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Writing a book means being yourself – not another writer

February 16, 2013

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Be yourself when you write.

What do I mean by that?

It’s really pretty simple. Don’t imitate how someone else writes.

You may well be a fan of say, James Patterson, or some other best-selling author. You may admire the prose of a famous writer or the works of some obscure novelist you came across on Amazon. No matter who it is, you really can’t be that writer.

The best way to approach this whole business of writing is to simply stay true to who you are.

Writing is not complicated, and being yourself isn’t either. And that’s good news. Hey, we’re all unique individuals here on this planet Earth, with something important to say. And how we say it, or write it, is important too.

So why do so many writers muddle up the process, especially writers taking those first tentative steps toward becoming authors?

It really goes back to being afraid that others won’t take us seriously as writers. In our struggle to be heard we think the only way to do so is to imitate someone else who has found success. Stop and think about this. At one time, that person, that writer whose books you so admire was right where you are, struggling to find his or her own voice.

Hell, every writer has a voice. Go with your own voice, not someone else’s.

It doesn’t matter what you want to write – mysteries, romances, historical fiction, a memoir. Dip into your heart, your very soul when you write. It’s the only way.

And keep it simple. Don’t try to dazzle ‘em with your grasp of brilliant prose. Sure, there are talented writers out there who are marvelous wordsmiths. When you read them you’d swear they go to bed with Webster’s Dictionary. And maybe you’re one of those writers. But most of the best writing out there is simple prose, easy to read. The writing flows, because it was done naturally.

Don’t make writing difficult. Remember, it’s a journey. Stay on the road, don’t get sidetracked, and you’ll have a good time on this writing trip. You’ll learn a lot about yourself and where you’re meant to go as an author. 

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