Don’t be a fake is a reminder not to become egotistical about trying to transcend your ego. Mind training aims to free you from the tyranny of the ego and its fears, but there’s no need to turn that process into another ego trip.
The original lojong slogan is: Change your attitude, but remain natural. The change in attitude refers to letting go of your ego, and remaining natural means staying true to who you really are. So as you free yourself from the negative habits in your mind, don’t turn your new perspective into another kind of ego identity.
Your true Self is who you are naturally, before you get twisted out of shape by your ego’s stories and shenanigans. In terms of spiritual practice, this means you don’t have to try hard to ‘be spiritual.’
You don’t have to try in order to be you. You can relax and the truth of who you are is there.
Apply this slogan to your writing practice by remembering to write from your soul, not from your ego. When you first start writing, you often begin by imitating others or copying their style. Until you feel comfortable with your own voice, that can be a good way to learn the craft and practice writing. But at some point you’ll have to come out of hiding and write something that only you can write.
How do you find your voice as a writer? By relaxing.
Your voice will come through as soon as you stop worrying what others think of your work. You don’t have to write the way others say you should write. You need to write the way only you can by drawing on your unique set of characteristics and experiences.
Don’t be a fake reminds you not to hide behind your ego’s defences or avoid saying what you need to say or writing the way you need to write. An authentic voice always carries more weight than a fake one.
If you want to connect with your readers, give them something real. Give them you.
Exercise: The best way to discover your voice is through free writing. Pick a favourite subject and write in your journal for 20 – 30 minutes. Don’t censor yourself or worry about making sense – just write. Do this regularly, every day if you can, and your true voice will begin to shine through the noise.
More in the book – available now: Free Your Pen: Mind Training for Writers