Don’t Become A Great Writer, Be You

Photo: Me Being Me by Paul van der Lugt

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Why is it that so many people want to give advice on becoming this or that? For me, writing or any other creative process is all about getting to know yourself better and ‘becoming’ my self. Not so much trying to become this or that.

In our western world there is great emphasis on becoming somebody. To achieve things and embody success with that achievement. We go through extensive education, earning degrees and playing a part that follows from that education.

But is that really you? Is that what you were born for, here on this earth? There are a lot of subtle and not so subtle ways that try to make you into something. The not so subtle are all those expectations that are projected unto you from an early age. Your parents, teachers, friends and family all have an heavy influence.

Then there are your surroundings, society, culture that form a collective consciousness. A great example is of course the American Dream. But whose dream was this to begin with? Is it your dream, your parent’s dream?

Somehow this dream seems to become real and urgent. Everybody tries to model their life after this imagined way of life, like that is all there is.

But what if you could dream up your own life? Free yourself from all those constraints, that held the real you down for so long? I think that is a lifelong process.

I think it takes a lot of courage and perseverance to keep going down this beautiful path of getting to know yourself and being you. That is not something for the fainthearted, it is the ancient art of living itself.

Now that I am 50 and start to look back at my life I see that everything has been about being me. Not that I had some smooth life where everything was simple and easy. Quite the contrary, I really went through a lot of turmoil. Especially trying to graduate and getting some diploma’s.

That took a long time and taught me that I was trying to please others by showing that I could pull it off, that I can be like everybody else. I was trying to fit in by forcing myself into subtle and not so subtle expectations of other people and society.Through the years slowly but surely I recognized that everything was just about being true to myself by being me.

I started to ask myself all these significant questions like;

  1. What do I want?
  2. Does this make me truly happy?
  3. Is this really me?
  4. Am I true to myself?

I discovered that my creativity was really essential to me. And me and my wife decided that we were ready to start a new life at age 50. It is not that being creative was totally new, but more that I decided that this way of life was much more ‘me’ than the life I lived before.

What I have learned in a nutshell

It is really important to consciously make an effort to get to know yourself. The good thing is that life acts as a perfect and confronting mirror. And ask yourself if you are doing things for yourself or really for others or even for the status.

It is not easy to differentiate yourself from the mass consciousness of your culture. It is the road less traveled, so you really have to find out things for yourself! But the rewards are priceless; you get to be YOU!

Invent and reinvent yourself.

You still want to become a writer? Than write and KEEP GOING!

I hope you get something out of this. If so, let me know in a comment below.

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