One of the biggest challenges we will encounter as writers is being true to our own voices and writing what’s in our heart. It’s a matter of internal integrity. As a writer, you have been gifted with a voice that speaks to and for your heart.
It’s your responsibility and duty as a writer to listen to this voice and then truthfully translate this voice for your readers. A writer has a limited opportunity with which to make his mark and to make a positive impression on readers. And you best believe that a savvy reader will be able to tell if a writer isn’t being true to their “writer’s voice”. How? Because it will show in their writing.
A writer who isn’t writing what’s in his heart will come off as artificial, watered-down, and downright phony. That kind of writing is a waste of both the writer’s time and the reader’s time. A reader’s time is just as precious as a writer’s. And once you have wasted a reader’s time, you will be hard pressed to regain their time, attention, and money ever again.
Part of being true to yourself as a writer is having to write material that could be uncomfortable for you and your loved ones. This can be especially true for writers of non-fiction and autobiographical material because they are using facts to tell their stories.
For all writers it can be hard to block out thoughts like: “What will my family and friends think? What will my critics say? Will I offend anyone?” These are the thoughts that we have to find a way to ignore or at least minimize to a whisper and tuck away in a little corner of our minds. Regardless of the comfort level, if it is in your heart, you have to find a way to get it out and down on paper.
At the end of the day, the loudest thought in your head on this subject should be “How can I best remain true to ME? Am I willing to do whatever it takes to remain faithful to that truth? And how can I live with myself as a writer if I don’t?”
Until the next time, write on!