Writer, Who Are You Really?

Be yourself

Be yourself (Photo credit: chase_elliott)

In developing as a writer and learning the rules and the craft, it’s easy to wake up with an identity crisis.

The publishers demand this. The readers want that. The critics are looking for something else. Does what’s left look anything like you? Who are you really?

I’ve been finding more and more advice lately on how important it is for a writer to be himself or herself. Not that we can scoff at things like craft and audience, but that developing excellence in our writing won’t happen if we’re stifling or masking who we are.

Be yourself. Be honest. Do your best. Take car...

Be yourself. Be honest. Do your best. Take care of your family. Treat people with respect. Be a good citizen. Follow your dreams. (Photo credit: deeplifequotes)

Beth Vogt challenges us to stand out.

From Bonnie Leon: Be Yourself.

At Novel Rocket, Christa Allen tells us to “Follow Your Weirdness,” which I’ve read Jeff Goins advise as well.

And at Chatting at the Sky, Emily P. Freeman calls us to overcome our fear and be ourselves: “You have something we desperately need. I don’t know what it is, but you do.” (One Way to Live Wildly Free)

Finding–and being honest about–who we are is one of the key topics Cecil Murphey addresses in his book, Unleash the Writer Within. You wouldn’t think it’d be so hard!

10 thoughts on “Writer, Who Are You Really?

  1. Tracy Krauss

    Lots of ‘talk’ about this topic lately. Your first couple of lines ring true – we can’t scoff at craft or audience, but in the end we must develop our own unique voice.

  2. Steph

    I haven’t read “Follow Your Weirdness,” but I guarantee I’d love it. Thanks for sharing, these thoughts – and these links – Janet. Blessings!

    1. Janet Sketchley

      I’m so encouraged to find things like this. So often we’re told to squelch what doesn’t exactly match what others are doing, and yet it’s that freshness and uniqueness in each of us that will most appeal to the people who’ll love our work. I suppose conformity might make us acceptable to a wider market, but it would dilute our effect (and our charm!).

  3. Mary Waind

    I think being ourselves gets easier the older we get. It’s a shame it doesn’t happen sooner, but it seems to take time – for some of us more time than others – to become secure and confident enough to be happy just being what we are. Too soon old, too late smart/confident…

  4. Carley

    I read your first two paragraphs, and my first thought was “I’m going to be me, and everyone else will have to accept me or not”… then I continued to read. It seems I’m on the right track according to you and others. Thanks for the reaffirmation.

    1. Janet Sketchley

      Carley, thanks for stopping by and taking time to comment. I’m glad to be finding advice like this. If we’re not being ourselves, we’re not being authentic and what we write won’t be very good.

  5. skyblueseagreen

    That’s pretty amazing that you wrote what I’ve been thinking about recently–great words of advice and encouragement to be what we were created to be. No doubt we’ll be a greater blessing to the world if we do! Thanks, Janet.


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