Monday, August 11, 2008

Writing Authentically

Be so true to thyself as thou not be false to others.”—Francis Bacon

I’m exhausted. I emailed a book proposal requested by a publisher and finished all the articles for the rest of the year for my monthly solo-parenting column. I survived two computers that crashed, adapting to a new computer and updated Microsoft 2007.

My head is killing me. The sink is full of rinsed dishes. And I need to conquer the pile of mail I ignored to meet my writing goals. I feel like an Olympian. The mountains of writing that I’ve scaled, I tried to be transparent. In some ways, it’s scary and freeing. What wisdom do others offer about being true to yourself so that you can write honestly and with passion?

“We forfeit three-quarters of ourselves in order to be like other people.” —Arthur Schopenhauer

“The reward for conformity is that everyone likes you but yourself.” —Rita Mae Brown

“We are so accustomed to disguise ourselves to others that in the end we become disguised to ourselves.” —Francois de La Rochefoucauld

“No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true.” —Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

"If a plant cannot live according to its nature, it dies; and so a man.” —Henry David Thoreau

“It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for something you are not.” —Andre Gide

“I wanted only to try to live in accord with the promptings which came from my true self. Why was that so very difficult?” —Hermann Hesse

“One cannot violate the promptings of one’s nature without having that nature recoil upon itself.” —Jack London

“To know what you prefer, instead of humbly saying ‘Amen’ to what the world tells you you ought to prefer, is to keep your soul alive.” —Robert Louis Stevenson

“Follow the grain in your own wood.” —Howard Thurman

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