There you sit. Maybe at your typewriter. Or perhaps you are sitting in front of an easel, or a piano. You have a story in your head, a painting in your hands and a song in your voice.
You sit and you sit. Day after day, you write stories, paint pictures and compose songs. But, none of the work is yours. You hide what you really want to say; you don’t paint your dreams or sing your songs.
You create by copying someone else.
You have a favorite writer, so you copy their style.You know a painter who shows in a gallery, so you paint like them. Maybe if I copy their style, I will be successful.
The songs in your heart are unsung because you think they won’t be successful, so you try to imitate a popular song.
You are an original. Try and find your own way. Don’t copy. [ tweet tweet.]
Steven Pressfield’s latest book, The Authentic Swing uses golf as a metaphor for finding your own path in life.
The concept of the Authentic Swing is that each of us is endowed from birth with our own gift, our own style, our own unique talent and point of view. Our job is to find it and bring it forth.
– Steven Pressfield
Who are you really? What is your style? What is your gift? What is your unique talent and point of view?
Write your own story today. Paint your own painting. Sing your own song.
In my basement are twelve large canvasses. I am painting my own paintings. At the end of this month they will be hanging in a coffee shop; Proximity Cafe, 1450 East High Street in Pottstown, Pennsylvania.
I will not copy anyone else. My paintings will be me. They will be my mine.
At the Alberta College of Art in 1979, my teacher said, “You can’t draw, Pamela.” I use to believe him. I tried to draw like my friend Laura, who drew realistically. I tried to draw like her, sitting for hours with a pencil trying to make a glass of water look like a glass of water.
But, that is not how I want to draw. I don’t want to draw to imitate reality. My drawings are fun and colorful. Bold and graphic. Cats, birds, sardines. My brain is full of cartoons and stories; like the woman who was stung by a bee and became a super-hero, Weed Woman Saves the Town. (It is in production now.)
My job is to find my “Authentic Swing.”
I would rather fail being me than succeed being someone else. And, if I succeed? It will be me succeeding, not an imitation.
What is your job? Are you trying to find your “Authentic Swing?” Who are you?
Please tell me in the comments. I would love to talk to you.
p.s. Please send me an e-mail if you want to know when the opening party is for Proximity Cafe. firstname.lastname@example.org. I WOULD LOVE to have you come.
p.s.s. The link to Mr. Pressfield’s book is an affiliate link. The pennies Amazon pays me helps pay for kitty litter. I have seven litter boxes and four cats.