Be Yourself

04 May

There is an old saw which goes something along the lines of “write about what you know” which people interpret to mean if you’re a fishmonger write a novel about fishmongers. That actually might be fun, but I digress. I’ve always thought that phrase meant something more like “write about what you care about”. If you work as a fishmonger but don’t love it then writing about it just because you know a little bit about it would make for a very boring book.

In creativity terms you have to create what you feel passion for, which means not only the stuff you write about but also the medium you write about it in. If you feel nothing about books then writing a book might be fruitless. If you are only writing a screenplay because you think screenwriters earn a lot of money then your screenplay will be lacklustre and you will earn exactly nothing.

You can’t pretend to be passionate about something, it’s a contradiction in terms.

So in order to be successful at any creative act, be it writing, music or visual arts, you have to know yourself, be passionate about something, care about your art and the medium.

Be yourself.



Thank you for reading this blog. I really enjoy writing it, and I’m glad you enjoy reading it enough to come back. I’d also like you to invite you to subscribe to the newsletter. If you’d like to get more guides like this dropped right into your email, then I urge you to sign up for my FREE email newsletter using the form here.

Subscribe to the FREE monthly Creative Genius Newsletter

Every month I’ll be telling you more about how to become a creative genius, with helpful tips and techniques to help you find great ideas and make them happen. You’ll also have a chance to get free and inexpensively priced eBooks and soon a range of hypnosis meditations to free your creative unconscious. Join us on the mailing list for all this and more.

Thanks and see you next time.



Posted by on May 4, 2010 in Creative Genius


6 responses to “Be Yourself

  1. Yolanda

    May 4, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    I actually wrote a screenplay on order from my mother and then fell in love with the medium. But I want to be more involved. I would have loved to be a co-director as well as co-writer during the making of the movie too. I still have a looooong way to go but I’m glad I tried it otherwise I would never have discovered how I felt about it. But I must confess, I wrote a little ‘play’ at age 11 (just like a lot of other writers I gather) and performed it with background music 😉 And later on I wrote a play, which was performed in our church and had an incredible impact on the audience. That gave me the courage to try a screenplay.
    Earlier I thought I’d love to be a journalist but discovered that I wanted to be more creative.
    Then when I tried magazine journalism I found out how difficult it is to get it just right. I did a course in copy-writing to make some money and gave it a serious go but hated it. In all of this I first had to try and fail to know it wasn’t my cup of tea.
    Then I was granted a course for creative writing and prose and found my calling.
    Although I don’t expect money to roll in or make a career out of screenwriting it is incredible to do it and I look forward to see it become a movie.
    In the meantime I try to write articles just the same to make at least some income but it’s hard and it’s not my favourite medium.

    • Phil South

      May 12, 2010 at 7:45 pm

      Hi Yolanda,

      yeah the hardest thing is to make a living writing. I did it for 20 years and it was at times very easy but other times really difficult. Mainly because you have to write so darned MUCH to earn a living. The secret is to work in-house rather than be a freelance, because at least you get paid regularly. Best way to make money though is to like what you write about and write fast.

      good luck with the screenwriting! (and I haven’t forgot I’ll send you a report on your manuscript very shortly)


  2. Yolanda

    May 24, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    Wow! Thanks Phil! A whole report! This exceeds my greatest expectations. I was hoping for a line or two. You are too good for me 😉

    Thanks for your e-book! After reading it I realised what a lot of mistakes I have made in the screenplay – sorry. The e-book is awesome! It’s also giving me direction on all my other writings. A million thanks to you for the time and effort you put into it and for making it available to all of us!

  3. Yolanda

    May 24, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    Oh, and I would have loved to have an in-house job but no-one seems to be interested in someone who doesn’t have a degree…

  4. K.M. Weiland

    February 3, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    Great post! You’ve nailed the heart of the matter, I think, which is “write what you love.” If you love it, the knowledge will certainly come.

    • Phil South

      February 3, 2011 at 6:09 pm

      Yeah which is certainly a phrase I would have used in my comment if I’d reread my own post first. 🙂 glad you like it. Tell all your friends! thanks for stopping by


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: