Exercise your voice.

28 Jan

Writing is glorious. It’s something everyone can do, but obviously it’s not something everyone feels comfortable doing. That’s cool, because that’s where I can help. But keep confident, just as I’m sure I could pick up design if I spent loads of time learning, people not initially comfortable expressing themselves through writing could do the same.

That’s why blogging is so marvelous; because it’s informal and forgiving in that respect. So it provides a fantastic forum to exercise your voice.

At the lab, I’ve had several colleagues approach me to help them to articulate ideas for a blog post. They’d been paralyzed knowing they had ideas to articulate without the confidence to put pen to paper, (er, finger to key?). I can sit and listen to glean information and presto! Out pops several paragraphs. It rocks being able to do this.

But does it help them to become better writers? Nah. And there’s definitely a balance between investing your time to better yourself in an arena you don’t wish to explore, and flexing your creative muscles to keep yourself learning. Sometimes, there are client or life deadlines in the wings. But other times, it’s just a matter of getting over your personal hangups and testing the waters.

For instance, I love it when someone takes a stab at writing something and then asks my advice. It serves two purposes: one, it gives me an impression of how she writes. Does she write as she speaks? Does she write with a formal tone? It gives me something to immediately react to, and her voice is conveyed without me lifting a finger. (Refining it, now that’s a different post).

But secondly, it gives her the chance to jump into an area that she’s uncomfortable. Why is this a benefit? Well, why isn’t it? She’s challenging yourself! She’s putting a piece of herself into something and asking a more knowledgeable person in that field to critique it. Of COURSE that’s challenging. And, guess what? She’ll be a better writer because of it.

Eventually, she might not even need me. Now THAT will be both a sad and a celebratory day.

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