by Naomi on June 4, 2010

in Inspiration, Writing

Authenticity is about being.

JINA as a kitten

Too much doing can lead to undoing.

Quotes to consider:

“What we are looking for is what is looking.” – St. Francis of Assisi

“Some writers confuse authenticity, which they ought always to aim at, with originality, which they should never bother about.” – W. H. Auden

“Serve others for they are reflections of the same Entity of which you are yourself another reflection. No one of you has any authenticity, except in reference to the Original. Feel always kinship with all creation.” – Sri Sathya Sai Baba

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

souldipper June 4, 2010 at 10:16 pm

Jina – you sweetheart! What intelligence.

Naomi, how do we detect a lack of authenticity within our writing? What if I THINK I am being authentic (or truly AM), but sound otherwise?

What are the red flags? Good friends who are honest?

XO – Amy


Naomi June 5, 2010 at 11:16 am

What a worthy question for us to ask, and keep in mind, Amy. Thank you! xx

I agree that good friends can be valuable sounding boards, but also believe that the presence of joy (not only in writing) provides a great clue. In a recent O magazine, Elizabeth Gilbert, bestselling author of EAT, PRAY, LOVE, gave some tips, including this: “Expect nothing in return, except the pleasure of the work itself.” By contrast, a feeling of effort may offer a red flag.

Whatever methods you use, I think they work 🙂 I turn to nature in writing my novels. OUT OF AIR is infused with water (the sea) and air, DUST ON FIRE with earth (African bushveld) and fire. Beloved pets, present and past, are my muses. Jina inspires the protagonist, Gina, in OUT OF AIR, while Jesse, a Wegie we lost, does the same in DUST ON FIRE. A number of other characters are similarly inspired, keeping love close throughout the process.

For me, love and faith are fundamental, as well as acknowledging that we can only do our best. Here’s a cute quote to help keep things in perspective: “Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” – Scott Adams


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