I’m determined not to live an Instagram life. I seldom spend time on Instagram at all, other than the work I do for my clients. Why? Because while a picture is worth a thousand words, time and studies have shown that Instagram and other social media pictures are poor representations of reality.
Perfection is a lie, and the pursuit of perfection is a waste of time, energy, and resources. Time spent marveling at and coveting the seemingly perfect lives others portray on social media can quickly become a hole you can’t climb out of without intervention. Numerous studies have shown the negative impact social media has on mental health. Facing all of that fake perfection causes discontent, envy, depression, and a whole host of other symptoms.
What does this have to do with writing? Writing embraces the imperfect. When writing for and with my clients, I encourage them to embrace it as well. Your story, every part of your story, is how you are going to connect with your audience. They need to see that you struggle, have flaws, and even that you’ve failed and got back up to try again. You don’t have to dwell on the imperfections, but don’t hide from them either.
Have you ever heard of Kintsugi? Translated as “golden joinery,” it is a centuries-old Japanese art of fixing broken glassware. A special adhesive is used to join the broken pieces back together, and then the repair is dusted with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. The flaw, the crack left by the repair, becomes a beautiful seam of precious metal, giving the item a rare and unique beauty.
You’ve faced trials and hardships, you’ve failed and stood up to try again, in some cases you’ve had to let go of one dream and grab on to another. Each of those moments in your life when you persevered gives you a rare and unique beauty. That uniqueness is what will help you communicate and connect with your audience. It is what makes your voice stand out from the crowd.
Today I want to encourage you to think about your story. Look honestly at how those difficult moments led to who you are today. Write them down. Embrace them. They are an important, beautiful, messy, and honest part of your life. Your willingness to share the truth instead of Instagram perfection will make your story truly powerful.