It’s the same as asking “How well do you know yourself?”
Over the course of the past six years that I’ve been “officially” publishing articles online, one of the major things that I’ve noticed is how much more refined my tone has become as I’ve written more frequently.
I‘m obviously still not perfect and I’m probably a long while away from being anywhere near perfect, but at least I have seen significant improvement — At least, from my point of view I have.
And this is purely based off of the numbers that I see at hand.
I have seen my audience grow, readership percentage grow, and I’ve finally started catching the eye of the general public in terms of non-Medium readers acknowledging the fact that I write well.
It has given me the confidence that I need in order to feel comfortable being myself when I write — But, it’s not always easy to feel this way.
Gaining confidence as a new Writer can be extremely challenging.
Especially if you are like me and have no formal background, education, or degree in writing as a profession.
Even more so, publishing online can be so overwhelmingly intimidating when you’re first starting out given the over-saturation of Writers, articles, and online publications that have grown and risen to the top in the past decade.
And realistically, we also have to know that not everything we publish will go viral — Often times, it rarely will.
So, you kind of have to build your confidence on your own.
Once you do that, your audience will follow and so will your confidence.
It’s just the “how” in gaining that confidence that can be a little more complicated. And this is how —
You have to know your writing voice.
The most successful, most engaging, and most powerful articles that I’ve written were the ones where I truly sounded like myself. It’s the ones where I had the most expertise and the most personal experience in.
Knowing that I had the expertise and experience in what I was writing about is what made me confident in my writing.
I knew that I wasn’t just making up stories or pretending to know what I was talking about.
Knowing your writing voice means being familiar in what you write and how you write.
It means means knowing that you are an authoritative and trustworthy voice in the topic you are covering, that you are a credible source.
You have to know yourself.
If you don’t know yourself, then you won’t be able to recognize what you even sound like when you write, or even when you speak.
Instead, you’ll try to adopt other styles, other voices, and other techniques that are not your own.
And, no one wants to read unauthentic, phony writing. No one wants to read writing where the author is just trying to sound like someone else.
Plus, plagiarism doesn’t make you credible — It makes you a fraud.
Knowing who you are as a person is just as important as knowing your writing voice because they are one in the same. Who you are translates into how you write.
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment— Ralph Waldo Emerson”
No matter what you do in life, whether it be writing, creating music, creating art, and so on, just make sure that it is truly coming straight from you.
Don’t be embarrassed or ashamed of how you look or sound.
Embrace the uniqueness that makes you you.
We are all trying to navigate our way through this world and we’re trying to establish our identity in doing so.
So, you might as well be yourself while on the journey.
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken” — Oscar Wilde
SOURCE: LINDSEY (LAZARTE) CARSON