Dear Fellow Writer,
One of the most valuable tools you need in your arsenal of writing is your individual voice.
What is voice, you ask? Well, according to James Scott Bell in his book “Voice: The Secret Power of Great Writing” , Voice is:
- A combination of character, setting, page turning.
- A distinctive style, like a Sergio Leone film.
- It’s who you are.
- Personality on the page.
- It’s something written from your deepest truth.
- Your expression as an artist.
Looking at this list, do you see something which stands out as a definer? Go ahead, read it again, I’ll wait.
There you go! You figured out that it is YOU. I knew you were a smart cookie.
Your upbringing, experiences, education, beliefs (religious or otherwise), gender, level of wisdom, etc…all makes up who you are as an individual. No one else in the world is going to have all of the same ideas, outlooks, dreams, goals, and beliefs as you.
Take my brother and I. We were raised in the same home, same parents, same older brother, same schools. While he and I would probably be drift compatible in a Jaeger, we still have different outlooks on things. Case in point,
- He’s a 49ers fan, I’m a Bears Fan.
- He prefers bagels, I prefer Krispy Kreme Donuts.
- He doesn’t ever want pets in his home, I have two really cute parakeets.
These are just the really little, unimportant difference. We do have bigger differences, however, I won’t list them here as they are personal.
Anyway, that said, we have differences. Those differences don’t make either one of us bad, wrong, or unacceptable. They just make us unique individuals. There’s no one else like me in this world (thank God!), so that’s something to revel in.
And guess what, there’s no one else like you in this world. That’s exceptional news for you.
Why am I telling you all of this? Because as we go through this journey of writing our stories, our blogs or our non-fiction books, there’s always going to be someone who wants you to change something about what you are doing. Or, there’s the person who will make assumptions about what you should be writing.
For me, I am a Christian. There, I said it. However, I am not a Christian Writer/Author. I am a Writer/Author who happens to be a Christian. Totally different. So that means, I am not writing for a target audience of Christians. If they want to read what I write, great! If not, that’s fine as well. But I am not going to change what and how I write so as not to offend. To do so, would be to deny my unique voice. If I’m going to deny who I am as a writer, then I might as well not write.
My fellow writers, be true to who you are. Be comfortable in your skin and don’t be afraid to write what is truly there. Will everyone agree, like or even understand what you’ve done? Nope. But you can’t please all the people all the time, so don’t try.
Be the spectacular, amazing, interesting, one-of-a-kind person you were created to be.
A Fellow Writer
Who’s doing my way!