What exactly is a genuine writer?
Considering how that’s the name of Innovative Editing’s free writing e-letter, it seems like an important concept to discuss.
For starters, we’ll turn to Dictionary.com, which gives four different definitions to this particular adjective:
Possessing the claimed or attributed character, quality, or origin; not counterfeit; authentic; real
A genuine antique
Proper so called:
A genuine case of smallpox
Free from pretense, affectation, or hypocrisy; sincere
A genuine person
Descended from the original stock; pure in breed
A genuine Celtic people
Now, being part Scottish, I rather like that last example, half-breed though I am. But that’s not what we’re talking about in this context. Though some of us may come from long and prestigious lines of writers dating back to Shakespeare… that’s probably not the case.
And, personally, I’m not a fan of definition #2 in this context either. “Proper” is necessary sometimes, sure, but it can also be quite stuffy. And nobody likes a stuffy writer.
Believe me on that one. I was an English major. I know the type far too well.
But definition #1 (i.e., "not counterfeit, authentic, real") and #3 (i.e., "free from pretense, affectation or hypocrisy; sincere") sound pretty good to me.
Those qualities are definitely what I was thinking when I read Evan Carmichael’s Your One Word last year.
Your One Word is a business book about building your brand, no matter the sector or segment you work in. According to him, the best way to do that is to figure out what you personally stand for; what you personally want out of not just your business, but life in general; and/or what the most important quality you want to promote is.
It’s an intriguing set of thoughts to ponder, and so I started doing exactly that: pondering it. If I had to pick just one word for Innovative Editing, what would it be?
I followed his instructions, making a list of all the words that popped into my head, various hobbies that might define me, and various movements I identified with, but it still took me a few days to come up with it.
No doubt, you’ve already guessed my “one word.” But here it is anyway: Genuine.
Essentially because I want to be me. The real Jeannette. No matter whether I’m interacting with fellow writers, promoting Innovative Editing, running Innovative Editing, writing my books, selling my books, or just going through life.
I want to be me.
Now, considering how “me” isn’t always awesome, there does need to be a caveat or two added into this goal for genuineness... this desire for genuinity (which is fun to say even if it’s not a real word).
The real me, as she stands right now, can sometimes take her introverted nature to unnatural or at least unhealthy extremes. The real me can also read too far into what people say or do. She also overthinks some things and underthinks others.
Therefore, the real me can clearly use some improvement. Hence the following clarification to my one word…
I want to be the very best version of “me” there possibly is. And this includes when I write out plots and characters and setting, or when I tackle a new nonfiction project.
Isn’t that what all writers should strive for?
Over the next week, two or three, we’ll go over some ways all of us writers can do precisely that. In other words, stay tuned to learn more about what a genuine writer looks like, sounds like and acts like.
It's a journey into your potential that you won't want to miss.