Write From Your Heart

Saturday, March 4, 2017
I know: February (and Valentine's Day) is over, so technically I should have posted this last month. However, this has been on my mind so much that I needed to write it.






YOUR VOICE

You have a voice. Everyone has their own unique voice in whatever they're doing, their own unique style in how they do things. Take writing for example: some people love to use lots of action and dialogue tags; I like to use lots of imagery and character choreography. In fact, only once I had my novel alpha-read did I realize that I had a writing style.

Whoa, I thought, how did that happen?

Thing is, I've always tried to mimic the styles of authors I really like. Of anything I like. I'm probably not the only one who does this. It's all part of finding your artistic voice.

But....

What if we do too much of this? What if we switch our style every time we see something better than what we're doing?

What if we're writing a fantasy book we really like, then see a peer writing a dystopian novel that looks way cooler than our fantasy novel.

Um....

Time to write some dystopian?

We get out some paper and start to brainstorm. Nothing comes. We start beating ourselves up for being unable to write something like that.

Been there?



THE CROWD IS LOUD

We're always comparing ourselves to people, whether we know it or not. Even if it's just a standard, not a person----we're comparing ourselves to that. Are we keeping up with our peers? Are our grades up to standard? Is our writing on track? What are other people doing?

What can we learn from what they're doing? Can we use their successful strategies to improve our process? Even if we're not envious of other people, we still try and use other peoples' strategies to improve our own.

That's good. You look up to people. You acknowledge their success and admire it.

But can there be too much of that?

I think so.

A good example would be me in choir (yes, me. singing. not so great right now, but I'm working on it. ;-) ).  I like to blend my voice with the other singers. Then, come time for me to practice by myself, I realize that I have no clear direction with my own voice. Have I been distracted by everyone else's voices much?

Yep.

Can being a writer be the same?

You bet.

Don't get me wrong: reading other author's books and peer's work is great. It inspires us. But rather than comparing their creative work to ours, why don't we admire their creativity? Let it inspire us to put our own spin on things? Yes, we can pick up little tricks and tips, but have you ever liked someone else's novel so much you wished it was yours?

Ouch. That looks bad, but it sounds good.

But do you really want to be a clone of someone else? If you tried to write that novel, do you think you would love it as much as the owner of it does?


STAY TRUE TO YOUR VOICE

You're unique. No one is the same. We've heard it a million times. But it goes beyond the surface, beyond how we live: it goes to how we express ourselves.

Think of all the great authors you know. They're all so different! Do you think they got that publishing contract by perfectly copying another great author? No! They were unique and true to their own writing voice.

We should strive to do the same.

Because we were each made with different passions and strengths and when we stop stifling them by following the voice of the crowd, that's beautiful. It's us. God made you like that. Let. It. Out.

Yeah, it's hard. All those other amazing voices make ours waver until we're not sure if it's ours anymore. Forget about all that. For a moment, just focus on what you and you alone can do.

Write about what you love. Write about what matters to you. Gosh, isn't that one of the reasons you even sit down and write every day? Because you want to create something as unique and memorable as your favorite authors created? Do it.

Write from your heart.

<3

Audrey Caylin


I got inspired by K.M. Weiland's post on Monday ;-) How do you stay true to your voice amidst the "crowd voice?" What have you discovered about writing from your heart?

25 comments:

  1. Love this post, Audrey, and it's so true. I'm trying to work on defining my writing voice, and it's really hard! But that K.M Weiland article also inspired me (I just LOVE every post of hers) and this one of yours is so encouraging too. Thanks! <3

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    1. K.M. Weiland's articles are so amazing! I basically learned how to write coherently from her blog xD

      Thank you! Have a great weekend!

      <3

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  2. I totally agree, and I couldn't have said it better myself. :) I have found myself comparing my work with others. But we're all at a different place in our writing. God has placed this passion in us, and each of us have a different way of expressing it. Sure, my writing is going to be different from others, but we all have different writing styles and genres in which we are really good at writing. I find that it helps to remember that God's going to use us to reach different people. :)

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    1. Wow. Thank you for adding that! Those thoughts are beautiful <3

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  3. Nice post, and your right it's easy to try and be like someone else. But we where all made with a different set of gifts and styles. This happens to be something I've learned a long time ago through art. My style is my style and it's not someone else's style. Can I draw in someone else's style? heck yeah. But then it's not really my drawing, I just draw something someone else had drawn. Again great post!

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    1. Yes! I think any type of art teaches us a lot about ourselves and our lives. I can definitely write like someone else, but then it isn't my writing anymore. What you said is so true!

