I’ve been giving a series of mini-workshops drawn from my book, The Writer’s Block Myth. I learned the other day in a writing group someone drove to the wrong library a week early for one of them. A library 20+ min. from town. I was quite moved. We chatted for a long time. I learned she was a lawyer, a story chose her to write it as a book, she wants to write a blog, and a host of other things that solidified a connection between us.
I talk a lot about writing as connection, and it certainly was that day in the way it brought us together. While talking with her, I couldn’t help thinking about our writer’s Voice. How it develops, and we grow into it, learn to accept it. How it changes across genres.
Because I heard her skill with words when we shared our raw work in the group. Something I’m sure writing & oratory as a successful trial lawyer helped her develop. And I got curious when she shared her blog, how she’s incorporating a device that’s quirky to the serious topic she’s passionate about, could be considered by some off the wall. This would reveal the heart of her Voice, it’s the only way she can pull it off, I thought. And the book will require a storyteller with sensitivity to tell it. Another sort of ‘different.’ She’s embarking on a journey with Voice, I thought.
My journey started as a novelist and poet. When I joined Facebook, I found my online voice. Then used Facebook as a writing practice. Meeting the challenge of engaging readers in a way they experience something. Editing much of what I share like poetic stanzas. And that practice and those stanzas feed my poetry, and sometimes my blog.
When I started my blog, I learned to write essays for online reading. Learned how to weave in narrative and stories.
When I wrote The Writer’s Block Myth, I discovered how much the economy of online writing and reading had affected my writing Voice for the page. My process is longhand, pen to paper, for rough drafts of fiction and poetry. Something that takes time. That in my discipline I don’t allow edits while I write. The finished piece a form that calls for breath.
And for the past 2+ years, I’ve been writing essays and nonfiction, where it’s fingers to keyboard from get-go. Editing part of the process moving forward. Even in my blog ‘Getting to Wise. A Writer’s Life’ blog, which is a sort of journal about navigating life. Journals something we think about writing by hand. I had to write the entire manuscript of The Writer’s Block Myth twice to shift into the Voice that works as well on paper as online.
I’m calling up my courage these days to once again learn to write in longhand the stories with breath that satisfying long-fiction requires. And I’m also learning a new way of writing as a speaker and mentor in front of groups of people. I’m embracing all sides of my writer’s Voice.
Because our writer’s voice is our Superpower. It’s the one thing only we can deliver. It’s where our genius lies, in all its aspects and forms. I know I’ll have this discussion with her. And it will be exciting to see unfold.
I bought Brian Andreas’ book, Bring Your Life Back to Life – A Guide to Effortless Joy. On the inside he wrote, “To Heloise – Just a reminder of the great joy that sings in the heart of you. With Love, B Andreas”
It came to me our writer’s Voice is what sings in the heart of us.
- Consider your writer’s voice. How it’s different, or the same, across genres. How comfortable you are with all aspects and forms of it.
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