“I yam what I yam and that’s all that I yam” – Popeye
Want to hear something profound? Grab ahold of the arm of your chair. Here it comes…
You are you.
And want to hear something else?
You are not going to be anyone else. So quit trying. That’s some powerful spinach.
I know most of my readers are going to turn away now and say, “Yea, yea; heard it all before”. It’s true and to be honest, one of you is more than even you can even handle. That’s why you work so hard at trying to be someone else.
If you only knew who you really were it would shock you. I have always loved this quote by C.S. Lewis in his piece called “Weight of Glory”:
“It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which,if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare.”
I am not trying to inspire you.
I am trying to scare the hell out of you.
You haven’t reached your potential yet, so don’t even begin to think you have exhausted it.
So many try and mimic the writers they love. They phrase their words like them, they position phrases like them. They even take their dark and curious meditations and pitch them as their own.
Put yourself on paper. Write your thoughts down and don’t hold back. It will amaze you what will come out. Your imagination and your prose may not be a Hemingway yet, but it isn’t supposed to be. It’s you. And your art is still in the nest, trying to hatch. Let it out. Let it learn to soar.
For years I would do the same thing. That was until I leaned to do what every good writing coach tells you to do — to find your voice. My voice? I don’t even like the sound of my own voice. No one likes to hear themselves talk, but isn’t it amazing — others do? Reading is about listening. Writing is about expression.
Because I was a public speaker for many years, here is what I would do with everything that I wrote and I would encourage you to do the same…
Before you begin to put words on paper, talk to yourself. Begin to say out loud all the things that you want to write. Pretend like you are speaking to a group. If that makes you nervous, pretend like you are sitting and having coffee with a friend and sharing all these bright ideas with them.
I’m sure many a people used to think I was crazy if they ever saw me driving around in my car or sitting at a stop light. I would talk myself silly. Now in the days of blu-tooth I don’t seem so strange. Everyone does it. But here is what I discovered – I am pretty interesting and my thoughts aren’t that strange either. Matter of fact, they are quite compelling.
I am learning who I am. I am introducing myself to me.
After you have amazed yourself (I mean you have said the kind of things that make you want to pull over and write them down), now you are ready for the first draft. It’s that moment when you wish someone would’ve been in the car with you.
At first, you are so glad you are alone and then you find yourself banging on the steering wheel and are tempted to roll the window down and yell out your mental profundity.
This is just one path to self-discovery. Now write. Pretty soon you will fill like your spinach is only a short drive to grocery story or a commute to work. When you get there you will only want to turn around and do it again.
Find your voice… and you will be able to find your future client’s voice much easier.