How to Find Your Writer’s Voice After 6 Decades of Living Abundantly
We’re all storytellers. Was there a time years ago when you did a lot of writing or dreamed about being a writer? Perhaps people have told you that you should write a book.
Maybe you want to share a family story or secret. But perhaps for one reason or another, you’ve been silenced and were never able to express yourself. Well, now might be the time to crack open your journal and begin writing.
Why Write Personal Stories?
Writing your life story, including all its inherent joys and tribulations, can be a satisfying way to preserve your legacy and also help you heal from painful memories.
The fact is, experiences that wound us can injure us in body, mind, and in voice. The act of writing about your experiences can help reclaim that silenced voice. Finding your voice as a way to healing can lead to huge leaps in transformation.
Speaking Your Truth
Each person has his or her own truth. You can only write your truth. When writing about your experiences, it’s not so much about what happened to you, but how an experience has affected you and the person you’ve become as a result.
Speaking your truth is not only healthy but can also be quite liberating, emotionally. In the end, the rewards for speaking and writing your truth will be great. But be mindful of the fact that sometimes what is not said can be more powerful than what is actually stated.
One thing to keep in mind when writing is that, over time, the details of lived experiences tend to become blurred or distorted, but that’s okay, because you’re writing from your current perspective.
What Is Your Authentic Voice?
When using your authentic voice, you’re writing down your genuine emotional feelings. When you write with your authentic voice, it feels as if the words flow quite easily, and the writing feels just right.
Your inner voice is taking charge, and you’re writing from your heart and not your head. During difficult times, your authentic voice may become even louder.
The best way to practice writing with your authentic voice is to do so as if you’re seated across the table from your best friend, telling a story. You’ll see how beautifully your words flow.
When reading others’ work, you can always tell when they’re using their authentic writing voice because what they’re saying rings true to you.
It’s a writer’s authentic voice that makes you want to read more of his or her work. (For the type of personal writing I do, please check out some of my articles here: www.dianaraab.com.)
Creative individuals such as authors, poets, musicians, and healers are often thought of as those who are in touch with their intuition and inner voice.
Gandhi admitted that he heard an inner voice that shared this message with him: “You are on the right track; move neither to the left nor the right, but keep to the straight and narrow.”
How to Start Writing
When writing, whether you choose to pen an essay, memoir, poem, or journal entry, make sure you write what you want to write, rather than what you think others want to hear. While writing, say to yourself, “Here is how I see it,” or “This is how I recall it.”
When you write, it’s important not to think about pleasing those you’re writing about. Chances are, if you’re not writing your emotional truth, then you’re probably being too careful to write in a way that doesn’t offend others.
For your best writing to emerge, you must be willing to take risks, and that involves expressing your inner truth. As writer Anaïs Nin once said, “The closer a writer keeps to emotional reality, the more alive the writing will be.”
What to Write
You might have had many life experiences that you’d like to share, but you’re not sure where to start. My blog in Psychology Today titled “What Story Should You Tell?” is a good guide. Here are some questions you might consider reflecting on before embarking on the writing process:
- What life story has energy for you now?
- What thrills you?
- What do you continually think about?
- Who are your heroes and villains?
- Where are you in your life at present?
- What kinds of stories do you enjoy reading?
So, finding your voice is not as difficult as it might seem. Be yourself and write like yourself and the rest will fall into place!
What kind of writing have you attempted to this point? Did you use your authentic voice? How did that feel? What did you learn in the process about yourself, your perspective, and your story? Please share in the comments below.