In June 2007, one of famed impressionist, Claude Monet’s, Water Lilies paintings sold at auction for $37.5 million USD. Last week, I painted a picture of water lilies, too. It hasn’t sold yet, but I’m quite sure it’ll go for at least a buck. Why do you care?
Because, if you blog, if you write, if you paint, if you create…anything, there will come a time where you look at what everyone else is doing, especially the leaders in your field, and wonder…
What could I possibly add to the conversation that’s different?
How many millions of people have painted water lilies since big, bad Claude cranked out his first masterpiece? How many bloggers have written about making money online, growing subscribers, and getting links? How many writers have waxed poetic about personal-transformation? How many dancers have floated through Swan Lake?
The answer to all of the above is, oh, about a billion! But, even with all these people repeating the same topics, painting the same subjects, writing about the same issues and dancing the same dances, there are always a small subset who do it in a way that is so unique, so captivating, so exquisitely compelling, that even though the subject is old and overdone, the way they approach it draws the attention of millions.
Now, my question is…don’t you want to be that person?
You must cultivate your inner-virtuoso.
Here’s a ridiculously simple, yet powerful tip that will keep you powered up and creating, even when it seems everyone on the planet is writing, painting and singing about the same thing as you.
Forget about trying to find something radically different to explore, some new topic or subject, unless you are authentically compelled to do so. Forget about trying to crank out another list, product, service or widget and then market the hell out of it.
Focus instead, on the much harder work of developing your voice.
Your own exquisitely unique point of view. Your own style of writing. Your own palette of colors, your own movements. Your own stories and linguistic patterns.
Seth Godin didn’t create the field of speaking and writing about marketing, but he did it in a way that way uniquely, um, Seth-like. Claude painted water lilies just like millions of others, but the way he did it was different. Mikhail Baryshnikov danced the same pieces as millions, but his voice, his interpretation of each made it unique. So, unique that, even though many others covered the same subjects, people were desperate for the chance to see how “they” were going to do it.
So, if you are a blogger, rather than wracking your brain to find something different to write about, spend that time developing your voice.
If you write about the same thing, but bring your voice, your take, your stories to the topic, that should be enough. If you are a writer, spend more time developing your stories, your point of view your style. If you paint or create anything, spend your time getting so good at whatever you do that, even if a million others have done it before, people will line up to hear, to see, to listen to you do it in your special way.
And, if they don’t, don’t go searching for something else to write about or a marketing team to make people pay attention…
Go searching for your voice.
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments below.
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