In 2015, I set out to write for an audience of my own. I expected it to be easy, thinking my years as a journalist meant I knew how to write.
By June 2016, the only thing I knew, was that I was stuck.
The main problem? I didn’t know my own voice. More to the point, I didn’t know it was ok to use my own voice.
From 2015 to 2019, I wrote in fits and starts. And all the while, fear whispered to me.
Not good enough.
Nothing new to add.
But suddenly, I’d had enough of being afraid and in 2019 I decided to publish something every week regardless of how I felt about it.
I decided to put consistency ahead of quality.
In making that commitment, I was able to listen to my fear and understand that either time or love was needed.
‘You shouldn’t do this because you don’t have all the skills or knowledge’. Thanks for bringing it to my attention, Fear. I’ll take the time to work on that. It will be okay.
‘You shouldn’t do this because you might get hurt.’ I love that you’re trying to protect me, Fear but I’m going ahead anyway. It will be okay.
And just like that, it was okay. Still not easy because writing is never actually ‘easy’. But okay.
Okay to be dissatisfied with what I’d written and just publish anyway.
Okay to accept my fears and move beyond them.
Okay to write for me, and for you, with love.
Because for me, ‘With love’ is the driver. Love for my own emerging voice (hard to achieve but so important). Love for my ‘thing’ of communicating and creating (easy). And love for my audience (so very easy). That love for audience makes it easier to choose what to write and how to write it. It’s been the key to finding my voice.
And the sign that I’m on the right track came when a reader told me they feel encouraged by my writing. Bingo – that’s what I hope to achieve every time. Getting there even just sometimes is enough for me.