I’ve always found writing to be therapeutic, especially since I had a hard time verbally expressing myself growing up. What I didn’t realize until later on is how reading other people’s words can be healing, too. For example, Brianna Wiest (she/her), author of 101 Essays That Will Change The Way You ThinkThe Mountain Is YouWhen You’re Ready, This Is How You Heal, and more, has turned her passions and skills into a self-help journey for so many. (Seriously, just see what TikTok has to say.)

But before she dedicated her career to helping others, she had a journey of her own to go on. “I’ve been writing for over a decade,” she says. “When I went to school, I studied English and thought I’d work somewhere in the field of publishing, writing, or editing. That was really the dream. But it was also right around that time that I embarked upon a deeper journey. I began to practice meditation, and stumbled upon a deep calling that I found within myself, to be an artist and a writer. As I learned to organize my feelings and regulate my own inner systems, I followed my inspiration and wrote my thoughts and experiences into essays and began sharing them online.”

Her latest project, The Pivot Year, really stood out to me as someone who’s in the conflicted space between where I actually am and where I want to be personally and professionally. It helped me remember that the person I’m becoming is already within me. “I realized that many people were looking for ways to consume thought-provoking content in a way that was fast enough to fit into their daily schedules, but also still be deep, poetic, and meaningful,” she says about the inspiration behind the book. “I came up with the idea of doing 365 daily meditations, and writing around one concept: planting small seeds of big change.”

So, if you’re ready to do a little digging and planting of seeds, Brianna has just the prompt: “Sit down and write yourself a letter, as though it was January 1st, 2025. Tell yourself about everything you did, and how it made you feel. Write and write until you’re out of ideas. Then go back and re-read what you wrote. Cross out what doesn’t feel right, highlight, and underline key words and sentences that truly evoke something inside of you. Then write the letter again, clarified and condensed. When you’re finished, go through the same process. By the end, you should have the key things you want to work toward in the next year. Your job then is to break those down into monthly, weekly, and daily habits that would get you to them. You’re basically going to reverse engineer your dreams.”

And to anybody reading this, let the above directions be the sign you’ve been asking to receive. You’re going to be okay. You’re doing better than you think you are. You’re more loved than you know. Don’t give up. You got this!

To not giving up 🥂,
Chloe Trout, associate managing editor