Whether you want to write a short story, a personal profile or some web copy for your business, it can be difficult to find your unique ‘voice’ – the sentiment that weaves through your chosen words to form an instant impression in your readers’ minds.
If you’re writing for business, you’ll probably want to use a professional voice that leaves readers wanting to buy from you. Writing a short story means finding an expressive voice that resonates with readers, making them empathise with and experience intense emotion alongside your characters.
So it goes to follow that getting your writing voice right is important – but it’s often not quite as difficult to get right as you might think.
It might sound strange to say this when I’m in the business of trying to win writing work for myself! – but there have been occasions when I’ve told prospective clients that they don’t really need me, because the piece of writing sent for me to look over already captures everything they were looking for.
For example, I recently returned a job application letter to someone looking for a new role, anxious to make the right impression. I read through the job specification he sent me, and then his letter, which had been well-crafted, properly tailored to the role and was just the right length. More than that, from our conversation beforehand I could see that his letter read clearly like him.
When I first started out on my freelance writing career I was given a brief to write some website copy for a local decorating business. The owner was keen to project a more professional image and insisted he couldn’t do this himself, even though he really enjoyed writing about his business on social media.
I read his social media updates, and his writing had so much wonderful warmth and heart throughout, that to have made it more ‘professional’ would have taken away from his obvious love for the work he did. That was his unique voice; it was what set him apart from his competitors with their slick-as-anything images, and while I made some obvious corrections (spelling and grammar is still important, folks!) and guided him through his website copy, the actual words were his.
An avid reader, I often pick up books or read writing online that really shouldn’t work – novels that have been translated into English are classic examples! – because sentences have been constructed using English that’s too correct, or they read in a way that would sound awkward if they were spoken aloud. Yet I keep on reading, because something about the story or the characters pull me in, and the writing itself, though technically flawed, is endearingly unique.
If you’re trying to write something important yourself, worrying that you might not create the right impression, I recommend simply beginning by writing from the heart. Yes, it sounds cheesy, but you’d be surprised how it so often works!
Give your words to an objective someone else to read, then ask them to describe their very first impression. If it’s what you’re looking for, then congratulations – you’ve found your voice.
Need any help finding your voice in words? I can help – simply get in contact for a chat.
I'm a friendly and professional writer, reviewer and editor who works with warmth, humour and flexibility.
There's a lot of vague career advice out there, so if you're looking for insight that goes beyond "be yourself and follow your passion" you may have to leap before you look!Read more
You don't have to be a professional writer to discover a unique writing voice that speaks to its readers. Finding your own voice is often easier than you might think, and it all starts when you write from the heart.Read more
I'm a 'Success Story'! My career change journey was featured on Careershifters' website this week, and I'm incredibly proud of it. But I wouldn't want anybody to think changing my career has been easy. And so this is a reflection of sorts, on where I was when I began, and how I've ended up where I am now.Read more
Did you know that so-called 'job-hopping' can be an asset to your career search? Whether you prefer stability or excitement in your career, planning your next move is all about packaging your skills and making the right kind of approach.Read more
Going freelance doesn't mean you have to accept every piece of work that comes your way. Being discerning with your time and effort will help you reap the rewards of being your own boss...and you'll get to work with some great people too!Read more
There's a new trend sweeping Silicon Valley - giving honest and direct feedback to your colleagues. Before you go rushing in, focus your message by writing it down first...your colleagues and your career will thank you for it!Read more
All those celebrated business gurus had to start somewhere...and the most successful ones know how to tell their stories in a relatable way that inspires others to act on their dreams and ideas. By writing a business book, you can do just that yourself!Read more
Writing a recruitment ad is often a rushed activity, with the words used ones you've read many times before ("dynamic" anyone?) Here's how the Banks children managed to recruit their ideal candidate - Mary Poppins! - by using clear and creative words that stood out.Read more
'Greatest Hits' countdowns are rife at this time of year - so now, here's one featuring the best CV advice. This list will give you the ultimate steer if you're looking to get your CV on track for the new year job hunt. Wishing you a very happy 2017!Read more
If you're stuck in a job you don't particularly like, mindlessly searching job boards for something else, it can be hard to dredge up any enthusiasm to make a change. But that little bit of rest time between Christmas and a brand new year beginning is perfect for considering exactly what you want, and how to take the very first step towards making 2017 your happy work year!Read more
With a new year on the horizon, why not make a resolution to tell your life story? Committing your personal tales to paper can be a rich and rewarding experience for you to write and others to read...for generations to come. Here's how to get started.Read more
Have you ever thought that making a few tweaks to your working life would help make living it much easier? Harness the power of well-chosen words to state your case and win better work-life balance in the process.Read more
Are you often left with the feeling that you don't quite know enough about all the online tools you can use to promote your business? How about website analytics...shouldn't you be checking them every five minutes just like the experts say? Relax - here's how to take advantage of all the advice available online, by defining exactly what YOU want to know.Read more
Is time getting the better of you? With a growing business, several passion projects on the go, books to read and friends I'd quite like to see, I was starting to feel overwhelmed...until I decided to take a closer look at planning my time more effectively. Here's how you can do the same.Read more
BOO! Like a ripe pumpkin Hallowe'en has rolled around yet again, so what better time to extol the benefits of ghostwriting, definitely not just the province of bargain-bin bound celebrities.Read more
Everybody's busy these days - far too busy to read all the words that come their way. Get the right people to read YOURS by honing in on your ideal audience and creating compelling copy that will get them hooked.Read more
Ever wonder what your HR Manager is really thinking, or what they do all day? I worked in this oft-misunderstood profession for a number of years and now I'm safely out of it, I'm free to vent!Read more
Regular blog posts - especially if you run a business - can drastically increase your following, as well as helping you beat the competition by describing how you do things your way. Read on for a few more great reasons why you should join the blogging revolution!Read more
Great speeches vary in tone and content, but they all consider the same elements - who they're for, what they're about and why they're being heard. Here's how to plan yours effectively, so you can conquer any nerves and make your speech memorable for all the right reasons!Read more
Speaking up in networking groups used to bring me out in a cold sweat. So I sought out the people I really wanted to talk to and introduced myself in the way I'm best at - in writing.Read more
Getting the tone of a letter right - especially when you're writing to someone you don't know - can be difficult. No matter whom you're writing to, here's how to get started on a letter that's relevant, informative and authentic.Read more