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How to Fall Deliriously in Love With Writing (Again)

How to Fall Deliriously in Love With Writing (Again)

Pour yourself a cup of steaming coffee (or tea) and make it strong.

Pull up a chair (one of those cozy ones that you can really sink into).

Take a seat. Get comfortable.

It’s story time.

This story is about me (and I want you to read it even though all of the other blogging gurus have told me not to write about myself).

This story is a heartbreaker. It’s about my breakup with one of the great loves of my life.

(But, like any great love story, it ends with a make out session in the rain. Well…kind of.)

Ready? Here we go.

(Imagine the music that plays before a flashback in one of those old corny shows like Saved By The Bell. Yeah, you’ve got it.)

In December of 2014, I decided to start this blog.

I wanted to write again, because writing has always sustained me, ever since I was a hopeless romantic in middle school. I would write love stories every night in which I was the focus of not only one, but two boys’ affections. (During the day, I was a pimply 13 year old with a Jewfro and braces.)

When I first started this blog, I was writing every single day.

And I looooved it. I woke up ready to put my fingers to the keys of my keyboard. I often didn’t even know what I would write about. I just wanted it. I hungered for my own words.

Then I cut down to 5 times a week. I still craved writing, but I figured I needed to live my life, too.

After a few weeks of this, it went down to 3 times a week. Then twice. Then once.

And…for the past few months, I’ve only been writing every other week. Sometimes, not even that much.

Writing and I are officially on the rocks.

It’s not that I don’t still love her. (Because writing is obviously a woman.)

It’s that I’ve put all of these expectations, all of these restrictions, on my relationship with writing.

I can’t write a blog post if I can’t share it on all of my group boards on Pinterest.

I can’t write a blog post if it doesn’t speak directly to my target audience.

I can’t write a blog post if the same topic has been written before.

I can’t write a blog post if it doesn’t fit into a nicely bulleted list, with subheadings and click to tweets.

And because of my self-imposed restrictions, I don’t love writing anymore.

Here’s how I used to write:

I would set a timer. I would write a sentence to start me off. And then I would GO. I wrote the truest, scariest, most delicious things that came from the most hidden layer of myself.

I wrote about the long forgotten moments of my life, moments that feel like treasures. Not like gold, but like treasures that you find in a yard sale, or in your grandmother’s basement. The one of a kind moments that forever changed me. That rocked my world.

I used to write nakedly, unabashedly. All of the broken parts of myself were laid bare, glittering as they were brought into the light.

Write nakedly. Write unabashedly. Bring the broken parts of yourself glittering into the light. Click To Tweet

In this crazy online world, I’ve stopped writing like that.

My words have stopped feeling like a lifeline and started feeling like handcuffs.

It’s hard to be honest when you want people to like you.

It’s hard to be vulnerable when you’re already wondering how many times your post is going to be shared.

It’s hard to keep writing when you’ve stripped away all of the beauty and the mystery of writing.

Yes, writing is a tool for connecting and building an audience. An incredibly powerful one.

But it’s also a vehicle for connecting to yourself.

I tell other women their voices are powerful.

I help them celebrate what is unique and vibrant about them, the things that they don’t think to celebrate, because they take them for granted.

And part of why I do that is that I have the same struggle. I struggle to own my own power, to use my own voice in a way that’s real and true and that feels good.

I want this post to be a turning point.

The start of using my voice in the most audacious way possible: honestly and without fear.

blog writing

This post is the beginning of me and writing getting back together.

Me and writing, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G.

(You know, like the amazing kiss at the end of the movie that you want to watch over and over.)

Things are about to get steamy.

Stay tuned.

10 Questions That Will Help You Unearth Your Unique Voice

10 questions that will help you unearth your unique writer's voice

How do you know if your writing is moving you toward unearthing your unique writer’s voice?

It isn’t easy.

I don’t have a microwave-ready solution.

But I can provide a few questions for you to ask yourself when you struggle with how deep and real to go.

Define Your Online Voice (Free Course)

Take my scrumptious 5 day course on how to define your blog voice.  You’ll learn how to think about your blog, and your voice, in a whole new way. Just enter your name and email address and you’ll get the course delivered to your inbox. It’s only free for a limited time.

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1. Does this writing feel true to me?

When your writing is true, you can feel it in your body. Really.

You’ll know it when you’re writing something true and real, versus something that is just for the sake of getting another post done.

If you are really dedicated to unearthing your unique voice, trash anything untrue.

2. Does this writing matter to me?

Would you be proud to share your post with your friends and family?

Do you have the urge to read it again and again?

If so, it matters to you.

This doesn’t mean it has to be perfect, or even great writing.

It just means that you care about it.

3. Am I comfortable with people reading this whom I don’t know?

Here’s the tricky part.

Sometimes you write something real and gritty and important.

But it’s too personal. It’s TMI.

Growing your writer’s voice does mean that you go deep inside, but it doesn’t mean that you have to share everything you find.

Your voice is crafted by you. So decide what you actually want people to see.

4. If my best friend read this, would she think, that is so [YOUR NAME]?

Your voice is unique to you.

No one has your story, or your personality, other than you. (Duh…)

Have you ever seen an article of clothing, and immediately been certain that a particular friend would love it?

That’s how your blog posts should be – an obvious fit for your blog wardrobe.

5. Did I let myself “go there” with this?

Real writing feels a little like being naked.

You don’t want to share TMI, but at the same time, you want to go where you’re afraid to go.

Truly powerful writing comes from courageous exploration.

Were you courageous in your writing? If not, can you go deeper?

6. Was I fully present while writing this post?

Have you ever sat down to write, but then instead of focusing, you spent a lot of time doing other things – checking Facebook, answering emails, talking to your dog, etc?

That’s probably a sign that you either aren’t invested in the piece, or that you’re avoiding something you need to write.

For a post to be infused with your voice, you need to be completely “there” while writing it.

7. How much “people pleasing” did I do in this post?

There is a shitload of information out there on creating shareable content.

You can look up how many words your headline should be. You can research keywords to make sure that people are searching for what you’re writing about.

And it’s good to know all of that information.

But if your post is mainly based on that research, and not on what’s true for you, it’s probably not going to cultivate your voice.

8. Did I try too hard in this post?

If you’ve ever been to a social gathering, you’ve met people that are trying way too hard.

People that laugh too loudly, talk about themselves too much, and make it awkwardly obvious they aren’t there to be genuine, but rather, to impress others.

Don’t be that person.

If your post feels like you’re trying to hard – to impress, to fit in, to get customers – take a step back.

Find a thread of honesty in there, and rewrite.

9. Did I let go of my internal editor in this post?

What keeps us from being real in our writing is that internal editor.

The voice that says, Wow, this sucks. Do you really think anyone will want to read this? I can’t believe you’re sharing this with people.

Sound familiar?

Cultivating your voice means silencing that editor. It means slicing through the painful inner dialogue.

One way of doing this in the beginning is to force yourself to keep writing for a certain period of time. No matter what, keep going.

You can go back and edit later.

10. Is this post tribe-worthy?

Tribe-worthy content seethes with energy and honesty.

It encourages people to gather around you because you are writing what needs to be written.

Tribes form because their leaders shine a flashlight on the path ahead.

And because they believe in the their leaders’ stories.

Would you follow the person that wrote your post?

Define Your Online Voice (Free Course)

Take my scrumptious 5 day course on how to define your blog voice.  You’ll learn how to think about your blog, and your voice, in a whole new way. Just enter your name and email address and you’ll get the course delivered to your inbox. It’s only free for a limited time.

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