Find Your Voice for Writers and Bloggers

5 Best Ways to Find Your Voice for Writers and Bloggers

After blogging for over two years and reading many great blogs I’ve made some determinations about what works… for me.

Let’s face it, the blogs we subscribe to and truly enjoy aren’t all alike. What would be the point of reading five, ten or twenty versions of the same thing? Exactly.

Like most new bloggers I struggled in the beginning to figure out what my blog was about and why I should continue to write. It certainly wasn’t a ‘how-to’ blog because I would be the last person to suggest I had all the answers on any given subject.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t have my own opinions. In fact I’m very opinionated and I get the most traffic and comments on my blog when I voice my opinions.

I discovered that while following ProBlogger’s book 31 Days to Build a Better Blog. It specifically tells you on Day 19 to write an opinion post. The post I wrote from that prompt is, to this day, the most read and shared.

I didn’t take that as a sign to just spew my opinions daily or even weekly. I simply tucked it away and knew when something was really eating at me and I needed to vent it that was okay. I learnt that even when you’ve found your way with your blog and narrowed down your niche you still need to mix it up once in a while.

My blog is the prelude to my memoir and my writing platform.

I tell stories on my blog. People tend to like my story telling even when the stories aren’t pretty. Discovering my difficult childhood stories were helping others deal with their own childhood demons was all I needed to keep going.

We can all help each other by simply telling our stories in an honest way.

Here are my five best tips for finding your voice:

1. Speak your mind

If you think you should write a certain way or your voice should be tempered to appeal to a particular audience you’re not being true.

The old adage, ‘you can please some of the people some of the time but you can never please all of the people all of the time’, will always ring true.

You may discover, when you speak your mind, you actually speak for many who don’t have a platform but will support yours.

2. Mix it up

The reason I read a variety of blogs is because it keeps the experience fresh and interesting. By the same token I love it when one of the bloggers I read writes something totally unexpected that makes me sit up and take notice.

Why is that interesting? Because it shows you another side to that blogger and makes you feel like you know them better.

I’m not a young girl but even at my age there are only so many stories to tell. In between it’s good to share your humorous or creative side and, occasionally, it’s even better to throw your opinions out there.

3. Throw caution to the wind

Annabel Candy was interviewed here on Everyday Bright about how she likes to do something that scares her every day. I think that’s admirable but I’m not that adventurous. However, when I find something that stirs passion in my soul I feel the need to write about it and that can be scary.

This is how the process goes for me… I write like a maniac without any thought to editing. Stream of consciousness all the way. It’s exhilarating!

Then I stop and walk away. My internal dialogue usually goes something like this:

“Wow that really felt good!”

“Sure but you can’t publish it.”

“But I have to publish it. It’s how I really feel.”

“The world doesn’t need to know exactly how you feel!”

“This is important and I want my readers to know this is really me, this is how I feel and I’m not ashamed of it!”

Then with a knot in my stomach I go back and edit.

After that I pace some more and finally with a very shaky finger hit that publish button.

4. Accept the fact that not everyone will share your view

I admit that I love a good argument. I’m open and willing to discuss every conceivable angle of any topic and respect your right to disagree with me.

What I can’t stand is someone disagreeing with me in an ugly way and posting anonymously. I put myself out there and bared my soul the least people can do is share their name in their comment.

If you don’t have the courage of your convictions what have you got?

5. Be honest

We all have many facets to our life and if we are true to ourselves and our readers we will share them.

If you never take chances you’ll never fail. If you never fail you’ll never grow. None of us want that.

So if you want to find your voice speak your mind.

I’ve shared what helped me find my voice. Now it’s time for you to be brave, write honestly and find out what works for you.

Have you ever written an opinion piece? What was the response?

Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Barbara Hammond

Barbara Hammond is an artist, writer and published author and illustrator of The Duffy Chronicles, her first children’s book. Blogging made her realize we all have a story and our circumstances do not define us. Barbara is a true optimist and living proof that a good sense of humor and positive attitude can get you through almost anything. Visit Barbara’s blog to enjoy her stories.

