Your Gift

From the great Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay on Self-Reliance:

“Insist on yourself, never imitate. Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life’s cultivation, but of the adopted talent of another you have only an extemporaneous half possession. That which each can do best, none but his Maker can teach him. No man yet knows what it is, nor can, till that person has exhibited it.

“Where is the master who could have instructed Shakespeare? Where is the master who could have instructed Franklin, or Washington, or Bacon, or Newton?

“Every great man is a unique. The Scipionism of Scipio is precisely that part he could not borrow. Shakespeare will never be made by the study of Shakespeare.

“Do that which is assigned you, and you cannot hope too much or dare too much. There is at this moment for you an utterance brave and grand as that of the colossal chisel of Phidias, or the trowel of the Egyptians, or the pen of Moses or Dante, but different from all these.“

What wonderful, full-hearted writing! Consider how forcefully Emerson reminds us that our gifts are our own—never to be found in anyone else. And how he summons us, across the years, to the present:

“There is at this moment for you an utterance brave and grand…”

If only we could remember this every day as we begin to write, what a difference it might make! I think I’m going to take Emerson’s words and put them up in my little office where I can see them every day to remind me that whatever I have to say, no one else can say.

And the same is true for you. How wonderful to keep this simple truth before us as we all write on!

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About karinwritesdangerously

I am a writer and this is a motivational blog designed to help both writers and aspiring writers to push to the next level. Key themes are peak performance, passion, overcoming writing roadblocks, juicing up your creativity, and the joys of writing.
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