In my third year of university, I somehow found myself in a Voice & Speech acting class. (Trust me –- it was not my first choice in the course calendar.) Getting up in front of a crowd and talking on a regular basis was pretty nerve-wracking and definitely not my strong suit.
But in my quest to get an A despite my stage fright that semester, I learned a very important lesson. If what you’re saying matters to you – if you're really, truly passionate about it -- it'll sound amazing and people will listen, regardless of how un-charismatic you consider yourself to be.
It’s the same with writing.
What do you really, truly care about? Regardless of how much experience you have with writing, if you can stay focused on that passion, it’ll shine through and help your readers connect with every word you write.
This might sound obvious, or like something your mom would recommend. Just be yourself. But plenty of people try to write blogs about topics they don't particularly care about just because they're on trend. And they try to write them in somebody else's voice -- an "expert" voice, or a "fun" voice, or any voice other than their normal one.
Trust me -- I've done it too. But after years of writing like an academic, an important journalist, a women's magazine writer or a wellness pro, I'm finally digging through the layers of junk to find my own voice -- my authentic voice -- buried underneath.
When you show your readers your authentic self, you help them get to know who you are and what you’re all about. That connection is what turns them from random Google-ers checking out your blog into fans (and maybe potential clients.) More importantly, it's the basis of all true and honest human connection. And ultimately, isn't that the point of sending our words out there into the magical system of tubes that is the internet? To connect?
This fall, my lovely friend and tech wiz Maeve Gallagher and I are collaborating on a workshop called The Blog Studio. It's going to be a one-stop shop where you can learn not only the creative side of blogging, but the technical stuff as well. Please check it out -- we'd love to have you there!