I think one of the things that I really love about writing lies in one of the comments I get all the time from people who know me and read my work. People constantly say to me, “I can hear you saying this.” Their point is that the way I write mimics the way I speak, the words I use and the way in which I put together phrases. But lately I’ve started to think, “is there a different way to write?”
For me, writing is simply the act of taking the things that are in my head, the things I would say if I were speaking to someone, and writing them down or typing them up, as it were. It was the biggest challenge when I started writing for other people. How could I write about luxury pools and not make some sort of smart ass comments. But I got over it.
When people tell me that they don’t know how to write or aren’t a good writer or don’t know how to write a blog, I’m always a little incredulous. There are people that know how to talk. I know this because I’ve talked to them. They’re smart people. They’re people that know the words that they want to use and they use them. So why can’t they write?
I think that people put writing on a pedestal that it doesn’t necessarily deserve. This is not to say that there aren’t some really great writers. But that’s typically in the case of creative writing. It is astounding what Sue Grafton or Michael Chrichton are able to do with words, but that’s not the kind of writing that I’m talking about. I’m talking about writing your reality or what you’d like that reality to look like. A lot of my friends say things like, “I have nothing interesting to write a blog about” or “no one is going to read what I think about things.”
But people DO listen to what they think about things and those people never seem to have a lack of things to talk about. I’ve listened to these people go on about topics I never imagined I could possibly be interested in but I was because they were great at telling that story. So why is it these people don’t think they have anything to write about?
Most people think that no one will read their stuff because no one is interested in that sort of thing. The truth is, there is someone interested in everything. For every weird habit or thought you could imagine, you can find a legion or like-minded individuals online.
Here’s how you find your voice.
- Record yourself talking about a topic and then make dictation software do all the work for. Programs like Dragon Dictation will literally writing everything or you. So start talking.
- Start writing. Just write. A lot. About anything you can imagine. It doesn’t matter if that work is useful, practical or useless. The point is to get you to start writing.
- Make Your Mom Read It. Ok, not literally your mom (although you can and I do). Essentially, get people you know to read your stuff. Promise them things. Preferably deliver on those promises. If those people think this sucks, then it probably does.
The real secret to finding your voice in your writing is to be authentic. If you’re writing about things that don’t interest you or things you don’t believe it, it’s going to be much harder to sound like you and to sound honest. Be you. Write you. You do you.