Words of Wisdom
Blog by Christine Upchurch
[Originally published 5/17/2018]
It’s funny how ideas are born. Sometimes they come about after a step-by-step, dogged approach to solving a problem. Other times they spontaneously arise, seemingly out of nowhere. And then other times the ideas come into conscious awareness, and you recognize that they have been ruminating under the surface for years. The idea for my TEDx topic fits into the latter category.
While working on an upcoming book, I was searching for the perfect approach to my first chapter. For any book, the initial chapter is quite important; it can either draw readers in or it can alienate them. It’s a risky bit for an author to write. Engaging the readers early on means they keep reading. If not, readers may never hear the message contained in the book.
In my case, that initial chapter has felt even riskier. You see, my book challenges some widely accepted concepts, contending that those beliefs are merely myths that many of us unwittingly accepted as truth. The very audience I want to engage is the very same audience which may initially be most resistant to my perspective. So how do I bring the reader over to my side, helping them to understand the importance of even questioning the assumptions?
Then the words for the title of that first chapter came to me: ”on the outside looking in.” On the outside looking in. Yes. Before I ever began challenging these beliefs, I had had to first step outside of the box where those beliefs are considered truth. On some level, I had to become an outside observer. Outside is a place of neutrality. Outside is a place of natural curiosity. Outside is a place of new perspective. In my first chapter, I just needed to convince the reader of the wisdom of joining me—at least for a while—on the outside.
It has taken me much of my lifetime to have enough courage to stand in my “outsidedness” in this way. By sharing some of the insights I have discovered on this journey, I hope to inspire others to do the same.
Like you, I am on a journey--a path filled with joy and sorrow, expansion and contraction--with beautiful lessons and fascinating insights each step of the way. Thank you for joining me for a small part of my journey. I look forward to connecting with you on yours.