Plagiarism is the “wrongful appropriation” and “stealing and publication” of another author’s “language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions” and the representation of them as one’s own original work. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plagiarism.
A great plagiarism source is http://www.plagiarism.org/plagiarism-101/what-is-plagiarism
One of the things that many potential writes worry about is ‘who would want to hear what I have to say…’ because ‘hasn’t it all already been said.’
No it hasn’t already been said, at least not in your unique way.
As a butterfly emerges from its chrysalis, you the authentic writer will emerge if you connect to your soul purpose and write from your heart.When you listen to your heart and that part that is truly you, that is when your authentic voice will reveal itself. No need to copy anyone.
Finding your authentic voice
Finding your authentic voice means finding what you have to uniquely say. It really does not matter what anyone else thinks (or says).
What does voice mean to you? Is it the noise that comes out of your mouth? Or I sit something else? When someone speaks to you, what do you get a sense of?
Pitch and tone
Do you paint a picture in your head, hear sounds, get a feeling or a sense of all of those – what happens for you?
The voice is an amazing instrument, which we take for granted. Imagine going to a vocal coach to improve how you speak and present, I bet you would be amazed at what you learn as you practice. Writing is like that. The more you write, the more your voice will reveal itself to you.
Once you learn how to connect inwards, trust and write from your heart, your true voice will spill forth. As you get used to how you write, your confidence will grow. It’s a bit like getting to know how you like your hair or style of dressing. Remember when you first started to experiment with clothes and finding the courage to step out in something that showed who you were. That’s what happens with writing.
Not everyone is going to like it. That’s tough, who cares what one part of the community thinks, it is after all their choice. What matters is that you find the part of your community who loves what you have to say and keep feeding them your delicious words.
Engage your senses
We have five (six) senses, try writing the same passage so that it creates a picture, sound, smell, taste and feeling. What words do you use, what words could you use to bring your writing alive and tempt your voice out from it’s hiding place?
Think speaking voice and apply it to written voice
When you write, you want your reader to be able to take it what you have written at a good pace. Your writing needs to be clear (language and words) and at the right pitch and tone (punctuation) so that they make sense of it. Read your writing out loud so that you can test it.
Write with passion
Pick a subject you are passionate about and let your pen fly, then pick something you know very little about and write with the same passion. How does that feel?
Connect to your intuition
Imagine the book that you are writing (or want to write) is already written and you want to connect to that source of knowledge and read it back to yourself, so that you can perfect and share.
To reach the inner you, sit quietly, switch off the noise in your head and focus your attention on your heart. Place your hand there and feel.
Allow yourself to become connected to everything and nothing and at the same time be open to intuition, ideas and imaginations.
When you feel a connection put pen to paper and write.
Writing intuitively, produces rich, emotional writing that your readers can connect to. When they connect, they take from your writing what they need, not necessarily the message you intended. That happens because you are making a heart to heart connection.
De-construct other writers work
This is not meant to be copying in the sense of stealing, rather getting to understand their style. Chose a writer you admire, try to copy their style, how comfortable does that feel? Not very, I bet. What needs to change to make it yours, so that you are connected to your voice? Of course, their work should resonate on an emotional level, that’s why you like to read them. In trying to de-construct others you should notice how their words or phraseology jars with you, or there will be something else that may not sit well. De-construction is strictly analysis. – look for what you like and dislike and work out why.
Read others work and ask what do I think?
Whenever I research something, I sit and read, letting the words wander around my mind. I then connect inwards and ask ‘what do I think’. It is easy to read others ideas or opinions and accept them. They may seem to make sense. But what is important is what you think. Once you get what you think – write.
Why bother to copy when you are so unique?
In the end your voice is so much more than the sounds that you make or the marks on paper, it is that pure connection to your heart first, discovering your truth (inner knowing – that book that you have already written), and finally your head (thinking and knowing). When you have done that, you can share your stories (your legacy), in your way.
- What do you want to be remembered for?
- What legacy do you want to leave behind?
- How can you share values, passion, vision, and purpose?
- How could your authentic voice influence someone else’s life, at some level?
Writing and publishing a book based on your purpose and message is a brilliant way to leave a legacy, share your authentic voice, and build your personal brand.
What does your authentic voice sound like? What is he/she saying to you? What do you need to share – right now?
PS, it is ok to quote other writers, just remember to cite them and if you are not sure how head over to here http://www.plagiarism.org/citing-sources/overview/