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  4. I have discovered that I have a thing with eyes.. when re-reading my novel I was like "woah, I really think eyes hold a lot of emotion and knowledge about a person" lol!!!

    this is a great post. and wow, about the crowd being loud. YES SO TRUE.

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    1. right?!? I think I can learn the most about someone by looking them in the eye. (and describing characters' eyes)

      THANK YOU. <3

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  5. Beautiful post, and so true! I've gotten lost in the "loud crowd" so many times, trying to pull myself up into other people's success without realizing that my success would look very differently. I also didn't realize I had my own voice until someone beta-read my novel, and was shocked to discover they thought I had such a clear one. It was super encouraging to hear. :D Thanks for this post! <3

    Melissa @ Quill Pen Writer

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    1. I know! It's incredible how we're all so different, yet we compare ourselves to others so much.

      That is so cool to hear someone tell you that!

      Thanks for reading,

      <3

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  6. You have a fantastic point here, and I like how you pointed out that reading other people's work is still good for inspiration and everything - it's just the attitude we have towards it. And that point about being a clone - yes! How do we even think that's a good idea?! It's funny, I relate to how you said you didn't know you had a writing style. I think sometimes it's hard to see our own.. I don't feel like I have a unique writing style, but I'm sure it's there..

    And I really like how you literally wrote this post from your heart, Audrey. xx

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    1. Isn't it strange how our minds trick us like that? When we really step back and think about it, being a clone would definitely not be fun.

      I think it's there too; seriously. I can see you have a unique writing style even in a comment :)

      Thank you. That means a lot <3 <3

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  7. I love this! I'm still kinda a newbie at writing-I've only been writing for about a year. This is SO encouraging and inspiring-thank you so much!

    Micaiah
    www.notebooksandnovels.com

    P.S. Your novel.... I HAVE NO WORDS. =)

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    1. Ooooh, that's so cool! I think reading good books has a lot to do with it. Then you kinda take on those styles and--bam. You suddenly have a writing style that popped up randomly xD

      *whisper shouts* THANK YOU. :D

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  8. I NEEDED THIS, GIRL! This is sooo true especially about being true to your voice<3 Love this! <3

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    1. AHHHH. THANK YOU. I'm so glad you loved it!

      Thanks for reading!

      <3

      Delete
  9. Really loved this post Audrey. It was so great and really really inspiring. Thank you for sharing. :)

    (Also, you probably recognise me, but just in case I'm the Kingdom Pen Aussie person :P)

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    1. Thank you :) I'm glad you liked it!

      This might sound weird, but I actually saw that you had commented on another blog I follow, and thought I recognized you. Hey fellow Theme Mastery student *waves* :D

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    2. Well that's actually funny because all of a sudden I found your name popping up and a heap of blogs I follow and was like "Hold it wait, I know this person." XD

      *waves* I shall definitely be sticking around. :D

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  10. I love this. Holding on your unique writing voice is so hard. I've been writing for a long time now, and I still compare my writing harshly compared to other peoples. It's not as poetic, not as descriptive, not as unusual, not as deep. Sometimes I have to take a step back from everything and actively remember what is good about my own writing, remind myself that my writing is different. And even then it's a struggle. But worth it in the end when the words fall into place and a real, true writing style appears.

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    1. Yeah. It's like we hold a magnifying glass to our work, and are only looking for the parts of it that resemble other peoples' work. Sometimes we just have to step back and get out of our heads to realize that what we have is unique as well.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  11. This was so beautiful, Audrey <3. It's hard to stay true to my "writer voice" - but I try to tune in to what my characters are trying to say and how they want to say it, and then sometimes it's easier ;).

    Oh, I wanted to ask - are you doing Camp Nano this April (I feel like I know this, but my brain is majorly failing me tonight), and are you a part of a cabin?

    ~ Savannah
    scattered-scribblings.blogspot.com

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    1. I know: writing from your heart is a lot harder than it sounds! Sometimes you just have to forget everything you know and write (which sounds cryptic and hard as well xD).

      I am doing Camp! I'm going to be editing Found, going through all the notes from beta readers. I've been mentioning it to a lot of random people so I'm not sure if I told you :P Do you have a cabin going?

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  12. Wonderful post, Audrey! Such a beautiful reminder to write in our own voice. I am guilty of comparing my work to other authors sometimes, but you are right... We need to write from the heart! I'm going to share this on my Facebook page right now :)!

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    1. I still do it myself quite a bit, but I'm getting better.

      Thank you so much! That's so kind of you :)

      Thanks for reading!

      Delete

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