“Authenticity is about being true to who you are.” Michael Jordan
The past couple of years have been worthwhile reading about and researching the craft of writing. I have taken in and digested so much information about the topic with hopes of implementing strategies and improving my written work.
What I have noticed are the so-called road maps, or, as some refer to as, the blueprint to success, from other popular writers who have developed them; with the promise of it working, if followed precisely the way its laid out.
That may be true for some people, but it never works that way for me.
Just because Mr. X’s strategy works for him does not mean it will work for Mr. Z.
You may have comparable results, but not the same results.
“Why is that?” I asked myself.
I think it boils down to how authentic are you?
Let us look at the definition of, authentic for a moment.
Made or done in the traditional or original way, or in a way that faithfully resembles an original.
I enjoy looking at life through a metaphorical lens. If I were to describe being authentic; two things come to mind. A snowflake and a food recipe (I know, I’m weird). I love science, and I come from a family of excellent cooks.
THE RECIPE TO LEARN
First, every snowflake is different and unique, none are alike. All people are different and unique, not one of us are completely exact. Each snowflake may look the same and all people may have the same bodily form, but when we look deep down into the core of the two, there are variations of the components that bring it together.
Second, have you ever wondered why grandmas fried chicken taste better than yours? Even when you’ve followed the exact recipe to the tee!
The same exact ingredients are used when I prepare it, but it just does not taste the same, why?
Honestly, I think a written recipe is only the blueprint to achieve a result. The outcome may vary. Grandma’s taste buds and her own way of measuring are unique to her only. I try to emulate to the original as close as possible.
We can add a little of this or a pinch of that to make it our own variation of the delicious entrée we come to love, but not exactly like grandmas. The written recipe can serve as our guide.
Now let’s go back to the popular writer’s blueprint for success plan. I do believe it can work for us. I also believe we must think of a way to apply our own unique authentic self into it. We need to figure out our own tiny variation of the proven recipe that we can make our own to set us apart from everyone else. Give it our own flavor, so to speak.
Could this fall into the category of, “Finding your Voice?” Yes, I think so.
What I have also learned to be true, is this. There are other words that come into the mixture to define authentic.
WHAT OTHER INGREDIENTS CAN I ADD TO THE RECIPE?
Here are a few more words to ponder:
1. Adaptability-the quality of being able to adjust to new conditions
2. Reinventing yourself- change (something) so much that it appears to be entirely new.
3. Diligence-careful work or effort.
4. Persistence- firm action in-spite of difficulty or opposition.
5. Practice- repeated exercise of skill to become more proficient.
6. Patience- the capacity to accept or tolerate delay without becoming upset or angry.
7. Self-discovery- the process of acquiring insight into one’s own character.
I’m sure I could come up with more words, but I don’t like my recipe too spicy. I like to focus on a few before I expand my word palate.
Why do I feel it’s important to be authentic?
I cannot be someone else. I can only be who I am. It’s impossible to be a carbon copy of something I’m not. If I tried to act or be like someone else, I wouldn’t be true to myself, and others would quickly find out I’m a fake.
Time and time again I see others become frustrated about why their results aren’t panning out.
“I followed the instructions flawlessly! Why isn’t it working?” They would say.
Like the snowflake and recipe analogy I mentioned, earlier. I think most forget to add the authentic self-ingredient into the batch to make it one’s own distinctive voice even when it resembles the finished product of someone else’s blueprint.
Did grandmas chicken taste good the first time she made it? Probably not.
Grandpa could answer that question better than anyone else. I’m sure he noticed improvements as the years passed until the fried chicken recipe evolved into the mouthwatering treat everyone wanted.
I must believe my writing skills and my true voice will evolve as time passes if I continue to work hard at the craft. Moving forward is progress. Eventually, a view will emerge that I can call my own authentic brand; unique to who I am. It’s important to me that I focus on the small wins and not worry about where I’m at compared to others who are further along.
GRATITUDE FROM THE HEART
Having a thankful heart while creating is an essential ingredient as well. We have to be open to those who help nurture us while we mature in our craft.
With that said, I want to thank my writer friends who have been supportive and kind in cheering me on about my work; I gain so much value from each of you.
So, in the meantime. Stay wordy my friends.
Visit John at OverthinkerJohn.com