When you’re more concerned about how you sound than what you have to say…
Even coaches need a coach! I can get in my head and am grateful to have peers who can help me out when I’m stuck, and for whom I can return the favor! Patti is one of those peers and this is what it looks like to get unstuck…
When I’m stuck in my head some common refrains are:
“I need to sound smart here, or no one is going to want to read this.”
“I have no business writing anything because I’m not a writer at all.”
“What if I sound ridiculous?”
When I reach out to Patti (especially when I was in the process of writing Practical Kindness), she has this wisdom to share – and now it’s here for you, too!” ~Lara
Writing is difficult enough without all that critical self-talk whirling around in your head stealing your energy.
We all get a little hung up on thinking about the audience when we put pen to paper. Our creative flow gets jammed with thoughts that are really far outside of our message… “What will they think of me if I use the same word in every line, if I’m not inserting the cleverest synonyms, if I’m not making connections to great literature or famous writers?”
What you’re really getting at here is voice. Authenticity is the secret to voice.
Voice is how you sound. It’s your tone, your word selection and the way you string your thoughts together. It can be conversational, formal, academic, lyrical, high-falutin’ or down right chatty.
But it must be YOU! (It’s your name on it, right? They are reading to hear you.)
Your allegiance, your loyalty, needs to be to the sound of your voice, which takes its lead from the words in your head that are fighting to emerge. This is where that great feeling of flow comes from – not trying to sound like someone you aren’t.
Listen carefully and be kind enough to write it as you hear it, exactly the way it sounds in your mind. You only need to sound like yourself. In fact, your readers want to know you and what you think; so why try to be something that doesn’t come naturally?
Whether you’re writing a weekly blog post, the first tentative pages of a book about your life or a rant on something that matters to you for the local paper; let me say this: What the reader thinks about you is none of your business. Be present on the page now, listening to the voice you recognize as your own fighting to shout from the rooftops. You can’t control your future reader’s reaction and you wouldn’t want to, right? You can’t anticipate the likes or dislikes of your readers but you can be certain that if you’re being true to yourself, sounding like yourself and getting as honest as possible, they will relate…and read on.
Who you are and how you sound is exactly the right way for you to write.
If you write it, they will read.