“It is impossible for you to be original, but you can be authentic.” –Sarah Ban Breathnach, Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy
Creativity ebbs and flows, like a river. There are days when I churn out over 3 pages of writing and days when I don’t even glance at my notebooks or touch my yellow pad.
As creative beings, why do we do the things we do?
We do it for love. Because we love doing it. Because it makes us happy while doing it. Because seeing others happy with what we’ve made or shared also makes us happy by default. Because it satisfies a need, fans a desire, fuels a dream. And that is when authenticity comes in. Authenticity–being true to yourself, is what gives more depth, clarity, and direction to your art.
My friend Carla once posted a quote on Instagram: “The dreams worth chasing are often the ones that scare you the most.”
My dream is to fully embrace who I am as a writer, as a woman, but this scares me. I’m sure I’m not the only writer on earth who’s scared of writing. Because writing means getting inside yourself and putting things out for the world to see and judge. I don’t think I can ever write and detach myself from feeling. I wasn’t built that way. That’s not who I am. Writing scares me because what if I give it my all and the world spits back at me, rejects me, or worse, think I’m not enough? What then? Should I just give up and keep my writings in the dark, like a secret I indulge in and let loose when nobody is around and I won’t get caught?
But no, that’s not what I want. I could play it safe–slave in an office all day or choose another career path my family and peers would be proud of. But if I ignored the whispers of a story or the itch to write down lines that come out of nowhere when I least expect them it would make me feel empty inside and incomplete.
I choose to write. Writing is my life. It’s my work, it’s what gets the bills paid, but it is also my passion and calling. It’s definitely not a hobby I pick up and get back to on rare days I can just laze around. A fear of failure and unworthiness is warranted.
But knowing now that writing scares me on some days when being vulnerable is just too much, I still choose to write it out and share it with the world. Because it is my gift and it’s who I am. I choose to embrace creativity and authenticity, writing my way to where ever it may lead me.
“There is no one in the world like you. Your work is born of your sensibilities, temperament, experience, emotion, passion, perseverance, attention to detail, idiosyncrasies, and eccentricities. When you’re authentic, so is your art.” –Sarah Ban Breathnach