Monday, June 21, 2010

On Becoming Authentic

Every week I get Christina Katz's Prosperous Writer newsletter in my email inbox and I can't wait to read it. I especially love her 52 Qualities of a Prosperous Writer series, and a few weeks ago she wrote about the twenty-first quality: Authenticity. I meant to write about Authenticity that week, but as it often does, life got in the way and I'm only now getting around to it.

Since I'm in the midst of some serious self-evaluation and being my authentic self is something I sometimes struggle with, I found myself reading her piece on authenticity and not just applying it to my writing, but to my life. In the article, she says:

Your authenticity is the truth about the best of what you do. So no need to ever fake it. Just be yourself. And then be a little more yourself. And then share a little bit of that with everyone else.
I want to live an authentic life, true to who I am, not who I wish I were. I want to stop trying so hard to be something or someone I'm not and to focus on the things and the person I am. You would think this would be an easy task. I am me, after all. And yet, sometimes I see what someone wants or what a situation entails, and I discretely put on whatever suit the occasion requires. I'm learning to do this less often, but it's still a challenge.

I think for me (and maybe for you, too), authenticity requires practice and some gentle reminders of who I am at my core. But, like getting back on a bicycle after a long time, I am beginning to recognize the required motions and the balance is quickly coming back to me. Without really thinking about it, I am suddenly riding along with the wind in my hair as though I'd never forgotten how to be me. With every opportunity I seize to allow my authentic self to shine through, I become a little more like my true self.

Turns out she's pretty cool, if I do say so myself.


Alexis Grant said...

Thanks for the tip -- Will have to check out her newsletter!

Erika Robuck said...

Love this post. Thank you for gently reminding me.

Unknown said...

I adore you already, so can't imagine what it will be like if you become a little more you....
look out, I might just stalk you!

Karen Banes said...

I think authenticity in our writing takes practice. I know I sometimes feel myself slipping into what I think the reader wants to read, not what I truly feel. But when you write what you feel you attract the 'right' readers for you. Love Christina Katz, and love this blog. Have added it to the links page on my blog :)

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