Thursday, August 13, 2015

Blogging Club: How to Keep Your Writing Voice

Confession: I sometimes worry that I'll lose my voice. Not literally, of course. My writing voice, I mean. It's not something I've consciously crafted, but looking back now, I have developed a pretty distinct writing voice; it's a voice I've actually come to love. It's sort of become my own personal "brand," if you will -- my personalized stamp that I put on each piece of writing.

And in a sea of blogs and writers, your own voice can be hard to come by. A scarce commodity. A rare glimpse into who you are as a person. Fittingly, writer Drew Hoolhorst describes his own frustration in his article Why You Should Write, which also finds him reminiscing about his grandfather's influence on his chosen career...

He made me want to write. And he taught me the only reason I needed to write was because, "because."
Then, one day, I began to write for a living and experienced a conflicting moment when I had trouble finding my “because."
It’s always so petty, that moment.
"I don’t have any good ideas."
"I don’t have anything interesting to say."
"I will misspell a word and people will judge me for not being the best at never making a mistake in my writing, all of the time, always."
"I will incorrectly use effect/affect as I may have done above. Shit, did I incorrectly use effect/affect?"
"People will just rip whatever I say apart and hurt my feelings."

This. Is. It. I found myself actually nodding my head in agreement as I read Hoolhorst's wise words. It's so easy to get caught up in the noise of writing, the mechanics of it all, that you almost run the risk of losing sight of the whole picture. You might even forget why exactly you're doing it in the first place. Hoolhorst has an answer for that, too...

It’s easy to overthink it. To think that any piece of writing that you do has to have a point, some giant bigger meaning...Look, writing is supposed to be fun. It’s supposed to be "because." It’s important not to lose track of how much great shit happens when you hit keys or write words on paper that are out-of-control feelings you’re dying to share with someone...Because, that’s the "because." Write just to write. It’s healthy and there is always an amazing off chance that it affects someone more than you had any idea it ever could...
What wonderful advice! I'm thinking of printing Hoolhorst's words and taping them next to my computer! Don't you agree, friends? How would you describe your 'because'? Why do you write? What drives you, especially if you're a blogger? What advice would you add? I'd love to hear in the comments! xoxo

P.S. On honest writing... :)

[Photos via We Heart It]

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