As I sit here trying to decide what I want to write for my blog post, I am continually being interrupted by my granddaughter. She is engrossed in a sticker book that allows her to create faces on cartoon monsters. Shyla insists that I approve each new creation. Her joy was dampened when she noticed the examples on the front of the book. Believing this must be the right way to do it, she begs me to help her. We combed through the pages of stickers looking for just the right nose, horn, three eye combo and mouth to match the picture on the front.
Be careful not to imitate
Writers tend to do that, as well. While we learn the craft, we go from creating our own voice to copying exactly what someone else is doing because that has to be the right way. We comb writing books looking for examples that say what we want to say. Our imitation—like my granddaughters monster faces—is a close facsimile to the example. But it lacks something—originality.
Let your originality shine
Shyla’s original monster faces are full of character. They reflect who she is. Each face becoming more distinct as she works out where to position each facial characteristic. The layout becomes smoother and the color combinations more dynamic. Her originality shines.
Examples are only guides
Creativity and personality are keys to great writing. Guided by the examples we see in others’ writings, we take our writing tools and combine them to produce our own word pictures that others can benefit from. Originality is what draws readers to a writer’s work and keeps them coming back.
While learning the craft of writing, don’t compromise that natural God-given style for someone elses. Be the original God has made you to be.
What lessons have you learned about originality as you learn the craft of writing?
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