Thank you Jeff Goins! In his article, What You Write About Doesn’t Matter as Much as You Think, he writes “Most writers are concerned with the wrong thing. They have a simple, misguided belief that holds them back from creating….They mistakenly believe that what they write about is more important than how they write.”
Naturally this statement caught my attention. You can find the whole article at Goinswriter.com. It is worth reading. Here is an excerpt that was particularly helpful to me.
Finding a worldview
Everyone has one. A paradigm. A perspective. A code of ethics. It’s how we all live our lives, whether we realize it or not. This is what sets a person’s voice apart from the rest of the noise vying for our attention: not what they say, but how they say it.
I hate to be the realist here, but look: There is no subject you could write about, no niche you could target, that hasn’t been reached before. So for crying out loud, stop trying to be so clever and original (it’s not working).
Instead, focus on the how, the worldview of what you write. What about the way you see the world is different? What would resonate with some and cause others to disagree? Write that.
Write something that’s worth fighting over. Because that’s how you change things. That’s how you create art.
So, voice is about having a unique point of view. It sounds so simple. Your voice is what you bring to the table that is distinctly you.
Yes, voice has to do with writing style, but it has more to do with our experience, our passions, our perspective. Each of us has a different story which shapes our writing. Think about the home in which you were raised, the schools you attended, the friends you had or didn’t have, your religious beliefs, your successes and failures, your joys and sorrows. All of these influence your writing and make it uniquely your own. The DNA of your life is unlike that of any other person.
When you write from your unique viewpoint, some people will love your writing and others will not.
Cec Murphy, who has published numerous books and articles, both as an author and ghost writer, says he would rather have people hate what he writes than be inauthentic, or untrue to himself in what he writes, and be loved.
We tend to want to show only a certain acceptable side of ourselves. Our culture has taught us to compare ourselves, to be “politically correct.” Writing with your own voice is not for the faint of heart. It takes being able to handle both the accolades and the criticisms. But you may be surprised how others will identify with what is the real you. They may love your originality. Along with Cec, I want to be appreciated for who I really am, as opposed to who I might pretend to be.