6 Ways to Craft Your Authentic Writing Voice

Jul 24, 2020

Writing with a Wildly Authentic voice is one of the most fun, inspiring, and exciting ways to write. It frees you from all the voices in your head telling you to not create the art you want to create. It helps you both start and finish your passion writing projects, and it teaches you how to love your True Self, the person you were before were told not to be that.

Today I'm sharing the 6 ways you can craft your authentic writing voice, so you can begin this revolutionary journey today.

If you have questions, or you are wondering how we can work together to craft your voice, contact me and ask me anything!


1. Claim Your Wildly Authentic Writing Idea

Most of the time creative ideas get born and die within minutes. Your idea comes to you. You love the idea. Then, every limiting belief you have rises up and squashes it down. Your idea was so authentic, so interesting, so YOU, but you have been taught everything about you is wrong, so how could this idea possibly be right? You abandon the idea, but you are filled with the sadness of defeat.

Instead of abandoning your idea, I invite you to do the opposite. I invite you to claim it. When you claim something you call it your’s, even if your community would reject it. You say: “I am going to tend to this thing, nurture it, and watch it grow.” You draw it closer, instead of pushing it away from you.

The next time you have a writing idea I invite you to try this practice:

Acknowledge you have a pattern of abandoning your wildly authentic writing ideas. This moment matters. There is a choice. You could follow your usual pattern and convince yourself your idea is wrong, or you could try something new.

Jot down your idea. You don’t have to write all the details. Just note the basics. Then take 5 deep breaths as you look at what you wrote while saying to yourself: “I get to be ME, without apology.”

Let yourself feel the tenderness of this moment. Vulnerability does not mean you need to shut down the idea. Instead, you might decide to pick up your pen and begin. No apologies. No explanation. You simply get to begin.


2. Envision Your Wildly Authentic Readers

Who do you imagine writing to when you write?

Do you envision the people you truly want to write to? The ones who would absolutely love reading your work? The ones who would binge read overnight and then ask for more the next day? The ones who would love your writing, no questions asked?

Or, do you imagine the people who would criticize it? The ones who would tell you how crazy you are? The ones who would tell you how wrong and awful your work is? Do you envision everyone who could hate your words?

If you’re like me, a tender and sensitive woman with a story to tell, these readerly voices in your head can make or break your creative dreams.

When I imagine all the mean critics who could read my work, it changes my writing. I literally write to them, over-explaining some things and over-deleting other things. My writing loses its zing, its juice, and its authenticity.

Elizabeth Gilbert says one of the most important things you can do as a writer is to write to one person. This way your work can be deeply personal. I like to add it’s critically important for this person to be the kind, generous reader of your wildly authentic dreams.

I have a reader I always imagine when I’m writing. She is the easiest person in my life to talk to. She is always amazed by my insight, and when she questions me it is with such kindness that it very effectively helps me see the truth. She is my wildly authentic reader.

When I write to her, my writing becomes emboldened, clear, juicy, and absolutely authentic. I don’t pull back. I forge ahead.

The next time you write, practice intentionally writing to the kind, generous reader of your dreams. See how it opens up your writing and allows you to be YOU.


3. Embrace Your Wildly Authentic Writing Form

Your writing form is the container of your writing. It is a poem or a novel, fantasy fiction or romance, memoir or short story, screenplay or script. Often times, writerly women squash their glorious ideas because of something they've been taught about the form they want to use.

For example, you might have an idea for a brilliant romance novel, but immediately squash your idea because you've learned romance novels are too low brow. You might have an idea for a blog, and squash the idea because you've learned the blog revolution is dead. You might want to write a poem, and you squash the idea because you've learned it will be impossible to get published as a poet. 

You might try to write a serious, academic treatise instead, but then your soul shrivels up. You become so bored you never write - ever.

The form of writing you choose can make or break both your motivation and your enjoyment of writing. My goal is to help you with both of these things - to help you get motivated to write, because it is so epically fun for you.

The next time you dismiss the form of writing you truly want to use, try this:

Set aside all the ideas you have about this form of writing, just for today, and read this permission slip to yourself: "I give myself permission, just for today to write in whatever form I g.d. want to write. I get to make writing fun, inspiring, and motivating for myself. I get to write like ME, freely and with wild abandon, no explanation necessary." 

Because, guess what? People do read blogs. You're reading one right now. Romance novels can be genius acts of progressive beauty, and people totally sit and spend afternoons reading published books of poetry.


