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Embrace Your Version of Your Career

In careers, as in life, we often look to others to see where we want to someday end up. I’m sure almost every one of you can tell me about an author you’d like to emulate, whether it’s the career path you’d like to follow or the style of writing you strive for.

This is good, we need mentors and goals and it’s great to have someone to look up to. The thing to remember though, is that emulating the style, voice or path of someone else does not mean that’s exactly the way it’s going to work for you. Who you are, and the path your career takes is uniquely your own and no one else will ever be able to claim that. Which is pretty cool. It’s also something we need to learn to embrace.

When you finish that next book you don’t want it to be the next Lee Child, Libba Bray, Nora Roberts, Sarah Addison Allen, or Louise Penny. You want that book to be your version of any of those people. In other words, to be the very best you can be, and have the career you want, you need to embrace who you are and be the best version of you, not a copycat of someone else.

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5 comments

  1. I’ve never wanted to be the next…
    I do read specific genres or authors, for ideas of how to do things. Maybe adding backstory or the type of atmosphere I’m looking for. But, my story is mine, I don’t want it to be the shadow of another one.

  2. I definitely look to other authors for inspiration – usually from their career path. To see other authors struggle and still eventually succeed gives me hope.

  3. Wrote a college research paper on William Carlos Williams and although I don’t emulate him I saw parallels in our personal lives. I found it comforting. I also see him as more rebellious (in his general views) than the expatriates of his time. When I write I’d like to think I have that same spirit. CJ

  4. Such a great reminder. There have been times I’ve gotten caught up in NYT and USA Today bestselling authors’ practices and forgotten about the most important thing when it comes to this industry: writing the next book.

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