As a result of my year of blogging, I have quite a collection of abandoned posts on my rather messy dashboard. I’m guessing that I’m no different to any other blogger/writer. We start off a piece; we know what we want to say… only it sucks. Know that feeling?
We want to project a certain image to our readers and give them a useful and enjoyable read. But, it’s no good… the words aren’t flowing and your writer’s voice is not your own. In fact it doesn’t really belong to anyone : it’s a mish- mash of different styles, all rolled into one.
I enjoyed writing from a very early age and I can still recall the buzz of excitement that I got when our teacher asked us to write stories/ essays at school. I never struggled with my voice; I would just form my ideas and get on with it. That’s kids for you, isn’t it? Pure, unaffected and able to get in touch with themselves.
We seem to lose touch with our inner child, as we age. We learn to become more serious. To not trust our thoughts and dreams. We have to conform in a certain way. This sometimes spills over into our writing and it then becomes rigid and boring.
Perhaps, we should allow ourselves a bit of child talk in our writing? Although, goo goo, gah gah, will not cut it… a bit of play with our words and thoughts will. Kids look at things with a freshness and innocence. Why can’t we look at things in a similar way?
I liken it to my grandma days. This is when my 30 month old grandson comes around… usually on a Wednesday. I love to play with him. I find myself engaging in toddler talk; making even dafter noises than usual and running [okay, hobbling ] madly around the kitchen table , chasing him. We play crazy games of hide and seek and sing songs in awful voices. The music goes up and we dance like crazed people. Our house looks like a bomb has hit it and hubby and I sit in amongst it all, marvelling at our young charge.
In short, I lose myself in his world and become a child again. And oh boy does it feel good. My poor 55-year-old body may ache a bit more, but during those moments of playtime I am truly me. If I were to sit down and write, I can guarantee that my words would reveal the true me… from the heart.
Of course, there are times when we need to conform and behave and write like adults; but would it do any harm to become more relaxed and playful in our approach to writing? Also, would this help us to find our true writer’s voices and write better?
Of course, if there is no child present to inspire us there are other ways to get playing. Painting, crafting, gardening, reading, cooking… in fact anything that lets us lose our self in the moment: it frees the mind and lets us return to our writing with a new freshness.
My late father-in-law was a keen gardener and spent hours in his rather challenging, hilly garden. He suffered from various ailments, but once told me:
‘ When I’m in the garden, all of my aches and pains disappear. It’s only when I come back in the house and sit down that they return.’
Wise words indeed and I often remember them and him, when I’m trying to push through those painful moments. We all have them.
So, what do you think?
- How did you find your writer’s voice?
- What do you do to release that voice?
- And what do you do when the right words won’t come?
As for me… I’m off to play with some paints and any other things that make my inner child happy. I don’t feel like being an adult today.
Thanks for stopping by and have a great and playful day.
Until the next time.
Incidentally, I also have another more arty farty blog. Click here to take a peep. Thanks.