As we leave February and our theme of ‘authenticity‘ we enter March with a new theme, ‘writing’. These two themes have this element of overlap where your authenticity and your writing meet.
Writing with your authentic voice is something that sets writers apart from one another, fulfills the writer in their work and allows them to resonate with their audience. Whether you are writing a facebook status, a book, or an email to a co-worker, your writing will always come easiest and be most effective if you can do it with your authentic voice.
They call it ‘finding’ or ‘developing’ your writing voice for many reasons. One, it is already there, waiting to be sculpted and put out into the light of day. Two, it is also a muscle that needs to be toned and strengthened. Discipline is required and many will suggest writing every single day. It doesn’t sound fun but results are only seen with regular exercise and no pain no gain, fit for life and other gym metaphors. The big take away is that an authentic writer’s voice cannot be created, it is theirs to find and theirs to share.
Finding Your Authentic Voice
Every day, every experience, every emotion accumulates in us and gives us our own unique stance on the world. It is the way God made us. If you feel like you haven’t found your ‘voice’ it may be possible that you aren’t allowing yourself to be vulnerable with your own stories and viewpoints. It may also be possible that you know yourself well enough to know your own voice but you guard it, protect it.
Developing your writing voice means listening to your actual voice. A common piece of advice is to ‘write how you talk‘. Pay attention to that. How do you describe an embarrassing moment to your bestie after a glass of wine? How do you talk to your husband over tea in a quiet house? How do you console or encourage a sister in the late hours of the night? Your writing voice might be braver than you are in person, but close family and friends will know that it is your voice.
Sharing Your Writing
Many bloggers struggle with writing in their own voice. Maybe because we (myself included) don’t have a literary background, our only schooling into the entrance of blogging was reading other blogs. Our authentic writing voice is not just our own stories and words, it is also a reflection of our audience. Each post we publish comes with feedback as to what resonated with our readers. They help us to sculpt away the jagged edges, keep us humble when we want our art to be bigger than our foundation, yet also encourage us and push us a bit harder to write each post with more gusto.
Develop Don’t Create
We are in a medium that is saturated with the words of others. When we start out blogging or are feeling uninspired, it is easy to step in the tracks of someone whose writing we admire. Perhaps drawing on their language, themes, or formatting. Don’t get me wrong, some of us have the same views and tone, but we all know when we are going that one step too far.
This is something I struggled with when I began blogging. I was reading many bloggers and just followed along with what was working for them. Turned out it didn’t work for me, my writing felt flat and redundant. It wasn’t until I let myself get a little more bold, maybe wrote a feisty post after folding laundry and drinking whiskey, and ruthlessly searched for a core message in each post that I then began to write with ease and satisfaction. My audience responded alike. I couldn’t pluck words off of another’s pages and make this collage of who I wanted to be as a writer. It was like buying those padded butt lift underwear that I’ve often contemplated. I couldn’t create what needed to be developed.
Your authentic writing voice takes time, practice, exploration, and humility to develop. It is worth the effort as it allows you to write from a place of intimacy and your readers are drawn to you because you are genuine and unique, as God made you to be.
To help you in your daily writing exercise, please download our free workbook Exercise Your Authentic Writer’s Voice.