Positive Writer

Writing through doubt and fear, and you can, too!

Writers: Your Voice Doesn’t Need to be Louder than the Rest!

Note: This is a guest post by, Claire De Boer, she’s is a writer and teacher with a passion for stories and a strong belief in their power to heal and connect us. Her vision is to empower people to become their authentic selves and to live more abundantly using the tool of writing. Visit her blog, The Gift of Writing, to download a free copy of her eBook, Soul Writing: Why Writing Your Story Could be the Most Important Thing You Ever Do.

Get comfortable with putting your work in front of people

Have you seen how much advice there is out there for writers developing a platform? So much that if we read all the blogs and books that tell us what to do we wouldn’t have the time to write a single word.

Ever.

A few years ago you would have seen me with my head in many of them. I believed there was sure fire way to make me stand out from the rest and I simply hadn’t figured it out yet.

Nowadays I’m choosy about the advice I take. You should be too. Because if you listen to many of today’s gurus, they’ll tell you your voice has to be a whole lot louder than all the rest.

And that’s baloney.

There are a lot of writers out there, and thousands of blogs. In fact it can be quite scary to look at the competition, so I try not to do that too much. But I do know this: while the most successful people may have followed a set of turnkey rules, success as a writer doesn’t come from following the crowd, or all the rules, it comes from being true to who you are, and practicing your craft.

Steve Jobs faced a lot of competition on his way to the top. He broke most of the rules and did things his way. But one thing he never did was stray away from his brand. He remained consistent in his message and his method.

As a writer you are your own brand.

That’s what makes you unique. You don’t have to find the “secret”, as many will have you believe; you simply have to work on putting your passion and your talent into being uniquely you.

People see through an inauthentic brand immediately. If you try to be something you’re not by following advice that doesn’t resonate with you, your brand simply won’t add up. One day you’ll say something that is in sync with your voice and on point with your mission; the next you’ll come out with something completely off topic. People will notice. And when they notice they won’t trust you.

Trust is the biggest thing you can do to make people love you and your writing. (Tweet This)

There’s only one you in the world. No one else can play the role as well as you can, so why bother trying to be like the rest? Worst still, why bother trying to be something you’re not so you can be louder than the rest? This is what often happens when we try to do things someone else’s way, without consideration for whether it fits in with who we are.

You don’t need to shout louder than anybody; you just need to find the people who love your voice and your writing. It’s all about knowing, and then finding, your tribe.

If someone loves your work that’s a good sign.

Okay, if it’s your mother, you may need to find an additional fan, but the good news is, if one person loves your work others will too. There are more than seven billion people on this earth, each with his or her own quirks and interests. Believe me, if you have one fan, there are several thousand out there just waiting to discover your work.

Not louder, smarter.

Following the secret rules (which really aren’t secret) to success may give you a boost, but if everyone else is following the same rules, it still doesn’t really give you a leg up.

There are no secrets, no short cuts and no hacks. Sure there’s some good advice out there, but hard work and being true to your brand and writing voice are the only things that will build your audience and readership in the end. You have to be willing to go the long haul and not give up.

And you have to work smart. Instead of following the crowd consider what makes the real authentic you unique. Try something new that reflects who you are. Break all the rules.

Get comfortable with putting your work in front of people. (Tweet This)

If you don’t put your work out there, how will that slice of 7 billion people that is yours ever find you? Being comfortable with sharing your work, reading it when you have the opportunity, and finding a way of getting it in front of people that works for you, is essential.

There’s enough room for everyone.

Thanks to technology we have become very aware of all the competition in the writing field. But competition has always been there, and technology has actually made things easier rather than more challenging. If someone wants to publish their work, they can. Ten years ago—no way.

There isn’t a restriction on the number of spots available for successful writers; there’s room for all of us. We all have something to say that a certain group of people needs to hear—no one else can fill that spot.

So rather than trying to be louder than the rest, quit following every piece of advice out there and concentrate on building your brand. Spend the time you would have spent on courses that promise to make you six figures in a year on writing more.

After all, it’s that 10,000 hours you spend working on your craft that will make you an expert in your genre or blogosphere, not the hundreds of hours you put into being louder than everybody else.

Do you often feel pressure to be louder than the rest? Share in the comments.

About Claire DeBoer

Claire De Boer is a writer, teacher and visionary with a passion for stories and a strong belief in their power to connect us. She is a certified Journal Instructor and teaches online workshops at www.thegiftofwriting.com. She is also a contributor to The Audacity to be a Writer. Follow her on Twitter @ClaireJDeBoer.

Did you like this article?

