Bit of a tricky one this one finding your own voice, your own style of communication and still being yourself.
“So many others seem to be brilliant at it… *sigh* I wish I was like them”
I know but it’s that old thing of not comparing yourselves to others. We all have different talents and skills and nothing flags this up more than social media. What you may not be aware of is the amount of work folks do behind the scenes to make it look seamless and easy – for some it is , for others it’s HOURS of tweaking , redrafting, tears, frustration and deleted or never published posts and blogs.
Again I’m not judging as I fall into this at times – and you know what? That’s absolutely fine.
I won’t beat myself up for being human and still working on my own stuff.
That’s kind of the whole point.
Part of my own work IS communicating what I’m doing, what’s coming up and the revelations I have.
Putting it in black and white is very healing for me.
“Ok – so tell me more.”
So what exactly do I mean by finding your own voice?
Well very simply a way of communicating that’s totally in keeping with who you are and HOW you are in “real life”. And one that feels right.
For example the way that I write is VERY much how I speak – there are plenty of folk who will confirm this. The humour, the self deprecating language and the swearing is EXACTLY how I am if I spoke to you face to face. So what you are reading is how I am. It’s pretty distinctive and folk who’ve been watching or following my Facebook page for a while recognise it.
I’ve had this style of writing for decades.
No I’m not kidding.
Even way back when we used to use pencil and pen *shock horror* this is how I wrote as a teenager. I’ve had many years to hone it. It’s my way of expressing myself and that’s why, for me, it flows. It’s a natural progression from those letter writing days to blogging in the here and now. Without it I would be floundering and utterly rudderless – truly, I’m not being flippant.
This is part of my creative spark, my creative flow and I work with it these days. I find communicating in written word is what works for me best. I’ve made peace with it.
You would too if when you were younger you were the shy one, the one that froze if they had to speak, the one that panicked if any attention came their way…….written form was my escape, my friend and my confidant. The blogs and Facebook posts as I said above are the continuation of those letter and journal writing days – just in a different form.
Be authentic and don’t imitate
It’s VERY easy to become intimidated when other people that you like or follow when the words seem to flow across the screen and resonate so deeply. To think to yourself “I wish I’d said it like that – it makes more sense that way! Mine just look garbled and non-sensical.” And then get upset with yourself for not having seen this “other” way.
In reality it doesn’t matter what or how anyone else is writing or speaking. These days live videos are very popular and many folk are fantastic at them – mine would be a tad stilted and flat as that’s not really me 🙂 I’ve made peace with the for now but will tackle it soon enough.
The trick is to take inspiration from others or what they are saying but to put your own spin on it. Not to try and replicate the style of communication if it isn’t right for you – it won’t flow, it’ll get sticky and it won’t feel authentic.
By putting across your experience or feelings it becomes your voice. When you speak from the heart folk feel it. They really do.
You’ve seen for yourself just how much personal information I share on this blog space and that for me is my way of being my true authentic self. You can hear me in what you read.
Without that experience or view point it would simply be a regurgitation of someone else work. And what would the point in that be? I won’t learn from that and neither would anyone else.
Try sharing that post or blog that has you so intimidated instead of rewriting it almost word for word and popping your name on it.
If you don’t feel it its not really part of you now is it? So why bother?
“But they got so many likes”
Quite frankly why do you care? No really – why do you care? What’s the driving force behind it?
Is it jealously, is it insecurity, is it not wanting to listen to your own truth??
Whatever it is have you thought of working through it instead?
See what drives it, where you can do the self-work to move on. Or simply even acknowledge it.
I acknowledge the instances where I see a post and think “huh” sometimes thats all I need to do to move on. Other times I have inner work coming up and this is simply a confirmation in a form I can recognise.
There are also those times when several people can get the same message or feeling at the same time and all write about it within a few hours of each other. It does happen 🙂 go with it and concentrate on your own stuff but be aware of any patterns popping up.
Some practical tips
So time for the nitty gritty. Just a few tips from yours truly.
1. If new to writing try an old fashioned notebook to jot down what comes up. Yes almost like a diary that only you will see. Do it for a week or two and see what pieces flow and feel natural ……that could just be your writing style.
2. Read others work and instead of feeling intimidated work out what the core message is and why it has resonated with you. Is this something you do in your life already, or a new way of looking at something or possibly even something that has sparked when you read it. Whatever comes up acknowledge it and work with it.
3. If you have something to say then say it. But don’t say it just to get likes or reach on a social media platform.
4. Try different formats be it blogging, newsletters, journals, FB posts – and see what feels more like you. Do you prefer writing off the cuff as it comes up or do you prefer something a bit more structured? There are so many different options don’t limit yourself!
5. And lastly this is the biggie – speak from the heart. If you don’t feel it no-one else will. Something that’s important to you will come across. If it’s something you’ve picked up elsewhere it’ll come across as flat and uninspired.
So play around with writing styles and formats and pretty quickly you’ll know what’s the best for for you and your energy.
Don’t copy anyone else BE YOU instead