Our words, thoughts, and feelings reassure us that what we experience is real. The popular saying “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” is great for thickening our skin in the face of a bad reputation, a bully, or a difficult conversation. However, our words hold immense power. They are our main form of communication. So it’s important that we narrow in on who we are and bring ourselves into our writing. We put ourselves into the clothes we wear, the car we drive, and the job or career we work, so why not into our writing?
Despite common belief, you do not need to be a professional writer to be a good writer. What makes a good writer is someone who is honest with himself, someone who is unafraid to put herself into the words she writes. Now, not every profession allows such leniency or creativity. However, there are a few ways to put yourself into the words you write, regardless of your profession.
- Sentence Structure. Notice how you write. Do you write in long flowery sentences or do you prefer short, brief, succinct sentences? This can be one way to find your writing signature. Authors play with their sentence structure all the time. A long sentence can mean you enjoy drawing out ideas. You like creating images for your audience that captivate and intrigue them. A short sentence can say you like getting straight to the point. You don’t leave anything out but you also don’t add anything more. This can be a way to let your audience know what kind of person you are.
- Visual Appeal. When you write a memo, post, text message, or paper do you find them to look long and bulky or short and narrow? This can let your audience know if you’re a long-winded writer or like to balance things out with short, brief paragraphs. Both are okay, but the key to bringing your voice into your writing is to be able to mindfully be aware of the kind of writer you are. If you’re like me and enjoy long bulky paragraphs, when someone asks you to write something, you’re aware of that and can either play it up or tone it down.
- Word Choice. The last two options pertain to the more visual, how you may look on paper. However, word choice focuses more on how you sound on paper. The words you choose say a lot about who you are. Do you like to challenge your audience? Do you like to make things sound conversational?
These are all things you can look for next time you find yourself writing. Most importantly, however, is to remember that your voice is who you are. Never sell yourself short. The words and wisdom you share can have lasting impacts on those who listen.