Why I Want To Be Rubbish At Impersonations

imgres-1I didn’t have anything to write when I sat down to write the first draft of what became this post. I was sitting thinking of what I was going to get down on my word processor, and I almost began two or three times. But what kept coming up was the same old piece in a different format.

It happens so often now it’s almost not funny.

I don’t want to go round in circles in my development as a writer and growth as a person, that I keep coming back to the same ideas every few years, or even every few months. I recognise, as C. S. Lewis once said, ‘there’s no new ideas in literature”.

But at the same time there’s always a fresh way of communicating something which isn’t repeating yourself.

Isn’t there?

I almost feel like I’m doing this with all my writing at the moment. It’s all repetitive. It’s all the same. There’s nothing fresh. Nothing different. Nothing which is new, innovative. But yet a lot of what comes out is authentically me in one sense – though, maybe, not all of it.

Maybe I’m holding back too much. Maybe I’m afraid to bear the raw, painful, difficult truth.

Maybe I’ve got so caught up in the writing world I’ve stopped using my language and stepped into blogging or platform jargon. Which is not good at all. 

Even now, as I do rewrites, I can hear a voice in my mind telling me how I should be structuring this piece. How I need to make a few points for people to ‘take away’ with them. How to make this more accessible for people.

Maybe I’m suffering from bloganese – the jargon of blogging. 

But I don’t want to write the jargon of bloggers. I want to write in my own voice. James Prescott’s voice, not the voice I keep being told I should have to get readers.

After all, do any of us really want to be impersonators our entire life?

The Real Question

At the end of the day, we need to ask ourselves what’s more important – financial and statistical achievement, or being true to your authentic self. Business and innovation aren’t mutually exclusive, but they often can be seen as such. People live under the illusion you have to sacrifice one for the other, when to be honest,they are more like dance partners.

But creativity must always come first.

To paraphrase a well used line, business should be a support system for creativity. Not the other way around.

And we must not be afraid to be ourselves. I know the voices who’ve left a huge mark on me – Jesus, Mahatma Ghandhi, C.S.Lewis, Rob Bell, Steve Jobs – are actually people who’ve not been afraid to embrace their unique, sometimes unpopular voices. 

And they are the people who, ultimately, we remember.You don’t remember the one who follows the crowd. You remember the one who dares to begin a new story. (you can tweet that).

So the real question today is:

Which do you want to be?

I want to be writing in my own voice, not a voice which is simply an impersonation of someone else’s. I want to speak my truth. Not someone else’s. Use my own language, someone else’s. Share want I want to say, not what I think I should be saying. 

And maybe I’ve lost this a little. Maybe this is a little of what I need to get back as I experiment in the next few months. This isn’t to say I won’t borrow from or be inspired by others – but I won’t be simply plagiarising.

It’s time to stop being an impersonator, and start to speak in my own voice, however timid it may be at first. 

None of us were meant to be impersonators with our lives. We were created to live our story, not someone else’s. We weren’t made to simply blend in, but to stand out. 

Is your voice simply following the crowd? Or are you standing out? 

Following just behind? Or setting the pace?

Are you doing what were you born to do? 



Question For Reflection:

Are you writing your own unique story? Or are you just following the crowd?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!



Like this post? Share it on Twitter!
(Picture Source: Flickr)


Share this post:


  1. Scott Bury on August 11, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    When I first read your headline, I thought this piece would go in a completely different direction. But I have nothing but support for your drive to speak with your own voice.

    • James Prescott on August 11, 2014 at 7:03 pm

      Thanks so much for the support Scott, I really appreciate that, and your comment. Thanks.

  2. Name on August 11, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    LOL, well, regardless of how you got the post finally written, you got it written! And you did it uniquely! Good job!

    • James Prescott on August 11, 2014 at 7:02 pm

      Thanks Elyse, appreciate it – good to get this post out there at last!

  3. Onisha Ellis on August 11, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    I enjoy multiple types of blogs. I llike satire, provocative, informative and human interest stories. Readers enjoy books with twists and turns, why would those reading blogs want to read plain vanilla?

    • James Prescott on August 12, 2014 at 4:10 pm

      Absolutely Onisha, there’s so many more flavours to try aren’t there? Great metaphor and great comment – thanks.

  4. Tara Fairfield on August 12, 2014 at 4:09 am

    We are each uniquely and wonderfully made, so glad you are blogging again!

    • James Prescott on August 12, 2014 at 4:09 pm

      Thanks Tara, that’s really encouraging to hear, thanks a lot. Glad the post resonated too! 🙂

  5. Anne Peterson on August 12, 2014 at 11:34 am

    James, I have not been someone who immediately recognized my niche, the spot that was mine. And yet, I have continued to write. The whole blog area is one I’ve neglected. Oh I start out okay, but somewhere along the line I just leave. Almost like so many in my life. So I am not following the crowd, but every time I do take a step I sit there an analyze it to death. Let’s make a pact. I’ll pray for you, you pray for me. Okay? I’m so glad we have the freedom to be who we are, individuals. God did not use cookie cutters to make people. We need to stop using them. Hey, I like that. 🙂

    • James Prescott on August 12, 2014 at 4:09 pm

      Anne, you shared what’s essentially my own experience too. And yes, I’ll pray for you Anne, happy to join you in that pact. And I love the cookie cutters metaphor, brilliant. Might use that sometime… 🙂

  6. lisajey on August 12, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    As to the writing, I find if I find a blog or a truly well-written publicaton (I absolutely love the writing in Esquire Magazine as well as The New York Observer or the Financial Times), it helps to nudge me. I find a favorite piece in one of those, and literally try to write a piece with the same tone that fits my life. It’s clunky, and takes some time, but I find a way to be different that way. Hope that helps!

    • James Prescott on August 12, 2014 at 4:08 pm

      Interesting points LisaJey – agree those things can definitely help. I think we all have our own ways of finding inspiration don’t we. Thanks for the tip, great comment!

Leave a Comment