I think one of the most difficult aspects of any kind of creative pursuit is shutting out the noise. The buzz in your head that says â€˜maybe I should be more likeâ€¦â€™ or â€˜thatâ€™s working really well for them, maybe I shouldâ€¦â€™ or â€˜what IS it about her (and not about me)â€™.
I wrote a post recently at the Fibro called â€˜You Do What You Do‘. The basic, take-home message? Be yourself. Everybody else is taken. Nobody else does what you do. Melinda Schneider sang it much more melodically than I wrote it, but the premise is the same.
That post was about blogging. It was about having confidence in your own voice. But I think it translates across all types of creativity. No matter what youâ€™re making, no matter what the raw ingredients, the magic is in your take on it. How you mould those ingredients. Your voice.
A few years ago, I went to a writing conference. There were a lot of people there talking about vampires. I turned to the woman sitting next to me and said (famously and tragically) â€œVampires? Who wants to date the undead?â€. About a year after that, Twilight hit the shelves and the rest is history.
Since the success of Twilight, thereâ€™s been a gazillion vampire books. Did I write one? I did not. A wise writer friend of mine named Allison Rushby told me that you should never chase trends. If you gallop after a trend, be it vampires, wizards or 30-something women writing diaries, youâ€™re lost. For while youâ€™re busy chasing down that trend, youâ€™re not developing your own thing. Youâ€™re not creating the new trend.
Itâ€™s not easy staying true to your own voice. Sometimes it wavers. Sometimes it squeaks. Sometimes you lose it all together after too many nights singing karaoke (or maybe thatâ€™s just meâ€¦). But itâ€™s when you find your way back to it that your work really starts to sing.
Allison TaitÂ is a freelance writer who blogs atÂ Life In A Pink Fibro. She writes about writing, being a work at home mum and â€¦ whimsy. Sometimes she just writes. She was behind the door when they were handing out craft genes, but she has great admiration for people who were smart enough to be at the front of the line.