‘Find your writing voice’ is a phrase that’s repeated to writers over and over again. But what is this magical voice and where can we find it? Chris Brogan’s book can help.
Occasionally, I like many others struggle to write. Sometimes the words flow but at others, my writing becomes stilted and formulaic. I know that most of the time I’ve got a writing voice but there are times when I can’t remember where I put it.
It was the title of Chris Brogan’s book ‘Find Your Writing Voice’ that attracted it to me. I’m a long time reader of Chris’s blog and I’ve read some of his other books in the past. If there was one person that could help me tackle bloggers block when it hits it was him.
Why Read ‘Find Your Writing Voice’?
Find Your Writing Voice is a short book. At 88 pages you could get through it in a couple of hours. I bought the Kindle version which meant I carried it around with me. I could be found reading, and scribbling notes on trams and trains.
There are writing tasks to complete and a Facebook group you can join and share your writing with.
As soon as you pick it up you feel comfortable. It’s a book about finding your voice so it’s reassuring that Chris’s personality comes across from the first pages. His opening lines talk about us having coffee together and that’s very much how the style of the book feels. I feel like I’m sitting with Chris and we’re chatting about writing.
But then it gets challenging. This isn’t a book you can read passively, it’s peppered with tasks and exercises. They are short, easy writing challenges that help you write in a more laid back personable style. Because they are short and specific you don’t feel inclined to put them on the long finger. Even as I sat on the tram to Dublin I picked up my phone and started writing. I’ve yet to publish anything to the connected Facebook group but it’s been interesting reading how others tackled the tasks.
Does It Help?
As many readers know, I’ve been writing a book, very slowly, for about a year now. In the last month I’ve picked up speed and I now have a completion date. However reading this book made me stop for a day or two and rewrite my plan. It may have knocked me off target wordcount wise for a few days but it was worth the time investment. With a new structure in place I’m writing faster and better.
The chapter on writing frames, which has inspired a chapter in my own book was a revelation. A writing frame is a template or outline that you follow for each blog post, or in my case chapter that you write. It helps you keep your style consistent and ensures that you are focussed on the purpose of your post.
So yes, it does help and has helped.
Because this is a workbook, something you can’t read passively, part of me wishes I’d purchased a hard copy. Kindle books are great but when you are reading on public transport it’s hard to interact with the content. I may have completed one task whilst on the tram but this was inconvenient.
If you are gong to read this book make time when you are at home, in a comfortable writing space to read and complete the tasks. If I’d read it this way I know I’d have completed all of the challenges and may even have been brave enough to post them in the group.
Find Your Writing Voice is a short read but it’s a book you’ll want to read more than once. I’m on my second reading now and I’m determined to complete all the homework this time.
Even if you neglect the tasks this book will inspire you to write. Chris’s casual style will rub off on you and if you follow the content frame and other tips you’ll write better and faster.
Have you read the book? What did you find most helpful? Have you found your writing voice?
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