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Wisdom from singer Boz Scaggs about developing your own style

Passion for music led singer, songwriter, and guitarist Boz Scaggs to a successful career. Passion led him to find his own unique style. And you can do the same as a writer.

Scaggs picked up a guitar when he was 12 years old and immersed himself in music in the 1950s, listening to every style he could find on the radio. Despite that, he said in an interview recently in Luxury Las Vegas magazine, that he doesn’t think he’s a particularly gifted musician compared to vocalists like Sam Cooke, Ella Fitzgerald, and Michael McDonald. While he can emulate the nuances of Sam Cooke and other singers, Scaggs said Cooke has a texture to his voice that is uniquely his.

Style develops from the way a singer perceives music, translates it in his or her own brain, and then sings it, says Scaggs. The same principle translates to art and photography. Picasso had his own painterly style, and Georgia O’Keefe had her own photographic style.

It never works to try to be someone you aren’t. The best thing we can do as writers is take our unique perceptions of story and words and writing craft and apply them to create our own voice and style.

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