Finding your voice in writing and life

The great Billie Holiday.

The great Billie Holiday.

Regular readers will know that I've written about your writing voice and the challenge of finding it many times in the past.

No apologies. If you want to write any kind of fiction, autobiography or memoir, or make any kind of personal statement that has a decent chance of being published, you have to find your own voice. Or, at least, one that's distinctively different.

Otherwise, what's to distinguish you from the countless numbers of other people out there all hoping to be read?

And, if you're only writing for yourself - to put how you feel and think down on the page or screen for any reason - you won't feel your writing is serving its purpose unless you recognize you in it.

That's easier said than done. Most of us have to write, write and write until we burn away as many of our influences as possible. We have to get to a place where we're not masking what we feel is our true self.

How do we connect with what we understand as our true self? Let me tell you a story.

I've been commissioned to read meditations and bedtime stories for a mindfulness app from a hugely popular provider.

When I started recording the first bedtime story, I first thought I should act all the voices. So I tried to sound like a selfish giant, a sad child, the wind and the snow. I thought I sounded terrible but I assumed a bit of drama was what the app people wanted.

But, just in case, I recorded a version in my own voice, as naturally as I could, and simply focused on telling the story.

I sent both.

This was the version the app producers loved. Now I know how to read the rest of the stories.

If you're struggling to find your writing voice, give up on trying to write like anyone else and let go of your self-consciousness. It's the only way.

If you have a second...

I invite you for a free 30-minute consultation about how practicing yoga will help you find your writing voice.

Please go here.

If you have another second...

I'd love it if you checked out my Secret Writing Mantra course on DailyOM here.

If you have one more second (and 17 minutes)...

Read my story here.

David Holzer