Monday, June 8, 2015

Be Yourself

Writers need a constant reminder to be themselves. So, here’s today’s reminder. 
Peter Leavell

Be yourself
Why write a novel, short story, or bit of publicity that isn’t you?

A few days ago I was chatting with a fellow author. I’d been feeling low and my creative juices weren’t flowing. Her reply was insouciant. “I’ve seen your Facebook posts. You’re trying to make people happy instead of just being yourself. You’re a goofball, normally. That’s what we like. Just be yourself.”

Truth—I wasn’t having fun.

The feeling of I must please acquisition editors or sales boards will hate this can change a happy attitude to one of frustrated servitude. The feeling had given me a bad attitude.

And then I overhear a conversation between editors—I’m tired of getting the same tired writing and stories, over and over.

Be yourself.

Of course, I’m taking it for granted you’re still hitting the books to become a better person. And I trust your relationship with Christ is forever growing.

If you’re not doing those two things, consider being someone else who does, because bettering yourself is important. Besides, they’re having more fun.

WARNING: There is a fine distinction between being yourself and connecting with your reader. You can't just write whatever comes off the top of your head and hope for the best. Your writing must be understandable. I took ten years learning to write so readers could understand my point.

There’s only one you. Why hold back the pleasure of getting to know you?


  1. Peter, great advice. And, as we write, if we try to please everyone (agents, editors, colleagues, readers) we end up pleasing no one. Thanks for sharing the reminder.

  2. Thanks for that reminder Peter!

    Trying to please too many people gets my knickers in a bind. Pleasing a hierarchy of unknown experts has been a thought that promotes fear when considering entering the publishing world.

    It is important to remember that each person is created as a one of a kind by our Heavenly Father. He takes each of us on our very own, specially designed faith journey. Uniqueness is not an excuse for not writing well but it is a perspective of the story that God uses to get His message out into a diverse world.

    I am always encouraged to know that God even used Balaam's donkey to get his message across. Of course the donkey was only a speaker not a writer but his words were recorded.

    The only person we really have to please is God. Apart from that truth, we should learn the craft of writing to the best of our ability so we can honor His words.

    1. I love how you put that, Mary. 'Uniqueness is not an excuse for not writing well but it is a perspective of the story that God uses to get His message out into a diverse world.' Excellent!


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