What is authentic? The definition describes the word as an adjective that means real or genuine and not counterfeit. Synonyms include honest, legitimate, real, true and valid. I love this word and always try to be authentic to myself and everything I do, including my writing. I believe most artists and writers believe in and practice authenticity.
I posted a selfie on Instagram a while back and captioned it as, “this is me, my authentic self.” I snapped the picture of my face as I was getting dressed one morning. I normally don’t take selfies and avoid pictures of me, especially my face, as often as I can. I’m what many would call a plain, librarian-type girl. I don’t wear makeup or put any products in my hair. What you see is what you get. (And my husband loves that it takes little time for me to get ready to go out!)
My appearance is as authentic as it gets. No fake anything and that’s how I’ve always lived, except for my permed-out, hair-sprayed high school days many years ago. 🙂
So as a writer, it has always been perfectly natural for me to be authentic as well. I’ve never followed trends, never cared about what could make me the most money. Vampires? Zombies? A Tolkien-type world? No. While I enjoy reading some of those stories, writing one myself is not me. I would feel like the worst kind of phony and the stories wouldn’t be good.
I write poems, stories and novels that are real in my heart. My characters are inspired by authentic people and events in my life. I’m drawn to reality and all its beauty and ugliness. I love writing about people and their flaws, mistakes and sins. And I equally love pointing out the love, hope and second chances that always follow. I guess I’m passionate about writing because I love to inspire my readers with the authenticity of people and life. It’s not always pretty, but it’s real.
Stay true to yourself no matter who you are and what you love. If it means something to you, it’s worth writing about. If it makes you feel, makes you smile, laugh or cry, that’s worth the writing time. And maybe, at least once, share a selfie of your “authentic self.”