June 5, 2016

Find Your Unique Quality in This World

We all have something specific we bring to the table and often, we need others to show us what it is because we can’t see it ourselves. YOU have this too.
I went to a writer’s workshop yesterday on VOICE. This is the unique style writers bring to anything they write. For example, Stephen King has his own unique style whether he writes a thriller or a memoir. I have never been one to write flowery descriptions or beautiful settings. I realized this year; it doesn’t matter because we each bring something different to this life.
At the workshop, we separated into groups of three. Each group had about eight pictures and we had only TWO minutes to write a really short story/scene for each picture. The two other people in my group read their eight stories. From the woman in our group, we could tell she’s good at inner thoughts of the character. We knew we would learn something from her style/voice. (No surprise, she has two Masters Degrees. You see, everything ends up showing itself somehow.) In the young man’s stories, we saw how religion and emotions are strong in his VOICE. Guess what? He has a major in psychology and went to a religious college.
When it was my turn to read my eight, I was a little embarrassed and I told the other two this. My stories didn’t sound anything like theirs at all. But after reading mine, the two people showed me what I couldn’t see. They said, “You are this apologetic person in life but in your writing you don’t apologize for anything. You go straight for the truth whether it’s good or bad. You might not set the scene or build it up but you go right to the story or heart of it.” The woman said through my eight stories she could see I was an advocate for people. I was floored because I LOVE when I learn something from other people. I couldn’t see this myself but it’s so true. Like a first sentence of one of my short stories goes, “Mama lost her baby boy in the bathwater in the earliest part of May. When April showers give way to the soft winds of springtime and everything which lays dormant in the winter springs up to grow again.” Most of my stories start with an unapologetic truth and I realize this is my VOICE or style and it is okay. I’m not meant to be Hemingway or James Patterson or anyone else.
My point to you is you can’t be good at everything but you can be amazing at something. At times, you don’t see it and others need to show you. It doesn’t matter what you do in life or who you are as a person, you have a talent for something specific. There’s no questioning that, it’s 100% true. Some of you know what it is; some of you are still searching for it. But it’s there. The hard part is not just in finding out what that is, but taking action to push it as far as you can.
We always compare ourselves to other people but in reality, we are not meant to be like everyone else. We need to grow and flourish what we can bring to this world. The young man in my group said something I thought was very insightful. Gone are the days when beauty is what people will be looking for. On social media alone, there are thousands of photographs of beautiful people. It has become common place. (You can even buy beauty with plastic surgery.) What will stand out in the future is what makes a person unique? So find out what you bring to the table of life and if you don’t know, ask people you trust and respect. We all have a unique VOICE/gift/purpose in this life. What’s yours, do you know?