All exceptional writers, copywriters, and bloggers all share a quality that distinguishes them from the throngs of mediocre echo-artists: They write with a unique style and authentic voice. They write with heart.
Writing with heart? That’s your big secret? What, do all freelance writers live in fantasy land?
Most of time, yes, but we’re forced kicking and screaming to keep one foot firmly anchored in Mundania – we have bills to pay, after all.
In the real word, our writing takes many forms: Many of us still write stories, but others write blogs, articles, websites, white papers, or ad copy. Most freelance writers do some eclectic combination of all of the above.
Great writers explore subjects that interest them and that they naturally have strong opinions about, so their passion for the topic clearly shines through in every word they write. And when it’s time to get down to business and put words on the page, they can easily avoid writing’s cardinal sin: writing uninspired wishy-washy drivel that slowly sucks their readers’ lives out through their eyeballs.
But even the most menial writing jobs can be rewarding if you practice Scarecrow Zen to get curious about every topic your clients need. Curiosity is the secret to transcending obscurity – but not because it leads to encyclopedic knowledge.
Deep curiosity is the gateway to passion. And passionate writing separates the masters from the tin men.
“But once I had brains, and a heart also; so,
having tried them both, I should much rather have a heart.”
What inspired you to write?
Can you remember?
I used to sit up at night, flashlight in hand, mesmerized by the misfit adventures unlikely heroes: Slaying dragons, solving mysteries, romancing fair maidens, and saving the universe in the process. Nothing was impossible. Not to an eight year old.
Masterful storytellers brought their ideas to life in my mind. Their words were magic; their unique voices spun tales I’d never forget.
I turned page after well-worn page, and it set my imagination on fire.
Writing was my outlet. I could let my wildest dreams out to play. My head was brimming with stories, and I had to share them with anyone and everyone.
I wrote as fast as my pen could move. My words spilled out of me like it was the most natural thing in the world. I knew exactly what I wanted to say, and exactly how to say it. I was uninhibited. Fearless. I had a style of my own and my voice was authentic.
I wrote with passion. I wrote with heart. And I knew that what I was writing mattered.
But somewhere along the way, we forget that simple truth.
We grow self-conscious and fearful. We’re taught to hide who we really are, and we embrace our disguises spectacularly.
Too many would-be writers are crippled by their desire to play it safe. They forget why they picked up the pen in the first place, and they let writing become just another rat-race job. Their fire dims; their writing suffers.
They lose their passion. They lose their heart. And they give up.
“And I should not have had my lovely heart,” said the Tin Woodman. “I might have stood and rusted in the forest till the end of the world.”
Finding your Voice:
A Rusted Writer’s Oil Can
Let’s face it; people could get their information anywhere. They choose to get it from you because you deliver insightful ideas in a unique voice. Your voice. You bring a nuance to your writing that no one can duplicate. No one else has your unique combination of experiences, and no one else combines disparate ideas in exactly the same way.
When you’re a writer, your voice is your unique selling point. It’s your connection to clients, readers, and publishing deals. It separates you from the tin men of the world.
Sure, you’ll use a different tone to write a white paper than a short story or a blog post, but all are equally infused with your individual style. That style may me friendly, authoritative, snarky, casual, humorous, serious, or some random combination of Mad-Libs adjectives, but it will be your own.
The Tin Woodman, raising his axe, rushed toward the little man and cried out, “Who are you?”
Commit yourself to finding your voice; it will be your greatest strength.
Take off your mask and write with heart.
And when you do, people will listen. Once you’ve hooked their attention, your thoughts and ideas have a powerful influence. You can make people smile. Or cry. Or buy. Or transform their life. Who knows, maybe you’ll spark an idea that changes the world.
Yes, your words have that power: The Fate of Humanity is in your hands!
But only if you can hold your readers’ attention, and you’ll only do that by writing with heart.
What inspired you to write? Have you found your voice? Has writing with passion influenced the content of your writing? Share your experience in the comments.
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