13 March 2011

Terrific Writing Tips #4: read Amy's blog

Tell us your story
Aim to Change BLOG

The more I learn to write, the more I get that it's just telling our stories.  Amy would blush if I called her a writer, but her story is inspiring.

Sharing what happened to us (even through fictional worlds and folk) is when writers, performers and people connect with other people. How amazing is it to see a play, read a book/article/blog/poem on the back of a toilet door and feel that it was written for us? Of course it wasn't and the writer has no idea who we are, yet we recognise ourselves in their work because their writing comes from something real.

This is such a different experience from respecting or acknowledging the wordy aptitude or dictionary knowledge of a writer, but ultimately being a bit bored. Writing that isn't from some part of our selves doesn't connect.

It's hard and brave to write from the heart and it's something I'm still working on. It's easier to hide in words that are composed to tell anything but our truths.

So, I want to share the story of a young woman whose words have been inspiring others for three years.

I read Amy's story after I had a bit of a health hiccough,  saw a couple of horror photos and realised that I wasn't the hot and healthy 30-something I imagined myself to be. Seeing the word obese next to your name is hard and I felt as angry and frustrated as I did when I was a miserable and lonely fat teenager. For all the talk of accepting people for who they are, being a chubster still sucks.

So, it was off to the doctor and time to acknowledge that my clothes really didn't shrink in my wardrobe. And it's going well. I'll never be the size 12 I was in my 20s (for a few weeks), but I won't be heading to diabetes either.

Amy is a stranger who has inspired me and convinced me that giving up isn't an option. This is the beginning of her blog called Aim to Change.

She's already lost over 80 kg as a member of the online Biggest Loser Club (yes the TV show one) – and let's not argue the rights and wrongs of reality TV.

Amy has been a member for three years and in that time has been active in the forums. Here people (mostly women) share their stories and frustrations.  Some are heartbreaking. It's sometimes easier to tell invisible strangers how you feel than to tell your closest and most loved.  Amy is one of the most supportive and encouraging people on the forums. Her advice is always positive and never judgemental (so we know she's not a reviewer) and she's beginning to realise just how much sharing her story has helped people.

I sometimes chat on the forums and am continually inspired by the support and encouragement that strangers – who often have nothing in common except a struggle with weight – give to each other simply by sharing their experiences. (I don't even care that some don't care about spelling and grammar or think that Comic Sans is an acceptable font.)

Even if weight isn't your issue,  read Aim to Change. It's a story about overcoming the overwhelming by taking lots of small steps and reaching out when you need help, by a writer who is brave enough to be honest.

Today it was announced that Amy will appear on the finale of the TV show, which will take her from being a hero to a small group of people to being an inspiration to thousands. I've never met her, but couldn't be more proud and excited for her.


  1. Awwww thank you lovely!! Yep, I never thought myself a 'writer' until people embraced my words on the screen - have always found it cathartic to speak so openly through my fingers - particularly when I'm SO shy in person!! (or is that more ironic?!)

    Thank you for the recognition - it's gorgeous and very much appreciated!! xx :)

  2. All the accolades are so very well deserved Amy. I knew from the first time we really started speaking to each other on the forum, that you were one of those rare people for whom writing is actually your voice, so I feel right in saying 'speaking'. Your friendliness shines through and we love you for it. Can't wait to see you at finale,especially because I know you still have a way to go after that.

  3. Midus, you're so right. Her writing is beautiful (as is she). It's so rare to read someone who really speaks from their heart - which is why her story is touching so many people.