You know when you read something and it feels like it was written just for you? Like whoever wrote those words knew exactly what you needed to hear? That is exactly how you’ll feel when you read what Brianna Wiest writes.
A more recent follow on Instagram, Brianna’s account quickly became one I would check daily to see her latest post consisting of words that inspired/encouraged. After sharing several of her posts on our own Instagram stories, I thought she would be the perfect woman to feature here on The Middle Edit.
With 3 published books, many viral articles and a career as an editor (at only 26!), Brianna Wiest has made a career of sharing her words. As an advocate for self-love and personal growth, she writes what we all need to hear and be reminded of on a daily basis.
Name: Brianna Wiest
Location: Lancaster, Pennsylvania
How did your journey as a writer begin? What inspired you most about writing?
I always loved to journal, it’s something I’ve always done. I knew that I wanted to get into either publishing or editing professionally, but didn’t anticipate that I would do the type of writing I do now. I just started writing about what interested me, or spoke to me, or really made me think. It is very cathartic, very healing, very healthy for me. I’m grateful that so much of my work can encompass types of writing that really make me feel most like myself, even though I do other work as well, and that inspires me in its own way too.
Was there ever a point in your career where you were worried about what others would think of your words? If so, how did you overcome that?
Absolutely. I was so hesitant and resistant even to share my words at the beginning, I honestly thought everyone would think I was weird. But it’s been such an incredible experience. I feel more supported, seen, and appreciated from sharing my words than anything else, I’m so grateful for it. But it’s something you have to grow into.
I think it starts with first knowing that if people don’t want to read your words, they won’t. And not everybody will like them, and that’s not because there’s something wrong with you, it’s because not everyone is into what you have to offer. That is okay! If I had a friend who wrote a certain type of fiction that I didn’t read, I can separate appreciating their work from enjoying that specific type of writing. I think it’s just about realizing that people are allowed to dislike what you do and it’s not always a reflection of your talent, ability or worth.
When you are willing to be disliked, you become unhinged. You really go for it. When you really go for it, you attract so many more people who truly love what you do. A friend of mine told me recently that something that holds most people back is that they are afraid of their own voice. They assume that they need to build some kind of big following or readership to justify sharing their words, but really, it’s the opposite way around. You start sharing authentically, and it will naturally attract and build the type of community that makes most sense for you.
How do you stay inspired? Are there ever days where the flow just isn’t happening and if so, how do you become re-inspired?
I wake up every day and just start writing, and I’ll start to feel flow and drive pretty quickly. I think it’s something you generate on your own. If there’s a day where it’s not happening, I put the computer down, and I do something else. If I give myself the time and space I need, usually by the next morning I wake up and want to get started again. Most of the time, if something isn’t flowing naturally, there is a reason. I have to take a break from it, I have to rethink the angle, or I have to scrap it completely. Time gives clarity like that.
You write a lot about self-love and self-acceptance. Is this something you’ve struggled with or where does the inspiration for those messages stem from?
That’s interesting because I think that I write more about how to change yourself than I do how to accept yourself, but I realize also that everyone sees what you do a bit differently, so I appreciate this perspective.
I don’t know anyone who hasn’t struggled with self-acceptance. Mostly, I think the hardest thing is the differentiation between what we need to work on and what we need to honor for what it is. The biggest lesson here, for me, is that being my true, honest self has gotten me so much farther than anything else. But I needed the courage to do it first. I needed the courage to be myself to see that this person could be deeply loved by a partner, or appreciated by a community and friends. So much of the fear was just in my head. Nobody wants the half-assed, lukewarm, toned down version of you. The things you think make you the most odd and unlikable are often your greatest strengths in disguise.
You also talk about how we can control our perceptions/experiences through the power of our minds, which I strongly believe as well. Can you elaborate on this and how you came to believe this?
Yes. This is huge. This is everything, really. This was the foundation of it all. Changing the way I think about the world, and myself, and my role and my self-efficacy completely changed my life. The way that I think informs the way I behave. The combination of those things creates most of my experience in the world. I needed solution-based thinking, not problem-based thinking, to understand unconscious biases that were affirming my fears, or making me think everyone is thinking about me, and judging me. I needed to understand that change and peace were possible. Until I could conceive of what that would look like for my life, it remained an impossibility. It will change everything, and more quickly than you think. Try it, just a little bit. Once you see how powerful you really are, you won’t be able to unsee it.
What do you hope that people take away from your writing?
I hope that they feel like they understand themselves and their lives better. That it lifts a weight off of their backs. I hope that it activates something within them that feels empowered, and as though they want to help others, and build a life they are truly proud of. I hope it helps them see themselves, and their current situation, differently. I realize this is a lot to hope for, but I will keep working on it.
You provide a lot of influential advice through your writing, what is the most influential piece of advice you’ve received?
Your life is not happening to you, it is a reflection of you. You are a plastic, adaptable person, you can recondition yourself to prefer healthier behaviors, what you do repeatedly is what you start to crave.
With several published books, a career as an editor, and many viral articles already under your belt, what more do you hope to accomplish as a writer?
I hope that I am able to keep building my readership and I hope that I extract even more joy and peace out of the process each day. I hope to continue writing books and articles I am truly proud of, and I hope that I can do it with increasingly greater ease.
You are only 26, but since we are all about the 30s here at The Middle Edit, we have to ask… do you look forward to turning 30 or is it a milestone you dread?
It is a milestone I am truly looking forward to in a way I can’t even explain. I pick apart my roots to see if I have gray hairs yet, I can’t wait. Being midway through my 20s, and I am already so proud of what I have accomplished. I look forward to entering my 30s with a foundation set so I can thrive in a whole new way. It is an honor and blessing to get to age. I cannot wait to be an older, wiser woman. I have worked so hard to get here, everything I do now I do to make my future self proud.
Get to Know Brianna Wiest:
Favorite TV show? The Office
What is something everyone should try once in their lives? Whatever they are truly afraid of.
What skill would you like to master? Cooking, I’m still working on it.
If you weren’t a writer, what would you be doing? Still writing, even if I couldn’t do it as a job.