Finding your writing voice: where I look when the page is blank.
Although I have my moments of doubt like anyone, one thing I’ve never been scared of is a blank page (or, in this case, a blank window). Some folks express themselves in music or dance or painting, claiming that there’s no way words could ever convey what they’re expressing; it all depends on your medium, really, and thank god, because I’m a terrible dancer, an awful musician and an even worse painter. I’ll do any of those things shamelessly but I’d never try and tell you a story that way. Words are my medium. Gimme a blank page and I’ll run with it. Wordsmithing is an art too.
But, in the event you just can’t… remember that bit about dancing like no one’s watching? Do that. One of the oldest techniques in the book – if that blank page scares you, pick a thought and just start writing like no one’s reading. At least it won’t be blank anymore, and if you start with a thought that’s pertinent, you might wind up with something of value (or at least something to give an editor).What are your values? Who are you talking to? What is your mission statement? Click To Tweet
Many of my clients come to me because they are afraid and they want me to do it for them. Not only do they want me to do it for them, but they want me to do it as if I am them. This is one of the biggest reasons I’m extremely specific about the clients I choose to work with – yes, I do, I have a niche and have from day one. I’m building this business on my own terms because I’m passionate about writing, I’m passionate about being the change, and I’m passionate about using my time, and yours, wisely – especially when it comes to cooking up content – so if it seems like I’m asking positively tons of questions when we first talk, I am. What are your values? Who are you talking to? What is your mission statement? It’s all a giant search for clarity: I’m getting at what it is you really need to say.
I am not you.
But it doesn’t have to sound like me, said one client. She had a brand new blog for an in-person counseling service. Yes, actually it does, I said. It has to sound like you, especially if I’m writing about the service you offer, because this is going to become what people expect of you, and they’re going to call you based on the information you’re providing. As good as I am at what I do, I am not you.
How to write like you
We are working together to bring your uniqueness and authenticity to the forefront, so we can go about this in a couple of different ways to make this happen. This is one of the many reasons I offer coaching in addition to writing services; sometimes a little handholding and some interesting and simple methods I’ve collected over the years are all it takes to jumpstart someone’s blogging process, and they can run with it themselves, leaving me a very personalized pile of self-created content I can then edit into web-savvy loveliness. And sometimes, yes, it’s true, words just aren’t your medium; in that case, sit with me a while, and we’ll figure out how to best present you in the most authentic, truthful way possible.
Are you looking for your writing voice? Here’s one of my favorite tips, which I’m handing off for free: you’ve already got it with you. Most people are familiar with that quote “Wherever you go, there you are.” Your writing voice is right there too. All you have to do is listen to yourself (and if it means literally talking into a voice recorder and transcribing it, well, guess what? That works marvelously).
How do you feel in front of a blank page? What are your own methods for getting past that initial gulp? Share with me!