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Author: Annabel Candy

Annabel Candy April 11, 2012 at 9:47 am

Hi Barbara,

Thank you so much for sharing your writing tips here:) I’m in awe of you as writing controversial pieces is one thing I try to avoid. You make me want to be brave and do it – watch this space;)

So many people struggle to find their writing voice but it’s really all about practicing, putting yourself out there and growing in confidence because of that. Blogging has been a great way for me to find my writing voice because of the immediate feedback I get in the comments:)

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barbara April 11, 2012 at 11:22 am

“Watch this space”… hehehhe! I know you will do this scary thing my friend and you will thank me for it! One of the bravest people I know… this will be a walk in the park for you.
Thanks for letting me share this on your blog. I truly appreciate it.
xob

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barbara April 11, 2012 at 11:23 am

OH… and check out my new blog/site!!! It’s been a labor of love and I think you’ll really like it!
b

Annabel Candy April 11, 2012 at 11:25 am

I will!

Linda ~ Journey Jottings April 11, 2012 at 10:36 am

Hi Barbara ~
What an inspiring post :)
I have to say I shy away from the controversial too –
I wonder whether that’s an English up-bringing wanting to keep things ‘polite’?

But I whole heartedly go along with:
“If you never take chances you’ll never fail. If you never fail you’ll never grow.”
I think that’s what holds many people back the most – the fear of failure, looking a fool, feeling there’s too much to loose when there’s so much to be gained from those potential (you never know, it may never happen) fluffs!
When you think about it the most thrilling memories you have are when you took your life to the edge ~

My favourite Winston Churchill quote is:
Success is going from failure to failure without loosing your enthusiasm.

Admitting that failure is all par for the course takes the pressure off it, don’t you think?

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barbara April 11, 2012 at 11:21 am

Oh Linda I do love the Churchill quote! I may have to steal that one. I hope you will go to that ledge and take the leap. I swear you won’t regret it!
Thanks for sharing.
b

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Sonia Marsh/Gutsy Living April 11, 2012 at 1:14 pm

Barbara,

I’m a true fan of your stories because you’re you. Too many writers “pretend” to be someone bigger and better, but I love the fact that when I meet you, and “yes” I plan on meeting you one day, I won’t be shocked and say, ‘that’s not Barbara.” This is a great article

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barbara April 12, 2012 at 1:37 am

Thank you Sonia. That means a lot to me. And YES we will meet soon I hope!

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barbara April 12, 2012 at 1:39 am

Thanks Lee! It’s true we are like the yin/yang of childhood memories and stories, aren’t we? Yet both of us make them into good reads. I will keep them coming if you will!
b

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Debra Eve April 12, 2012 at 8:48 am

Nice post, Barbara. I’ve never written an opinion piece, but I usually express my opinions somewhere in a post. I look forward to exploring your blog in more detail, since I’m gearing up to write a memoir too!

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barbara April 12, 2012 at 12:57 pm

Debra I welcome you to explore the new site! It has been a labor of love and I hope you like it. Thanks!
b

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myan chi April 13, 2012 at 3:27 am

Your are so expert in this sector. Keep writing good posts like this

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barbara April 15, 2012 at 3:01 am

You’re too kind! I’ve just always found it’s best to just be yourself.
Thanks!
b

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Melissa Hume April 8, 2013 at 3:40 pm

Hello Barbara,
I am interested in starting a blog, I have an appointment on Wednesday to set one up. Thank you for you honesty and insight into what works for you, you are an inspiration.
I look forward to reading more from you.

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Sebastian Aiden Daneils May 10, 2013 at 11:08 pm

Thanks for the post. I have just started a post and I guess haven’t written an opinion post persay. My opinion on things does come out in my writing naturally. I will be writing an opinion piece in the future.

I can relate to that feeling of fear when you send that post out. I haven’t received a bad comment yet since I’m new, but I am sure I will soon. I use to be on youtube and got some bad comments. It can hurt, but you have to realize it isn’t the end of the world.

My favorite line was “If you never take chances you’ll never fail. If you never fail you’ll never grow. None of us want that.”

So true.

findingonespath.blogspot.com

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