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Discovering Your Writing Style: Embracing Your Unique Voice

Discovering Your Writing Style: Embracing Your Unique Voice

It is amazing how your mind works – a prompt comes up and instantly we are transported to a specific place and time. For me, when this subject of embracing your unique voice came up in a recent discussion, I lept at the opportunity because I immediately thought of Gerald getting his tonsils taken out in a long forgotten episode of Hey! Arnold.

Before you make for the exit, stay with me for a moment and let me explain.

Gerald is Arnold’s right hand man, and is a great singer. In this particular episode he has tonsillitis and has to have his tonsils removed. When he comes out of surgery, his tenor voice is now much deeper. Throughout the episode, he struggles with accepting his new unique voice, until he sees that there is value in being a bass in his school choir.

Learning to write in your own voice is no different. Early in my career, I struggled with this aspect because I thought that I needed to sound just like everyone else out there. If I injected my personality into my writing style, it may not gel with a customer, or audience.

What I have found over time is that the moment that I let go of those preconceived ideas, my writing improved and my client list started to grow.

The Importance Of Your Unique Voice In Writing

Chances are you have heard the phrase “the pen is mightier than the sword.” The pen is only the instrument, it is actually the writers voice that echoes in eternity. That isn’t meant to sound preachy but it is a truth that we as writers must face, especially with the advent of newer writing tools like ChatGPT.

writer workshops

Like our good friend Gerald, your voice is something that is uniquely yours. It is human, and humans understand it whether you realize it or not. Without trying too hard you can probably think of recent article that you read that was clearly written by a bot.

Our ability, as writers, to connect on a different level is a differentiating factor that cannot be overlooked. Originality is a highly sought after commodity, and is one of our greatest strengths as writers. As mentioned earlier, the sooner you realize that customers don’t want cookie cutter writing, the faster your portfolio will grow.

5 Ways To Find Your Writing Style

If you have made it this far into the article, kudos. I understand that I might have aged myself with the Hey! Arnold reference, but hey…that’s my writing style. It isn’t for everyone, but it works for me. But how did I get to that point?

I already admitted that it was a bit of a journey, because I was trying to force a square peg into a round hole when I was first getting started.

Here are a few things that helped me find my voice. Perhaps you can find some inspiration from my struggle.

Write For Yourself

If you are just starting your freelance writing career, you inevitably want to write for paying customers, I certainly did. During the early days, I was like a pitbull on a pork chop, gobbling up any opportunity that came my way.

What inevitably happens is that you are so focused on building your client base that you forget to write for yourself.

When you write for yourself you can go in any direction you want and litmus test to your hearts content. There really aren’t any limits to your creativity, and you can fail without consequence.

Going to back to Gerald, he tries to sing like everyone expects him to, and struggles. Once he sings for himself, with his new voice, he is embraced with opens arms.

As you write for yourself, seek out different audiences, experiment with phrasing, drop an obscure reference, or nine, into your article. Remember you aren’t writing for SEO, you are finding your voice.

Infuse Yourself Into Your Writing

Whether you are writing for a client, or yourself, don’t be afraid to inject your personality and life experiences into each article. I am an auditory learner, so I have always been able to quote obscure movie lines. It is perhaps my least – and most useful – skill. 

Putting yourself into the copy is a great way to connect with your audience. Will some things be lost on some people? Sure. That is inevitable. As you perfect your craft, you will find it easier to shape references or relevant experiences to each audience.

For example, a boomer probably won’t get understand a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle reference. But there is no harm in throwing in a “Cowabunga dude!” if it makes sense.

The key to putting yourself into the copy is that you have to be willing to self-edit. If you are writing for a customer, they may not like an article that is entirely a Star Wars reference. Those things will happen, but it shouldn’t discourage you from using your voice in every piece of copy that you write.

Be A Student

The beauty of the internet is that we have endless opportunities to read different articles and material from writers across the entirety of space and time. One of the biggest pieces of advice that I can offer is to be a student of your craft.

I made my biggest leap forward when I started working and collaborating with the Hire-a-Writer team. The exposure to different voices helped me find my own that much quicker.

Not only was I able to learn from those around me, but I was also exposed to different types of writing. Creative is not the same as technical writing, and it requires a different approach. It didn’t take long for me to realize that while I can produce great technical writing, it doesn’t really mesh with my style, or my voice.

Don’t Be Afraid To Fail

Until you find your voice it will be harder to explain to potential clients what your writing style is, and if it might be a fit for a specific project or audience.

Talent is required, but the key to success in this industry is that you can’t be afraid to fail. Not everyone will appreciate your voice. Get over it.

I know that is easier said than done, because I still take it personally when someone doesn’t like my writing style. Taking on jobs that push you outside of your comfort zone is essential to personal growth as a writer. It not only helps you expand your capabilities, but it can also help you find your niche along the way.

Be a Gerald and Embrace Your Voice

I am certainly not an authority figure in the writing world, but I can with confidence tell you that the sooner you embrace your writing voice, the faster your skills will improve and your client list will grow. It will be a solo journey filled with many side quests and interesting characters, but it is one that will take your career to the next level.

For more tips and tricks of the trade, be sure to check out the other content from the Hire-a-Writer team. These articles are a great way to see a variety of writers, raw and unfiltered. 

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