That's a bold statement, but it's also a challenge...
Step into your full power as a writer, leave other people´s words behind and really claim your own voice.
So many of us spend too much time in the role of admirer and hide from recognizing ourselves as the writers we are. If you love a quote, I'm willing to bet you have something to say about it too. If you take the time to craft it, it will be beautiful.
More and more, I'm noticing that the limiting beliefs we picked up in school, or from adults who tried to steer us away from being creativity. This happens a lot when it comes time to finish or publish. So taking steps to increase that feeling of worthiness ahead of time will allow the whole process to flow more naturally.
Therefore, if you find yourself relying on other people´s inspirational quotes to express how you feel (or if you're frequently referencing the teachings of another author in your book) here are some prompts, to help you contemplate your own great quotes more. This will drive you deeper into the writings and teachings that only you are meant to share with the world.
1. What's your favorite quote?
Take a look at that quote you keep using. I know, it really changed your life. However, at this point, do you have something to say about it? Often quotes inspire us along our journey, but as we gain experience, we can develop our own opinion on it. How would you put that quote in your own words, at this point in your life? How would you give it a twist that makes it uniquely you? What do you have to add?
2. When you're writing, do you mention other writers?
I did this. It's all over my book The Meaning Method. Viktor Frankl. Viktor Frankl. Viktor Frankl. It's like ideas didn't exist before Viktor Frankl. Of course, I love that author, and acknowledging your own great teachers is a good thing, but now it's time to evolve my own ideas without clinging to teachers. This is a shift after all, in academia we're always taught to bring other authors into a conversation in text. However the world is changing. People want to enter into a conversation with you, and mentioning a bunch of other people doesn't really make you more interesting.
3. What quotes can you highlight in your current writing?
Take a look at the material you've already written. Find sentences that stand out in power and importance. I do this with my authors all the time. Sentences that come out in their writing or in conversation are pure poetry. I always paragraph those lines out and put them in bold so that they garner that strength. Or in conversation, I'll simply repeat back what the person said, and it amazes me when they overlook their own gold. There's so much beauty in what people say, I can't even believe it!
4. Where can you share?
Social media is ready and waiting for your quotes. When you get in the habit of appreciating what you have to say, rather than hiding behind what someone else said, you can spread your gifts and ideas into the world. You'll become more visible and distinct as the author you really are, and you'll start to grow a following as well!
5. Which quotes define your brand?
If you're publishing books, you're running a business. Most people know about branding colors, but not everyone knows about branding quotes. These are simple quotes that become the foundation for what you believe and why you do business. It's funny but my current business started as a string of sentences, that occurred to me as I was doing a presentation at the school where I worked in August 2015: "Most writing exists to share information. Stories exist to share emotion; to share how feels to be alive. Through stories the entire spectrum of human experience has meaning and value." Within a year I was writing a book, and then I was launching my services. What are those quotes for you?
Another quote I keep in my head, that's meant everything to me on this journey, is:
"Your story matters to more than just you."
- Emily Tamayo Maher
Often we read someone else's quotes and stories, and it just feels cathartic. We feel understood and that makes us stronger. That's a wonderful thing. Now, I'm asking all of us to continue adding to the pile. So many writers have done it for you and you can do it for someone else with your stories, ideas and inspirational quotes.