Do You, Boo

Ok, so I’m channeling my girl from around the way persona. Lately I’ve felt the overwhelming urge to do things my own way, with little regard to what other people have to say about it. My alter ego encourages me by giving a Kanye shrug and affirming, “Do you, Boo.”

This mantra has translated into my choices about who I date (or to be more precise who I DON’T date), what I eat, how I work out and the list could go on. To be honest, the more I “do me” the more I’m feeling myself. My confidence is sky rocketing as I become accustomed to the satisfaction that comes with being true to myself in big and small decisions.

self confidence

Of course, I’ve taken this attitude to task with my writing as well. Over the last year I’ve dedicated myself to learning more about the craft of writing. Which is a good thing, and a habit I plan to continue for the rest of my writing career. The issue is that there are a whole lot of rules when it comes to writing. I mean a lot. And I’m not just talking about grammar and sentence structure. Plenty of writing experts swear by outlines, writing prompts, methods and routines.

What I’ve discovered is that rules are indeed made to be broken. Now, I’m not encouraging a total disregard for acknowledging and following the advice of experts. All I’m saying is that sometimes it’s necessary to chuck the status quo and follow your creative genius.

7 Writing Benefits of “Doing You”

  1. More enjoyment and less stress about writing the “right” way.
  2. You’ll be more likely to let your creative genius flow.
  3. Through trial and error, you’ll learn what does and does not work for you. These lessons will stick with you longer than reading it in a book.
  4. You can sing Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” with heartfelt passion.
  5. You’ll be less likely to unconciously mimick another author’s style or structure.
  6. Your confidence will soar.
  7. You get to sound all street and say things like, “I’m doing me, son.”

If your writing practices are working for you (i.e. you’re content with where your writing is and have met your personal writing goals), why change them? Don’t let the plethora of well-meaning advice from experts cause you to become stagnant. Don’t compare your work with the work of other authors. Don’t scratch an idea for a book that you’re passionate about because some marketing expert says it won’t sell. Don’t spend days agonizing over a novel outline if you hate outlines and they don’t help you write any better. Do what works for you. In other words, do you Boo!

What’s your personal mantra these days?

Photo credit: 黒忍者 / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)

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6 thoughts on “Do You, Boo

  1. Wonderful post!

    My personal mantra? I am an Author, which means I am an Artist, because Writing is an Art, not a Craft.

    And that’s what’s so great about your post, because we’ve independently developed the same mantra.

    Like many of us, you were told you had to study “the craft of writing,” and being the honest soul that you are, you believed you were being dealt with honestly. But then you noticed all the extra “rules,” and the stress that went with them, and you didn’t feel good about that.

    Well, that’s because you were peddled a porkie – writing is an Art, so it can’t be done by following the “do it this way” rules of a Craft. (When you go to study writing at college or university, you don’t graduate with a technical certificate or degree – you get a Liberal Arts degree, or a Master of Fine Arts.)

    I don’t want to hog your blog, because I’ve been banging on about this in my own space for a while, now. So, you’re welcome to hang out there, to read about the details of my epiphany, and to share your insights about the Artistic freedom of Doing You.

    If you don’t mind, I’d like to put a link to this post in my sidebar.

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    • Well said Christine! As with any art form there are basic premises that should be honored. A painter has to study lines and color. A photographer has to study light. A writer has to study the craft. But no artist should ever feel trapped by rules! You learn the basics so that you can go on to express yourself creatively and individually. I’ll have to stop by and check out your take on this. And of course feel free to link this post in your sidebar. Honestly, I’m honored!

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  2. I’m doing me. I don’t outline…There are moments when I find out what really successful authors do and then I go I’m doomed, but at the end of this day there are two things that I know I possess a gift from God and a relationship with the God who gave me the gift He is able to make a way out of no way for me.

    Like

    • You better preach Nigeria! One of my favorite promises to stand on is, “Your gift will make room for you and bring you before great men.” As long as I stay in His will while “doing me”, it’s all good.

      Like

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