I hear this everywhere...
I'm a writer/artist with no identifiable style. How do I find it?
My style of writing/etc. is boring/underwhelming/not very good. How can I write/create more like you/her/him?
We're going to take on these (really) common limiting beliefs among the creative community and figure out how to get past them once and for all. Because on the other side of these lies your personal creative freedom.
In this case, the grass is greener on the other side.
1. "I have no style."
The first statement has to do with beginner's insecurity and lack of experience. (Or you know, a lack of commitment to your craft and chronic procrastination.)
I've talked about it a while ago on my old podcast, but basically--
Your creative style will come when you have written/designed/etc. so much that your fingers/eyes/etc. are bleeding and your mind is melting. By practicing a lot - even though it's frustrating to work sans style - you are opening yourself up for experimentation and from experimentation your style develops.
You try something crazy, it works. You include it in your repertoire and you live happily ever after. Or at least until your next deadline.
You try something crazy, it doesn't work, so you let it go and move on.
That's what we all have to go through to "find our style," and it won't happen tomorrow for you, or next week, or next month, or maybe even next year! It will happen when you have done it so much and for so long that your mind isn't busy on trying to figure out how it works any more; now it's free to wander, play, and figure out how you can make it more YOU. That's the moment when your style starts developing - when your mind is free from the technical bits.
That's the moment when you have turned your craft into a daily habit.
And once you "find" your style or develop it into something that sounds and looks and feels like you, believe me, you'll love it. Unless you're still insecure and want to have a different style entirely, which is where the second statement comes in. Don't worry, we have all been there. There's no shame in self-discovery.
On the other hand, there is shame in lack of commitment and procrastination.
If you're the second type of creative who's not beginning now but has been beginning for years now, let me tell you this - I see you and I understand you. I was in your boat, with a big stack of unfinished drafts well in my twenties.
Fear will make us do many things, and in this case, your fears has deterred you from your creative dreams. It has guided you away from your destined path, and you may have been trying to "go back" and reignite your passion, even pick up a new creative talent, but the longer you have put your creativity in the back seat, the harder it is to wake it up and invite it to hop to the front seat.
The best thing you can do right now is to just sit down and practice practice practice. In that practice your style will (re)emerge. A daily project is how many creatives say helped them discover their style and grow an audience.
2. "I want to do x like you."
The second statement arises from one place and one place only - a bad mindset, aka a bad attitude. You're just insecure. If you think that this person whose writing you're crazy about also adores their writing, you're probably wrong, or they used to hate it, just like you. We are all critical toward our own work, but we must not allow this self-criticism to stop us from creating.
And we mustn't let it taint our view of our own work.
If you let it define how you see what you do, then you're in BIG trouble.
You'll never be happy as long as you try to be more like other people and pushing your own style away. I'm telling you this because I lived it for more than 20 years! I couldn't accept that I'd never write like Liz Gilbert or J.K. Rowling, so I kept trying to find a style that was more like theirs, but I could still call mine, and needless to say, I kept failing. There's a quote that goes like "it's better to fail at being yourself than win at being somebody else," and I agree completely.
The minute I made that decision, I let go of my self-criticism and started writing like a madwoman, without stopping and in full flow. I wrote long-hand, I wrote every single day, and it took some time, but I learned to look upon my own writing with love and adoration, rather than with disappointment.
And this is something I've seen in my clients also. I would always hear an incredible talented man/woman say, "I want to go back to writing, but my writing is so bland, and I'm not sure if it's worth it, and if anyone would even read it."
That's not you talking, that's your FEAR talking! And why would you give up something you LOVE because of other people's opinions??
Tell me, do you have any proof of this? Has anyone other than your inner critic told you that your writing is bland? Really think about it. Because if nobody else has said it and (like in my case) other people have actually said that they enjoyed your writing (or whatever you do), then babe, it's all in your head.
You're the one who put the idea in there, so you're the one who'll get it out.
On the other hand, you could be someone who's written/painted/etc. for years, but you never let anyone see it (guilty!). And when you tell me that your art is bland and that nobody will like it, again, you have no proof of that.
I would only believe that your style is "bland" if you show your stuff to someone - right now - and come back to me and say they confirmed it.
Otherwise, you are out of luck and I don't believe you!!!
2. Make a list of reasons why your style is better than others' and why you wouldn't change it for the world. And make sure you mean it.3. Ask yourself, What would I lose by believing in myself? Free write. Then ask yourself, What would I gain by believing in myself? Free write.
need more help?
Go to my coaching page and pick the program that fits your needs.
Can't wait to meet + work with you! :)