Bear with me on this one because that title sounds a little confrontational and it’s not meant to be.
I was reading a blog post this morning by a very successful long-term author who is absolutely adamant about how authors should write. To the point that this author basically mocks anyone who doesn’t write the same way.
Fortunately, I’m high Self-Assurance and Command so when someone like that crosses my path I listen, judge for myself, and then move on without guilt if what they’re saying doesn’t work for me.
But a lot of young and bright-eyed authors get caught up in this person’s message. For some of them that’s the best thing that could happen. Because this person’s method works for who they are and it frees them from the absolutely adamant advice that’s also out there that says the only way to write is to do the opposite.
For others, it’s a disaster. Because if there’s anything that Strengths should teach us it’s that we each operate in different ways. There is no one solution.
My particular combination of Strengths lend themselves to moving fast and correcting for missteps on the fly. For me, movement–even in the wrong direction–is better than staying static.
But there are others out there whose particular combination of Strengths relies on deliberate planning and caution. Lots of thinking time, lots of figuring out the various options, lots of perfectly placed steps down the right path.
When you are one type of person but the other type of person tries to impose their solution on you, it can be a disaster.
And what’s even more interesting is that the more successful someone is at finding their own solution, the more narrow-minded they often become about other solutions. As in, “You can’t do X. I did X for five years and it was an absolute waste of my time. You must do Y. That’s what led me to my success.”
But that’s the exact wrong conclusion to reach. Because we are not all the same. That’s what Strengths teaches us.
Strengths tells us that the more each person finds what works for them and leans into their unique solution and approach, the more successful they will be.
It’s not about doing things the way others do it. It’s about doing things the way you and you alone should do it. Your solution is not my solution. And my solution is not yours. We each have to find that special combination that plays best to who we are and how we operate.