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The Art of Being 'You': A Guide for Authors and Creative Writers

They say, write what you know best! And I agree...

In the grand, glittering circus of the literary world, where every performer vies for the spotlight, the most daring act of all is being unapologetically yourself. Yes, you heard that right. We're at the period in human civilization that's crammed with copycats and carbon copies and so the bravest thing an author can do is to march to the beat of their own drum.


Why you may ask or how? Here's my thought on the art of being 'You'.



Why You Should Be 'You': Diving Into the Essence

Being authentically 'You' is more than just a feel-good mantra; it's a strategic advantage in the crowded literary marketplace. Let's explore why:


The Science Behind Authenticity

Research in psychology points to the profound impact of authenticity on both creators and their audience. Studies suggest that when individuals engage in authentic self-expression, they experience higher levels of well-being and creativity. Authenticity has been shown to enhance the emotional depth and resonance of creative outputs, making them more compelling and memorable to audiences.


Moreover, neuroscience reveals that our brains are wired to respond to stories that evoke genuine emotions and unique perspectives. When an author's voice carries the unmistakable stamp of their personal experiences, beliefs, and idiosyncrasies, it engages the reader's brain more fully, fostering a stronger connection and a more immersive reading experience. So, stick to the rhythm of your own experiences, thoughts, and quirks. Because in the grand disco of writing, authentic moves are always in style, and honestly, nobody else can bust a move quite like you.


Examples of Authors Who Embraced Their Uniqueness

  1. J.K. Rowling - Before the wizarding world took over the globe, the concept of a boy wizard attending a magical school was far from a guaranteed success. Rowling's personal struggles and rich imagination infused the Harry Potter series with depth and authenticity, captivating millions of readers worldwide. Her unwavering commitment to her vision, despite numerous rejections, is a testament to the power of authenticity.

  2. Hunter S. Thompson - As the father of Gonzo journalism, Thompson blurred the lines between fact and fiction, injecting his work with a unique blend of personal narrative, social commentary, and outrageous humor. His authentic voice and refusal to adhere to journalistic norms not only earned him a cult following but also reshaped American literary journalism.

  3. Toni Morrison - Morrison's novels are celebrated for their powerful exploration of African-American identity, culture, and history. Her commitment to authentically representing the black experience in America, coupled with her exquisite prose and deep emotional insight, garnered her critical acclaim, including the Nobel Prize in Literature.

  4. George R.R. Martin - In creating the "A Song of Ice and Fire" series, Martin broke from traditional fantasy tropes, focusing instead on complex characters, moral ambiguity, and a willingness to kill off beloved characters. His authentic storytelling style has captivated a massive audience and revolutionized the fantasy genre.


These authors stand as symbols of success, not just for their commercial achievements but for their courage to remain true to their voices and visions. They didn't chase trends or conform to expectations; instead, they carved out new spaces in the literary world by being unabashedly themselves.


How You Can Be 'You'

Let me make it simple for you in few steps:

Step 1: Embrace Your Inner Weirdo

Every writer has a little (or a lot) of weirdness inside them. That's your gold; mine it. Your peculiar quirks, your bizarre hobbies, the oddball way you see the world—these are the jewels that will adorn your writing crown. Why blend in when you were born to stand out? The stories that stick are those that dare to be different, that challenge the norms and dance in the face of convention. So, let your freak flag fly high and proud.


Step 2: Say 'No' to the Echo Chamber

It's easy to get lost in the echo chamber, churning out what you think the world wants to hear. But here's a little secret: the world doesn't really know what it wants until it's slapped square in the face with it. The books that have left their mark, that have defied genres and shattered expectations, were not born from playing it safe. They were the product of authors who scribbled outside the lines and dared to say something new. So, before you write, ask yourself if you're echoing or innovating.


Step 3: Cultivate Your Voice Until It's as Distinct as a Fingerprint

Your voice is your superpower. It's the melody that will make readers dance to your tune, chapter after chapter. But finding it? That's a journey. It's a process of peeling back the layers, of writing with honesty and rawness until your unique cadence emerges. Write like you speak, speak like you think, and think like nobody else can. That's when you'll know you've hit the voice jackpot.


Step 4: Be Fearlessly Vulnerable

There's a certain strength in vulnerability, a magnetic pull that draws readers in. Share your triumphs, your failures, and everything in between. The more of yourself you pour into your writing, the deeper the connection you'll forge with your audience. After all, at the heart of every story is a shared human experience. So, wear your heart on your sleeve and watch as your words build bridges to the souls of your readers.


Step 5: Throw the Rule Book Out the Window (Sometimes)

Yes, rules are important. They provide structure, guidance, and a framework within which creativity can flourish. But sometimes, the most breathtaking creations are born from a healthy dose of rebellion. Know the rules well enough so you can break them with flair. It's in the spaces between the rules that true originality blooms.


Step 6: Cultivate Patience—Rome Wasn't Built in a Day, and Neither Is Your Legacy

The path to finding and honing your unique voice is a marathon, not a sprint. It's a journey fraught with self-doubt, second-guessing, and, occasionally, existential crises. But it's also a journey of discovery, of joy, and of unimaginable growth. Be patient with yourself. Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither is your legacy. Keep chipping away, keep believing, and one day, you'll look back and marvel at how far you've come.


The art of being 'You' is not just about standing out for the sake of it. It's about authenticity, about finding the courage to share your true self with the world. It's about creating art that resonates, that endures, that speaks to the very core of what it means to be human. So, to all the authors and creative writers out there, here's to being bravely, boldly, beautifully you. May your words be as unique as your fingerprint and just as impossible to erase.


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Well said!

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