I took a writing course earlier this year that was called “Find Your Writing Voice.” It was great and I loved it. We explored the voices of our favorite writers, created profiles of our intended audiences and narrowed in on our statement of intent, or the focus of our writing.
But somewhere along the way I started following a lot of authors who were hosting webinars, spearheading challenges and encouraging writers to focus on growing platforms, building email lists, and creating snappy headlines that would gain attention.
None of that stuff is necessarily bad, and it is definitely all an important part of building a platform and spreading your message. But it wasn’t me. I got caught up in all of it, I got overwhelmed, and I lost my voice. The voice that I had worked so hard to discover.
I’m not a “How-To” writer. I hate telling people what to do, because I am still trying to figure it out myself! I am not an expert. I don’t have the patience to come up with DIY project tutorials. I definitely cannot provide step-by-step photographs. And I don’t cook from recipes, so even trying to teach someone how to prepare a meal is very difficult for me. But those writers I was following—they were teaching us HOW TO build a platform, and therefore their words of advice were geared towards HOW TO writers. I learned a lot and I am thankful for that, but the more I focused on finding “my thing”, the more I realized that “how to” is not for me. I would rather be a “me, too” writer.
I may not be an expert, but I do have a story to share. I think that’s more valuable anyway. My favorite writers are those who are willing to be vulnerable, to open themselves up and share their story so that their readers can say “me too.” They write so that people know they are not alone. They provide something that no tutorial could—they provide relationship, understanding, and support. That is the “service” that I want to offer. So as we head into the holiday season and the new year, here’s to vulnerability and more “me too” stories!