A word is not the same with one writer as with another.  One tears it from his guts.  The other pulls it out of his overcoat pocket.  ~Charles Peguy

I do not know which of the two I am more than the other, but in this piece, the sentiments come from two hearts…the writer and the reader.

I never worry about plagiarism. I do not attach bombs to works that I bleed out in the fear that someone will press the copy button.  Even ideas, I share them all without wavering; without faltering. I always take fear of plagiarism as the fear that someone will scrap off the skin from your face and attach it to theirs just so they can look like you. There is no one who can successfully take away from you the way that you write.  Your writing is yours…it is a mirror through which people can look at and see the writer in you.

Sadly though, many of us are writers without an identity. We are completely obsessed with the idea of becoming better writers that we lose ourselves in the confusion by riding on other writers’ backs. Flannery O’Conner is a very prolific writer. Paulo Coelho too.  Weird as it might seem though I wouldn’t want my style to be swallowed by that of Paulo or Flannery. When I write, I want my works to be classified as mine because I have left an imprint in them. From the way I weave the words together to the way I plot my works; from the way develop my ideas to the way I allow them to drop as sprays of ink courting paper.  Call me shallow because I use simple words, call me deep because I use words that can never be pronounced otherwise they will cause accidents to the tongue…whatever you call me, at least I have an identity there.

Allow me to digress as I demonstrate. I tend to use sexual illustrations a lot whilst in the topic of writing…so I have been told…and I do not apologize because sex is the only feeling that can be likened to the feeling a reader or an audience  gets when exposed to a piece that travels into their veins of art.  It is an orgasmic feeling; ‘eargasmic’. So would you, as a writer love to take your readers or audience through this experience, while actually, it is not you that they have in mind, but Margaret Atwood. That would be doing yourself too much injustice. Pleasure your readers as you. When you touch them, let them feel your hands, when you come close and hug them, let them smell you.

I love a writer who is identified by the uniqueness of their works as opposed to the one that follows trends. Often we focus on other writers, deeming them as the most successful and in the process uprooting the personality of the writer that might be sprouting in us. Just because you cannot write like Ngugi wa Thiongo does not mean that you aren’t a writer worth of respect. Just because Ngugi writes the way he does, it also doesn’t mean that his writing is the one on whose footsteps we should unerringly step on as we walk behind him.  I love me a bold writer…one who is not afraid of bringing their personality not just as a person, but as a writer. In every piece that your hands manage to curve out, leave a signature in them, even if it means your signature is misspelling all the words…then do it.

A writer without a personality is like a cheap slut, I often think. This writer hops into bed with any other writer that comes calling…they transfuse these other writers’ ideas and styles into them. Unfortunately, this transfusion does not strengthen them…it contaminates their systems and what is left is an emaciated writer: a walking skeleton who holds a knife in his hand to curve out all the flesh that grows in him by trying to be Danielle Steel.

While we are thinking of style, let us also remember the words of W. Somerset Maugham;  A good style should show no signs of effort.  What is written should seem a happy accident.