leave room for chance that I may get too overwhelmed; I never want to be caught off guard without a way to grab on to genius. Besides, as time goes on, if you don’t have a way to capture your ideas- you might even start to write on your hands the words of your heart song. A clear indicator to others that marks you as a creative.

4. Writing prompts.  If you are a bit stiff with your creative writing, nothing is better than writing prompts to get you started. From “what was my favorite thing to do as a child?” to “what are my greatest dreams?” the writing prompts can have you dancing into territory that is new or even unfinished leaving you feeling excited as you hone your writing skills.

5. Know Your Why! Please know this above anything else, telling your story is your gift to the world. You never know who you will help. For over 20 years as an attorney, I learned the art of telling a good story. Now, as the story teller, my “Why”, is what I hold on to. I let the universe take care of the “How.” I met a young woman recently who shared with me her passion and rejection.  I congratulated her, reminded her that authors like JK Rowling of Harry Potter fame papered her wall with them. Remember rejections just guide you to where you need to be to get your story out there into the world. Hold on to to your “Why” and you will not be deterred.

One bonus tip: The greatest piece of advice a writer can teach is SHOW DON’T TELL! You want to take the audience into the room with you, as the observer and the protagonist, experiencing the whole thing. An amazing story is born when you venture into the vulnerable and stand authentically in your truth using your voice. Good storytellers write from a place of authenticity.

So there you have it, simple guidance to get you writing. Today, without further delay, can be the beginning of the birth of your masterpiece!  Your journey begins with the first step- The world is waiting for you to tell your story, so off you go-on your way- use these tips and start to play!

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Meg Nocero, Esq. is an inspirational speaker, certified empowerment coach and award winning author of The Magical Guide to Bliss, Daily Keys to Unlock Your Dreams, Spirit & Inner Bliss. Her memoir called Beautiful Butterfly, How Grief Enveloped Me, Transformed Me, and Freed Me to Awaken to the Sunrise of My Soul’s Bliss! will be published by She Writes Press in August 2021. She is a contributing writer for the collaboration entitled Thrive Girl Thrive released in August of 2019 and a contributing author for Amy Butler’s book Blossom: Create Love-Express Beauty-Be Kind released in January 2016 in addition to her on-line magazine of the same name.

Meg Nocero
Meg Nocero