How to stop trying to find your voice and start to create it.
The sooner you stop trying to find your voice, the better.
Because the truth is you don’t find your voice, you develop it.
The dictionary defines the word “find” as to “discover or perceive by chance or unexpectedly.”
To find something is essentially to hope to get lucky.
It’s something that happens to you — not something you control. It’s a crapshoot and not something to bank the future of your writing on.
On the other hand, consider the word “develop.”
It’s defined as to “grow or cause to grow and become more mature, advanced or elaborate.”
To develop something is to make something happen.
It puts you in control of your fate and can take you from hoping to find your voice to actually doing so.
With that in mind, here are eight ways to DEVELOP your unique writing voice…
- Write what you’re scared to write.
The story you’re nervous to tell, worried to expose, and afraid to express is the one you should write.
You fear it because it reveals what makes you unique.
But that makes it powerful. Makes it resonate. Makes it your voice.
- Leverage your experiences.
Nobody’s experiences match yours. Nobody’s been through what you’ve been through and seen the world you’ve seen.
Your experiences — good, bad, or otherwise — are your competitive advantage.
Use them. Be inspired by them. Milk them for all they’re worth.
Your experiences inform your voice.
- Showcase your flaws.
The most interesting creations have flaws. Your voice should as well.
Don’t be perfect. Write rough around the edges.
Imperfections are interesting. They draw people in. Make people think.
Incorporating them makes your writing authentic and real.
Perfect is boring.
- Stand out.
We’re raised to fit in with the crowd. It’s a defense mechanism.
It’s also the opposite of what makes a compelling voice.
Don’t try to fit in with what others are doing — do things your own way.
Write what others won’t in ways that others don’t.
The faces in the crowd don’t get noticed — the ones who break from it do.
- Ignore rules.
There are none. You think there are, but you’re wrong.
A unique voice makes its own rules.
Remember, the definition of develop is to grow. It’s active, not passive.
You have to do things to get things.
The more you write, the more your voice will develop.
- Pay attention to others.
In order to write something different, you first must know the status quo.
Consume what others create. Study their voices. Be inspired by them.
To develop a voice that speaks to the world, you first must listen to what the world has to say for itself.
- Pay attention to yourself.
Think about the conversations you have with yourself. Notice what excites you. What repels you. What thrills you.
Listen to your instincts and trust your guts.
Your brain, body, and soul know your voice and can guide you in its development. You just have to listen.
You know what to do.
Now, go do it.