How to Write: Find Your Voice–Are You Trying to Wear Someone Else’s Clothes?

Recently, I needed to write something for business. I felt intimidated by the prospect because of my lack of experience in a new area. Would I do it right? Would it be good enough? Acceptable? Appealing? I looked at what others had done and tried to fit myself into their mode.

As I attempted to imitate other people’s models, it felt like trying to fit into their clothes. I squirmed and wiggled. I felt stilted. One style seemed like putting on clothes that were too big for me and another felt like the clothes were too small and they sucked the life out of me.

The more I tried to make it work, the more frustrated I became. I am not someone else. Yet everyone said this is what you have to do. Paralysis set in. I finally walked away from the project. An idea came to me. I could follow the principles set forth but I could find a way be myself within those parameters!

I sat down and started writing more freely as I put my own personality into it. Whether it was what others would say or not, I experienced a freedom to say what I wanted to say.

Ahhhh, relief! I finally found an outfit that fit me perfectly. The words began to flow. The permission to be myself within the parameters of what would be acceptable, freed me from my paralysis.

I have a friend who did something similar. Her husband is good at writing ads so when she felt insecure in writing her sales letter for her new product, she turned the task over to him. When she received it back, she did not feel comfortable with it. Why? She was trying to wear her husband’s clothes!

I wrote her and asked her a few questions and asked her to write the sales letter herself. She sent it back to me. The difference amazed me! Her writing had a fresh feel to it. Her writing flowed. She identified with and hit the needs of her customer right on. She learned how to write in her own style. She had found her “voice,” her unique way of expressing herself and she loved it!

So what is the moral of the story? Be yourself! Now, being yourself doesn’t mean that you do whatever you want regardless of what or who you write for. In business or for publication, there are principles and a pattern you need to follow. Within those, however, there is leeway to adjust it to fit you and your writing style.

Find your own way of expressing yourself. You have a unique perspective and life experiences so incorporated those into whatever you write whether it’s personal, for publication or for business. You will be happier and so will your readers!

If you need help with the whole concept of finding your voice, check out the home study course I created, “How to Write for Fun and Profit.” Also, I would be glad to offer you ongoing personalized support, encouragement and accountability you in as you learn how to write in your own voice! Check out Wise Writers Write NOW!”

How about you? What area of writing do you feel pressured to be like someone else? What do you do to stay true to your voice? Share your thoughts in the comments below. I would love to hear from you!


5 Responses to “How to Write: Find Your Voice–Are You Trying to Wear Someone Else’s Clothes?”

  1. Yvonne A Jones

    I enjoyed that analogy of trying to fit into someone else’s clothes, Sharon. I could almost feel myself being squeezed in the wrong places. Your message to just ‘be yourself’ is well taken and can be applied in other areas of business as well.

    People can sense when we are not being real, and if we are not authentic, we lose credibility.

    Thanks for this post.

  2. Sharon Gibson

    Thank you for your comment Yvonne.
    It is so true as you say, people can sense if we are not authentic.
    This is why it’s so important to find your own voice
    and then like you say, you will gain more credibility.
    Also, you will have more peace with yourself.

    Best to you,

  3. Debra Marrs

    Sharon, I love how you point out that trying to emulate others will never work for writers. When writers write like they speak, their voice on the page sounds so much more natural. Your message to “Be yourself!” is spot on. Thank you for this tip!

  4. Courtney

    I really needed to hear this!!…. I’m trying to write Biblical Historical Fiction and struggling to find my own voice. I feel a ton better! Thank you for your advice! 🙂
    And if you have any suggestions on the parameters for Biblical Historical Fiction I would luv it if you’d email me. 🙂

  5. Sharon Rose Gibson

    I’m delighted to hear this helped you Courtney and so pleased to hear that you feel a ton lighter.
    This would be my advice to you regarding your question on Biblical Historical Fiction.

    1. Do research in this area of your interest, Google it etc.
    2. Find out what is being written, stories and books in this area, Amazon etc.
    3. Pray and see if you sense a direction God wants you to go but don’t let that stop you if it’s not clear. Go on to the next point.
    4. Begin to write in your area of interest. What do you want to write about? What is the desire of your heart?
    5. Be unique and creative. Don’t be afraid to do something different.

    I hope these tips help you get started.

    May love and blessings come to you on your writing journey. Seek and you will find. 🙂