The ability to turn what you envision in your mind and heart onto the page is more than a skill that can be taught. It is instead a journey and a discovery.
Everyone has a unique voice. Your authentic writing voice is there waiting to be discovered and cultivated. Your voice is sometimes dormant. Your voice is sometimes hiding behind fear. Your voice may have been shut down by teachers or friends or family who made you feel like what you had to say or how you chose to say it was not good enough.
This is why you have to be willing to take the journey. You have to open your heart and take a chance on yourself. It takes practice, time and a willingness to forget the rules. You have to think outside the limitations placed on us all. So often I read a person’s writing, especially on a business blog or website, and I can tell that the writer is trying really hard to come across as professional – as if this is going to impress me as the reader. While this may create an informative piece, it lacks a connection. It lacks a deeper layer. For me, this is the layer that will make the difference between simply using your product or service and becoming loyal to you and your business.
Here are three tips for tapping into your authentic voice:
1. Discover and Acknowledge your Fear
What is holding you back from releasing the voice you hear in your head onto the page? Are you worried about making grammatical mistakes? Are you worried that your thoughts are not enough? Are you fearful of being too personal? Sit down and think about your barriers. Are these self-imposed limitations? Make a list of the worst-case repercussions of allowing yourself to write and acknowledge everything you are feeling. Then allow yourself to be brave by writing anyway.
2. Embrace your strength
Now that you have acknowledged your fears, make a list of your strengths. Are you funny or quick-witted? Do you notice the littlest details around you? Do you have a great appreciation for conversations? How about your ability to tap into other emotions – like anger, frustration or jealousy? These are all tools in your writing arsenal. These are the keys to unlocking your voice. Don’t try to sound like anyone else. Be you and this will always be enough.
3. Embark on a your journey
Now get started. Write every day if you can. Practice bringing the voice you hear in your heart and mind onto the page or screen. Don’t worry about “the rules.” Forget about perfect. Your audience will overlook imperfections in your phrasing if you make them feel. If you connect with your audience through your words, then you are closer to perfect than you can imagine. Whether you are working on a blog post, essay, book, article, memo, website content, Facebook status update or even sending a tweet – it is all considered writing. More importantly, these are all opportunities to engage your audience, build loyalty and share your authentic voice.