Get future articles delivered directly to your inbox and you’ll also receive an extremely popular eBook included with signing up, all for free. More free stuff to come for subscribers only, so don’t miss out. Enter your email address:

Like a good friend, Bryan guides you through the process of facing your inner demons, conquering the craft, and creating work that matters. ―Jeff Goins
endofpostW Audacity-banner-G610
  • Great post. Thank you.

    • cjdeboer

      Thanks Christine!

  • Susan Mary Malone

    I love this, Claire. And isn’t it the case with all that we do? I just went through something similar with my blog. My SEO guy wanted me to buy a short-cut service. My blogging coach pointed out that Google was onto it, and would find folks doing it and punish them. “There are no short cuts,” she said. “The way is what we’re doing–hard work and consistency.”
    Just like when writing and promoting books.
    Great post!

    • cjdeboer

      Exactly Susan – no short cuts!

  • I love this Claire, especially this line, “success comes from being true to who you are and practicing your craft” – yes! Such a wise reminder. I’ve been getting a bit lost in the noise of social media. I also think the idea of realizing one fan actually equals, or can equal, thousands! There is room for all of us writers, and the ones who are persistent will prevail.

    • cjdeboer

      Hey Dana! I think we all get a little lost in the noise of social media, myself included. Persistence will prevail, as you say, and that one fan really does matter 🙂

  • Claire… Totally agree. The bogus bell is ringing ever louder in the blogosphere these days. Evolution will dictate that authenticity wins in the end. We need more encouragement to do the hard work necessary to become True. It’s a battle, it’s a jungle out there! Thanks for leading the way with your machete. Onward!

    • cjdeboer

      Exactly – authenticity wins – always 🙂

  • Krithika Rangarajan

    Absolutely brilliant.

    I came in expecting some ho-hum advice; I am leaving with a hopeful heart

    Thanks Claire #HUGS

    Kitto

    • cjdeboer

      Thanks so much Kitto!

  • Debra L. Butterfield

    It takes courage to be uniquely you, especially since today’s society screams for us to be a certain way. Thanks for the encouragement, Claire.

    • cjdeboer

      You’re welcome Debra – i think it’s the only way to be. No one else can do what you can in the way you do it 🙂

  • Thank you for these words, Claire. Sometimes all the info out there on building your platform gets a bit overwhelming. There are only so many hours in the day and we all have our lives to live. Listening to your heart and God’s direction for your life and keeping it simple is the best way to build your brand. I loved what you said about just being you…keeping it real, authentic, trusting that if we WRITE IT…they will come!! Thanks, friend. Going over to visit your blog next. 🙂

    • cjdeboer

      Thanks so much Sheila! Listen to your heart, follow God’s direction, stay true to yourself – the basic fundamentals right there!

  • srvnGod

    I’m so thankful for your truth Claire. I’ve gotten caught up in the spin as I’ve gone to conferences and I’m in a popular author launch platform now. I felt I’ve lost myself and literally hit the wall where writing was concerned. Thanks for helping me nail down what I was beginning to suspect was killing my craft, and strangling the writer in me. Blessings, Melinda.

    • cjdeboer

      Melinda, I’m so glad you’ve brought it back to basics – your words, your way. Anything else kills your craft, as you discovered.
      Thanks for reading!

  • Claire,
    I appreciate this post as it is so relevant. As a writer who wants to get my writing before as many as I can, it’s easy to listen to those with big audiences. And if we stray from sitting in our chairs and writing what will happen if we do have those bigger audiences but sub-par work to put before those eyes? I’m very glad I have people in my life who remind me to write when writing moves down on my list, replaced by the latest thing to build my audience.

    • cjdeboer

      Thanks for reading, Anne. I think any time we are putting out sub-par work we need to bring it back to the love of writing and being true to our voice, otherwise we lose our audience anyway. Keep writing in the way only you can!

  • Thanks Claire, I really needed to hear this today. Sometimes it feels like the successful author-entrepreneurs online all know and support each other and I’m late to the game. But I totally agree with you that the best we can do is to be genuine and put our work out there. So, I keep trucking on…
    In fact, it’s time to get away from the internet and back to the actual writing! Thanks for the reminder. 😀

  • Sue

    Thanks. This was validating. I’m tired of all of those posts saying otherwise. Whenever I read them I get these pictures in my head of millions of platforms as far as the eye can see, blocking out the sun, each with its own loudhailer. Blah.

    There’s enough things in the world to make me procrastinate writing without excessive emphasis on marketing and promoting coming into the equation. People are so tired of being spoken at and prompted to purchase.

    So thanks! 🙂