Monday, 12 February 2018
Cherry Red Nails and Emoticons: the must-have style-guide, by an extroverted-introvert
The older I get, the more I am embracing my style in life. And, I have to say, I think my inner extrovert is overpowering my inner introvert!
My nails are always painted bright, bold colours; cherry reds, sparkly blues, metallic pinks and purples. I just can't stand having "naked nails!" This is a relatively new thing; just a few years ago, my preference was pale, barely noticeable shades that didn't make me stand out.
It's similar with my hair, which is currently rocking beautiful 3-tone blonde highlights that match my cat! Eventually, the aim is to go pink! Rose gold ombre pink; I know you want to google that now. I can wait.... Gorgeous isn't it!
My clothing and accessories are a little less out there, perhaps, but are still somewhat bright and I tend to avoid the blacks and navies I used to always choose.
So, what has changed? One thing: I have finally found my style! I am no longer concerned what others' opinions might, or might not, be, of my style. And I am also far less afraid of standing out from the crowd and being noticed. This is me, bright, enthusiastic, and often laughing far more loudly than I ought to!
I have friends who are more conservative than I. Their nails are shorter and, if painted at all, they are in soft, pastel pinks or "nude" shades. Their hair is untouched, and their clothes are muted tones of blue, brown or beige. Their speech is perhaps, quieter than mine, and their laughter is always at appropriate decibels when in public. We all have our own styles; different, for sure, but none better than the other. And yet we all get along swimmingly, and often end up talking and laughing for hours on end.
When it comes to writing, I am first and foremost an encourager. That's my thing. It will probably always be my thing, and especially written for creative people. My writing style is light and fluffy and plagued with an over-abundance of !!!s and, when possible, lots of these: 😃 😋 😌 😡 😸 🙎 🙋 I use descriptive words like "very, really, super, fantastic and excellent," and when possible, highlight my message with at least one photo. Often of a cat. Or my kids. Or the beach. Or me pulling ridiculous faces.
Fun, right?! Perhaps...but I'm sure to some, (particularly editors!), reading that last paragraph was akin to eating 22 packets of fairy floss and washing it down with lemonade! Sickly-sweet and just too much!
And you know what? That is absolutely okay. Really, it is. Because I know that my style is not going to communicate effectively to everyone. Just as your style will not communicate effectively to everyone. And the great thing about this is, we don't need to reach everyone! In fact, I highly doubt than any one individual could possibly appeal to every single reader of Christian literature in the country.
Just as my friends and I all have our own personal style, so do we have our own writing styles. And far from being divisive, they complement one another so beautifully. I wonder if that's why Jesus told so many parables in so many different settings; what some related to, others wouldn't, and vice versa.
Perhaps you don't know what your style actually is? Just as it has taken many years - and let me say, some very tragic style choices - for me to develop my style, perhaps you are still trying to find where you fit? Could it be in an entirely different genre to what you'e used to?
Maybe you were told that romantic novels are your thing, but deep down you long to write a sci-fi series, set in a cluster nebula some 5000 light years from earth? Perhaps you are struggling to write an historic documentation of the plagues of Egypt some 50 000 pages long, full of meaning and depth and factual information - you know, because "you're so good at it!" - but when your mind wanders, you see the faces from the light-hearted romance novels you long to write. Novels that allow your readers to let go of reality for just a moment, and be swept up in the plight of Candice and Brett, the almost-but-never-quite-together-couple!
Let me ask you...are you creating out of the style that God wants you to, or out of what you feel you ought to be? Or feel safe hiding behind? Or any other reason you might think of? If you are truly comfortable with your style, I encourage you to keep on being you. But, if this is even slightly resonating with you, then maybe it's time to let your true creative persona shine forth. Yes, it may be very different, and people may notice you, but won't it feel amazing to be rocking your true style?! Perhaps it's just a small tweak that's needed for now? Like a bright pink streak in your untouched brunette hair?! Literarily-speaking, of course 😉
Just remember...whatever your style, in whichever genre, God will bring your audience to you. Trust his creative hand in your life, and be your most authentic you.
Helen 😊 😄 😇 😉 😎 😸
These thoughts were bought to you by Helen Carr at 07:00