Authenticity: A Piece on Writing by Ari Pijuan

As if you’re in a spell, you become entranced in procrastination, aging with each ticking minute, progressing through the roller coaster you may call your writer’s block. It becomes hard to find the next few words, sentences, or paragraphs in a story or poem. Sometimes even the characters are difficult in their stages of development. In these cases as a writer, we strive to find the inspiration to guide us, especially in our very opinionated society, who urges us not as artists but as people to be unique. This begs the question: If we as a society are being pushed to be unique what then is authenticity?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary one way of looking at authenticity is to think of it as, “conforming to an original so as to reproduce essential features.” In some ways I think this definition applies to writing but in others not so much. When I think of authenticity, I think of it as the revealing of one’s personality and character within something they do. It shows the uniqueness of the person through their style, voice, and diction. By having authenticity a person is showing the inner workings of their mind through a makeshift process. The person in a sense is slowly revealing their soul and therefore being their most vulnerable. Therefore, a creative thinker is in fact limited by the conformity of society’s idea that one must always strive to be original instead of plainly themselves.

There are always going to be times when things don’t turn out the way we would have expected, especially in a creative sense. Sometimes it’s for the better and others not so much. When we feel as if no one quite understands the frustration. It starts to feel as if you’re slowly climbing into a ditch, full of fears and sorrows and it’s hard to get back up, maybe even impossible. This is what society does to authenticity, but it is also time eating away at the lingering want to be original–new.  So in a sense time, causes us to be actual humans; to feel, react, think, even when society tries to hold us back. Time evolves and we evolve with it, just like our authenticity.

When I begin writing the first thing I think about is my character(s) and their name(s). I then think of a situation or try to have an idea of what I would like to say– an intention for the piece, and then begin to type starting almost every time with a setting focused on the sky or atmosphere. At times this works and I bring forth a wonderful piece, but when it doesn’t work everything is lost in translation. So I think of a way for me to improve my process. I take my time and really think about what I want my piece to say or evolve into. Even talking it out with some and bouncing ideas around helps to clarify a lot of what the piece needs and not what I want.

Letting go of society’s opinions and focusing on the bigger picture and even on yourself as a person, allows for your writing to mature. You stop thinking about the world around you through another’s eyes and realize a new world. A world in which you can only see and live in. This is when the writing itself takes on its own life. The words become easier to write and the sentences flow into paragraphs, into pages and finally into a final piece of work. Whether this piece is a novel, a short story, a memoir, or poem doesn’t matter only what is on the page and how it affects the reader.  When this small, yet significant, occurrence happens then authenticity has sprung into existence and the writer, the artist can feel fulfilled and accomplished, even if they haven’t been published.

In the end society has no hold on you. It is solely up to you the creative thinker, the writer or artist, to recreate the definition of authenticity from societal conformity. It’s up to you to find the time and make it listen to you; don’t let it take over your life through procrastination.