About the Resident Writer
Hi, I’m Anna Henke, and I write my own story—in life and in business.
Like you, I’ve been through challenges and mountaintop experiences. I’ve felt hope, loss, joy, heartache, and, greater than all these, love.
My story is meant to inspire you to go after your dreams. It is also a work-in-progress. I don’t have the answers to all of life’s biggest questions, but I know what I’ve learned and how I can use that to help YOU start living the life you want, too.
It all starts with owning your story. You have to know where your story starts in order to figure out where it ends—the true destination of your dreams.
You may be thinking, “Well, it’s fine for her. She’s got it figured out. But my situation is different.” Well, let me tell you where my story started—and how I got to where I am now.
Before I started writing my own story, I was stuck in a terrible cycle of stress that totally controlled me.
Where did the stress come from?
Well, at ten years old I was diagnosed with chronic pain. I used to have this inexplicable idea that when I was older, everything would be better. News flash: That didn’t happen.
In high school, I had a nervous system breakdown of epic proportions. I’m not talking about a crying fit. I mean my brain turned off the nerve connections to my legs, because it couldn’t handle the stress it was under. I didn’t even know that could happen!
As a result, my legs literally stopped working. It took me about a year to relearn how to walk and be able to live a normal life again.
How did this happen? My problem was that I was trying to be brave—but not in a positive way. I was holding in all that pain. I was not sharing my story. And it cost me. BIG time.
During the recovery period, two things became crystal clear:
Sharing your truth is crucial to living a healthy, happy life.
Stress must be processed and handled in the moment or the consequences can be dire.
I knew that I needed to face my life and own my story—and the fact that, as much as I hated it—this chronic pain was part of it. I needed to find a way to overcome my challenges and start LIVING.
Now, this is a pretty extreme experience. But we all deal with stress and challenges in our lives. And the solution is the same. We need to own up to our story.
Some say hard times define us. I disagree. Rather, they refine us. Like the process of purifying metals, we come out stronger for having the experience.
What do you need to incorporate into your story? Who do you want to become?
Think about it.
Let’s get back to high school Annie-bee, as my mom calls me:
In my senior year, my dad—my hero—was suddenly diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. When he lost the battle two years later, I was devastated. At nineteen, I was still daddy’s little girl at heart.
Losing my dad, who passed away at 49, taught me that life is short. I took a look at his life story and thought it was a good one, but it ended too soon.
This made me look at my life and realize that I wasn’t happy with my story. I had dreams, but I wasn’t living them. I wasn’t even pursuing them. I was just getting by. I decided I needed a plot twist.
So I changed. I went after one of my big dreams. I had always wanted to study at Oxford University, and I did a summer program there in 2010. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life.
Are you happy with your story right now?
Maybe you haven’t experienced a life-changing loss, but sometimes it’s not necessary.
Are you pursuing your dreams? Or are you saving them for someday?
I have news for you: Someday will never come unless you start today.
To be perfectly honest, even after I began going after my dreams, my chronic illness was still getting in the way of the life I wanted to live.
After college, I got what I thought was my dream job: a copywriting position at a book publisher. I was so happy! I spent six years there, and I don’t regret a single moment.
Even though I loved my work, I was never meant for the nine-to-five life.
Can you relate?
Whether or not you deal with chronic illness, the nine-to-five life just isn’t for everyone. For you, it may simply be too structured, too staid, or not even a possibility for the career you’re interested in (coaches, I’m talking to you!).
If, like me, you want to set your own schedule, to travel the world, to gain financial freedom, that’s Just not possible at most nine-to-five jobs. But it is possible with a thriving online business!
In March of 2018, I made a big decision. I knew at this point that the life I was living—the work I was doing—wasn’t sustainable for much longer. So I dusted off my someday-dream of owning my own business and went for it.
I founded The Resident Writer, LLC.
THe Resident Writer Headquarters
I started working with self-published authors, doing the same work that I did at the publishing house. This went really well, but I realized it wasn’t quite right for me.
Then I expanded my services to help female entrepreneurs with their copywriting and found the work that really speaks to my heart. I love helping other women create the life they want by providing them with clear messaging that connects with their ideal clients and captures sales, allowing them to live out their dreams.
After just four months of doing business, I left my day job and went full-time at The Resident Writer. I started a new chapter, and each new paragraph is an exciting development!
I’ve found freedom and renewal in the life I’ve created for myself. With my own schedule, I’m healthier, less stressed, and happier than ever before. I can’t wait to see how the story continues!