During an interview, I was recently asked how I’ve been able to make my writing voice sound so unique.
I’d never really paused to think about that before, but the answer came pretty quickly.
“It’s the voice in my head!” I said.
It sounded a little crazy when it came out of my mouth…but it was true.
The first draft of anything I write (when I’m writing as me, not a client) is pure stream of consciousness onto the page.
And by putting my inner dialogue onto the page (unfiltered), the writing voice is a reflection of my personality, my quirks, and how I sound in my most natural state.
And guess what? You can do that, too.
Your voice needs to shine. Maybe it needs to work in "that's what she said" jokes or say things like "YAS QUEEN!"
If that's how you sound in your head, that's how you should sound on the page.
Let’s talk about how you can do that...better.
Step One: Remove Filter
The first major obstacle to overcome is getting rid of that pesky lil’ thing that gets in between you and the page: Your internal filter.
If you’re editing your inner voice as you write, you’re essentially diluting yourself. You’re taking out your cute quirks, your speaking cadence, and the language you’d really use.
Stop that. Let it flow. Don’t worry about editing until later. Instead, write like you’d speak.
Better yet: Write like you were telling a story to a group of friends. Don’t be afraid to give your writing voice a little performance element.
Step Two: Embellish with Humor
You have a sense of humor, right? Of course you do.
Maybe it’s sarcastic, or punny, or pop-culture based. Whatever it is: It should come through in your writing.
Look back at your first draft and ask yourself: Where would a dash of humor make sense?
Other questions to consider as you sprinkle in the comedy:
Is there a joke naturally prompted here?
Would some humor add to what I’m saying, or be distracting?
Would people get the joke?
Bottom line: Look for places to punch up what you’ve written with your inner comedian.
Step Three: Be Brave (and open to feedback)
Sharing your true inner voice can feel scary and exposing.
Maybe you’re thinking, “If people know the real me, will they still like me?”
I’m sure the answer is yes. In fact, maybe more so for keepin’ it real.
Anyone can churn out another boring article. But if you can write with a voice that sparkles with charming personality, you’re doing something that truly only YOU can do.
That’s kinda brave. AND VERY AWESOME.
Does that mean you should never be open to tweaking said voice? Nah. Feedback is a good thing. If you get some constructive feedback on how to make your writing voice better, run with it. It’s only going to help make you better.
Your inner voice is one people should hear. Let it out (and onto the page.)
This article originally appeared in my newsletter, A Cup of Copy. Sign up and get these free tips sent right to your inbox every other Wednesday.