4. Believe in Your Wildly Authentic Writing Style

Your style of writing is the unique stamp you bring to your writing. For example, some writers bring a concise, crisp, certitude to their writing. Their words are short, but incisive. Other writers love poetic, long-form writing. Their words flow like a curvy, luxurious river.

You might feel naturally inclined towards short-form or long-form writing. You might love sparse or complex sentence structures. You might enjoy big words or simple words.

No matter what your natural writing style is, take a moment to notice how you judge it.

Do you love writing long-form blogs but think you should write short, one-paragraph posts?

Do you love writing short poems, but think you should be writing long, meandering ones?

Do you love writing short, sparse novellas, but think you should write full-length, descriptive novels?

When you think you should write in a different style than how you love to write, the process can become boring, sluggish, and stale. It can feel impossible to write. You might have learned this other style is the “right” way, but it’s so unmotivating you can hardly get words on the page.

When you believe in your Wildly Authentic writing style, you set aside everything you’ve learned about how your natural writing style is wrong, and you take the time to write how you truly want to write. This can be especially challenging for English majors or for anyone who has heard the word “no” from the publishing industry. I encourage you try it anyway.

Because what if your Wildly Authentic writing style is the exact right way to write for you and your readers? What if it’s right? How motivating would that be??

You get to be protective of your creative vision. You get to experience joy, pleasure, and fun when you write. Give it a try today.


5. Do Your Wildly Authentic Routine

Your writing routine defines the time when you sit down to write. It is the where, when, and how long of it.

It is whether or not you write at a cafe or at home, in the morning or evening, for an hour or 4 hours.

I do my best writing when I write outside. Right now I'm sitting in my backyard and looking at the trees. Being near trees always helps me write in a more connected, creative way. I also love to write in the morning. I do my best, most creative work about an hour after I wake up. That's when writing is the most enjoyable for me. I can write for about an hour at a time. I pour my creative flow into this hour, and then after that I need a break.

My routine is Wildly Authentic to me because it goes with my personal creative flow. I've designed it over years of noticing what makes me feel the most engaged in my writing process, while ignoring expert advice that says I’m doing it wrong.

There are as many different writing routines as there are writers in the world. Once a writer figures out their Wildly Authentic routine it helps them get writing done, because it is highly motivating. But after figuring out a routine, it can be easy for writers to say, “Oh, THIS is how you do it. I must tell the world.” Then they explain the only way to write is to wake up at 5 am and write for 8 hours without stopping, while sitting in a cafe.

It’s easy to think your way is the right way for everyone, when it is really only the right way for you.

When you create your Wildly Authentic writing routine, begin by forgetting everything you ever learned from an expert about how writing should get done. Then, experiment with places, times of day, and lengths of time for your writing. Maybe sit in a room by yourself and write for 8 hours. Then go to the woods and write for one hour. Write at the same time everyday. Write at a different time everyday.

During this experiment, your job is to notice how each routine impacts your writing. Which one makes you feel more connected to your creativity, more alive, and more engaged? This is your Wildly Authentic writing routine. Do this one.


6. Engage Your Wildly Authentic Writing Plan

Your writing plan is the list of steps you will take to create your writing project.

Your plan might look something like: 1. Research the topic. 2. Create outline for the project. 3. Write first draft. 4. Edit first draft. 5. Submit draft to literary agents.

The above example is what is typically thought of as a good plan, but unless it meets your Wildly Authentic motivation style, it might be hard to follow through on it.

For example, I honestly hate doing research. I cannot do a Google search to save my life or read a research article or even a plaque at a museum.

When I decided to write a novel, I realized “research” couldn’t be my first step, because I would never do it, and therefore, I would never get to step 2, 3, 4, or 5.

The point of Wildly Authentic writing is to help you actually write, because every part of the process is motivating for YOU, even if it’s different than what you learned in school about writing.

When you think about the action steps you want to take in your writing, keep a good eye on whether or not you feel motivated to do them. You might want to beat yourself up for procrastinating, but a better question to ask would be: “Is this step actually authentic to me?”

If not, brainstorm how you can change things up. Is there another way to complete this step? Is there something you can do to make this part of the process better? Is this step truly needed?

When I started writing my novel I decided to write fiction based on a part of my life story. Since I already knew the topic inside and out, no traditional research was required. So I was able to move on to the next step of the process and get my novel written.

Make sure your writing plan suits how you are authentically motivated, and then watch your words flow onto the page.

I would love to hear how these practices go for you! Contact me to tell me stories about how you are crafting your authentic voice!

If you would love my help with crafting your voice,  apply for my private writing mentorship program at Craft Your Voice.


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