I recently attended a workshop with Erica Jong, who implored us to write the story we absolutely had to tell or we would die. She also taught us to write something that unlocks who we are, encouraged us to be ourselves, to discover and write in our own voice. But how do you know what your voice is if you never use it? (Sorry, but tweets and texts barely count, if at all!)
You don’t need to be an aspiring blogger, poet, or novelist to heed these wise words. I always recommend that folks write as much as they can in order to get in touch with their inner selves – a journal is a place where you can be the most free in expressing you are and what you need to say. When connected to that internal, emotional voice honestly and often enough you will begin to reveal who you are and what is important to you, whether in career, relationships or life in general. We write what we need to read.
It’s a place to clarify your feelings, share your ideas and experiences, release the past and make plans for the future, all without judgement. Your journal is your best friend. At the very least it is a to-do list, for items big and small. The act of writing something down makes it real and tangible and helps crystallize the hurricane of thoughts and emotions we often have swirling around inside of us.
After the process of putting it all on the page, it can make us more effective in communicating what it is we need or want from others or from ourselves, and actually make sense doing so! I also suggest using a pen and paper whenever possible- it’s more organic and raw when you take out the technological middle man.
If you access your authentic voice in writing then, as Erica said, “being an author makes you an authority.” You don’t have to be the next Maya Angelou, JD Salinger or Danielle Steele to be the author of your own life and truth. Have a little writer’s block or need a ghostwriter to help give you context or an outline of how to even begin? Just give me a buzz and I’ll have you on your own personal best-seller list before you can say Pulitzer Prize!