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Being authentic

November 11, 2003

There are a lot of writer’s who write the same way; they follow the rules to a t, use the same language, and cover the same subjects. They write in some voice that isn’t truly their own because they think that’s what they have to do to be published or accepted.

At first, the reader doesn’t notice because it’s new, but after awhile, the writing becomes dull for the reader and they question the writer’s authenticity and intent. After awhile, they’ll become bored with the contrived, safe, pretty writing and move on. The writer is left wondering what they did wrong and so they try even harder to become something they think they should be, instead of something they are.

With my writing, I don’t follow the rules; my language use is different, I tend to write on subjects that aren’t normally discussed because they’re seen as trite and I accept that I’m neither sexy nor sassy. But yet, I get published, I have people enjoying my work and most of all, I feel satisfied at the end of each day.

I think there are a lot of people whose way of doing resembles that of a writer. People try so hard to be some idea of perfect so that they will be liked. They say the right things only, they do everything for everyone and they worry constantly if what they do will be accepted and if it’s not, what they could do more.

I think this creates a barrier not just between people, but between the person and their real self. For me, I value/understand/trust honesty, directness and messiness in a person far more than some illusion they’re trying to create. With the real person, I know where I stand, I know what to expect and I know how to appreciate. With an illusion, I always wonder.

I think some people who fear not being perfect equate being real or honest with being rude and hurtful, which I don’t think is it at all. Being honest doesn’t mean you walk up to some stranger and declare, “My, you’re rather fat and ugly, aren’t you?” I think honesty means sharing your real view when you need to, in a way that’s comfortable with you. I think it means acknowledging when you’re angry, frustrated, sad, scared, happy, excited and eager either with yourself, or a friend. I think it means trusting yourself first and your close friends second. I think it means not worrying so much if people will like you because you know the right ones will for real, honest reasons.

I’m a shy girl by nature but because I don’t try to be some ideal of perfect or wonder if I’ll be liked or accepted, I have an easier time of talking to people, doing things and living as I need to. I can say what I need to without worry if it’ll be offensive because I speak my truth in a way that is of use instead of in a way that is hurtful. And I know that those with whom I’m honest with trust my intent.

Being authentic, being real creates less worry than trying to be perfect does.

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