Today I’m exploring a part of the writer’s life that’s a bit more esoteric but absolutely essential.
Writing can be a wonderful way to know yourself because it allows you to explore the deepest parts of you and to resolve questions you may have about life in all its complexities.
And writing can also be a way for you to share these incredibly valuable insights with the world around you. No one else has the same view of the world as you. What you have to share is unique because you are unique.
But how does this work in practice?
I’ll give you an example.
Years ago, someone close to me said that I should keep writing because they thought that one day I would have something to say, something of value. I had no idea what that really meant. And besides feeling a pressure of unfulfilled potential, I didn’t understand what would be different about what I wanted to share or even how to share it.
How do you share what you want to say if you don’t know what that is?
I realised later that saying something through writing isn’t as straightforward as ‘here is what I want to say’ laid bare upon the page. It’s more about knowing myself and being able to share my insights through my writing.
But how to do this?
- How does your personality shine through? This can be as simple as expressing what is important to you but it can also be the themes you return to in your writing, in whatever form that takes.
- When you understand how your thoughts and feelings about the topics you’re writing about shine through, you are finding your writer’s voice. It’s this voice that readers’ are going to relate to.
- The way you communicate your feelings and thoughts are just as important in your writing as in your everyday speech. Your tone of voice comes through in your style, your word choice and the way you structure your sentences.
- The last point leads into this one and that is the musicality of what you say. How does your writing sound when you read it aloud? How does it flow?
And developing your voice and what you want to say?
- Write lots and read lots. Absorb how other writers use their skills to let their perspectives shine through. Practice, practice, practice until you’re clear about what you want to say and how you say it. Practicing your writing allows your style, your voice to emerge.
- Before committing anything to paper or before revising each sentence, each word, each phrase, think to yourself what is it you are really trying to say and then find the best way to say it.
Whether you write fiction or non-fiction, the insights you’ve gained can be communicated through your descriptions, your characters’ choices and actions, through your settings and through your story.
It can be communicated in how you interact with the world through what you say in your writing.
What you have to say IS so important. Keep writing. Keep sharing the insights you have into the world around you. Everything you share helps us to understand ourselves and our interactions with the world and it helps shape us into better writers, readers and human beings.
Until next time,