William Shakespeare said it, your mother advised it, your conscience chides you to follow it, and Ralph Waldo Emerson added his two cents when he said, 'To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to change you is quite an accplishment.' And to that I say a hearty 'amen'! Why would I ever want to be someone other than myself? And yet...
When I first began writing in earnest- about 35 years ago, so chalk it up to youth- I experimented with various styles of the authors I most admired. The results were lacking, to say the least. I was so intent on channeling the prose of Agatha Christie and Georgette Heyer and even Maud Hart Lovelace that I completely lost my own voice. It took a very honest high school teacher to suggest that I 'quit trying to copy others and do my own work' that shook me out of that rut. Thus began the search for my style, my particular manner of using words and phrases to create on paper what I could see in my mind's eye.
As a teacher myself, I give that same advice to my own students. Whether they take it into account or not is their business. My business -literally - is to continue following that long-ago directive.
Thanks, Mrs. Ostrowski. I did it.