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Be Yourself In Writing and In Life
The Genesis of This Article
I recently read an article written by a friend of mine. Sheila Myers is her name and she wrote about rebelling against the established rules of writing. You can find her article here.
I want to applaud Sheila for what she wrote and then, because I am a writer, I want to expound on her points with 1200 more words to hammer her point, and my point, home.
I don’t know why you write, and therein lies the problem with writing articles about the craft of writing. No two writers are the same, so the best one can do when writing “how to write” articles is supply suggestions to those who are interested in that particular aspect of writing.
There are some who write online with the sole purpose of making some passive income and I say hooray to those writers. My articles about how to establish a rhythm in writing are worthless for those writers who are only concerned with writing 400 characters for Bubblews, or 1200 words for HubPages, and then clicking the like button to earn more pennies.
There are those who are interested in writing for magazines and there are those who are interested in writing novels, and there are thousands of writers who fall somewhere in-between. Then there are those, like me, who just write because it is a passion, and their only driving force is to be the best writer they can possibly be.
To all of you, no matter what your motivation may be, I say BE YOURSELF!
We all have our own unique writing style. It is what separates us from the masses. It is our signature on the literary world and as such it should be embraced and cherished. Why, when we are unique, would we attempt to write like someone else? Why, when we have been stamped as a rarity, would we settle for being like some other writer?
Sheila speaks of tossing aside pre-ordained rules that might hold you back from your writing destiny, and I am in total agreement with my writing friend. Why are some pieces of literature considered classics? Why are some authors considered masters? Is it because they were technically perfect writers, or perhaps is it because they followed their own path to greatness?
I think this says it all
What Is That Path?
I will never be able to write like John Steinbeck. I could probably do a fair imitation for a paragraph or two, but prolonged writing over the length of a novel…forget about it. However, it may shock you to know that I have no desire to write like Steinbeck, nor do I care to be the next Blake, King, Koontz or Hemingway. What I want, my friends, is to be the best writer named Bill Holland that I can possibly be, for I have come to realize that nobody else in this world of seven billion people writes like I do….and I love that fact.
I am unique in my writing talents and so are you. The sooner you come to that realization, and the sooner you embrace it, the happier you will be with your writing abilities.
So, understanding that I am a unique writer, my job then is to cultivate that uniqueness and get the most out of it that I can….and since my goal is to be me, pre-established rules do not apply to a certain extent, and paths previously travelled by other writers are in no way the only paths for me to follow.
I think, at times, that writers trap themselves in a certain box and think there is no other way. Well he has done that and it worked for him so I’ll try it, or she tried this and was successful so I will be too, or this style works for them so why not me and on and on and on when in fact, uniqueness needs no road map. Uniqueness needs no lesson plan or outline or book of instructions…unique simply is.
So my message to you is a simple one: determine the type of writer you want to be, and then forge a new and brilliant path to the goal.
And Now for Life
A nip and tuck here¸a few thousand hours of stairmasters there, and I will be young-looking and beautiful once again. I need to pick up the latest designer shoes because everyone is wearing them, and I need to change my hair color because red is in, and thin is better and a nose job just might do the trick and for the love of God, STOP!
Gotta have the big screen television, and let’s trade up on that luxury car, and why settle for 4,000 square feet of living space when 7,000 is a stronger statement, and if it’s good enough for the Jones family then it’s good enough for us and for the love of God, STOP!
Why can’t I make any friends, and what’s wrong with me, and why can’t I find love and I’m such a loser and so damn boring and I can’t do anything right and for the love of God, STOP!
It breaks my heart.
Do you know anyone like that? Of course you do. Perhaps, somewhere in the last three paragraphs, I described you.
Thank the gods that I had loving parents who raised me to believe in myself and to cherish my uniqueness. The lessons were at times tough, and I needed constant reminders, but I finally reached the point where I now love my uniqueness and I have no desire to be like anyone else….and what a liberating place that is.
How about you? Seven billion and counting and there is only one you.
And yes, I know, there are some right now who are saying damn it, what’s so great about that; why can’t I be like other people?
And it breaks my heart.
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Do you embrace your uniqueness?
Supply and Demand
Seven billion people on this planet and only one you. According to the laws of supply and demand, that makes you the rarest commodity on Earth, but your value will only rise if the demand rises, and you are saying there is no demand for what you have….and I say bull!
If there is no demand for your product (you) then you have done a poor job of marketing that product. Build it and they will come….develop it and they will be at your doorstep….flaunt it and your star will shine with the brightest in the universe.
In other words, it’s about damn time you act like you are the rarest of the rare and not some discarded refuse in the scrapyard of life.
Stand tall, be proud, and toss aside the silly rules that say you must act like someone else in order to be successful. Kick to the curb the stinkin’ thinkin’ that has held you back for so long, and erupt from your self-imposed jail cell and soar among the gods who came before you.
Do not follow their path but blaze your own. Do not copy and imitate but rather copyright a make and model never seen before and never to be seen again.
Now….take a deep breath….go to the nearest mirror and look into it. Do you know what you see?
2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)
“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”