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Weekend Assignment: Uncovering Your Voice

Photo by Daehyun Park (cc)

Imagine you walked into a room full of strangers where someone handed you a microphone and expected you to make an impromptu speech. What would you do? If you are like most people, you’d probably freeze on the spot, filled with the certainty that you are going to say the wrong thing, or sound like a fool.

Welcome to discovering your voice. Every time a writer puts words on a page for others to read, it’s akin to walking into that room filled with strangers and being handed a microphone.

It’s tempting to mimic others, but to achieve real success in the writing world, you must do the one thing no one else on the planet can do: Be yourself.

Scared now? Good! That means you’re normal. (Well, maybe not completely normal. I’m convinced that all writers suffer an odd bit of brain damage, or we wouldn’t do what we do. But that’s a post for another day.)

Now, pull yourself up and get ready to be yourself in spite of the fear.

Have you ever said: “I wish I could write like I talk”? This weekend is your chance to do just that. Your assignment is to talk to yourself on paper in a letter. It can be a letter about anything — your favorite breakfast food, a childhood memory, your pet chicken — anything.  Whatever topic you choose, and this is the important part, don’t censor yourself. Just write whatever makes sense to you to write. Nobody is going to read this but you.

This weekend, write like nobody’s reading.

If you need more writing exercises to uncover your voice, check out these excellent posts:

“Ten steps to finding your writing voice” by Holly Lisle

“How to find your writing voice” by James Chartrand at Men with Pens

“Ten steps to finding your writing voice” by Jeff Goins, Writer


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