The Writers Identity: Exploring the Writer Within


Les Edgerton writes in his book, Finding Your Voice, that the best way to find your voice is to write autobiographically. "Writers will never find a powerful, evocative voice until they learn to be bone-deep honest with themselves, open and vulnerable." I believe that Mr. Edgerton is on to something. In my experience, the best writers are the ones who dig deep within themselves and pull out the rawest pieces of who they are, filling their pages with words that leave their audiences wanting more. If I could interview an author whom I admire, I would most want to know what helped him or her get to that magical place.

My interest in how writers express their individuality began after I completed my training as a coach. I thought carefully about the kind of clients with whom I most wanted to work. I knew that I would be most fulfilled working with writers due to my passion for the written word. It became important to me to work with writers who needed assistance expressing their creativity and exploring what they most wanted to contribute through their writing. However, my experience as a therapist taught me that this couldn't be accomplished without building a trusting relationship with my writer clients, accepting and identifying with their vulnerabilities, and gently taking them on a journey through self-discovery.

It's not news that people are shaped by their environment, life experiences, and values, and that their uniqueness is expressed in almost everything they do. What is fascinating to me as a therapist and coach is how people express their individuality. What sets one person apart from another? How do writers' experiences shape them? In my coaching practice, I help writers through the process of self-exploration by getting answers to the following questions:

*What is present when you are at your best?

*What are your strengths?

*What are you passionate about?

*What can you not live without?

*What are your values and what do they say about who you are?

*What do you want more of?

Furthermore, writers must be aware of their limitations, to learn what their weaknesses are so they can begin the process of moving from a place of stagnation to success. To clarify writers' limitations, a good exercise is to list any fears, problems, and resentments connected with their writing projects. Some examples of self-exploratory questions that can assist with this process are:

*What habits hinder your creativity?

*When do you resist writing?

*Where are you too comfortable?

*Where is the place you don't want to go?

*What are you tolerating?

*What do you want less of?

I ask writers to remember why they choose to write and to think about what they want to create with their writing. To explore this issue even further, I pose the following questions:

*What successes must you draw from to keep going?

*How can you take your failures and turn them into lessons to be learned?

*How can your losses serve you?

*What contribution do you want to make?

*What helps you to enjoy the process and to allow your project take shape in its own time?

*What do you need to sustain your momentum?

I come from a long line of wordsmiths including writers, editors, and English majors. My mother lavished my sister and me with writers such as Dr. Seuss, Shel Silverstein, Maurice Sendak, and C.S Lewis. I was in awe of how mere words on a page could stir up my imagination, the visuals in my head entrancing me and drawing me into the character's world. The only word to describe it was magical. How I longed to have such a gift, to be able to tell a story that left the reader mesmerized. I think every writer dreams of doing that.

What is so unique about these famous children's authors? What attracts readers to their stories? They had the talent to develop and express unique voices. They trusted their intuition and courageously painted the pages with their deepest selves. This is the formula that readers are drawn to, the authenticity of a writer's work. When the writer takes the reader by the hand and pulls her or him into the page, as if to say, "Come now, take a look at the way I view my world," it becomes an intimate experience. The author and the reader become as one.

Lisa Collazo, LCSW, Copyright 2005 -All Rights Reserved

Writer's coach Lisa Collazo believes it is through self-discovery that one taps the resources to write freely and express their true voice. She assists writers with the internal barriers that keep them from writing successfully and helps create and implement strategies to move them forward with their writing goals. Her clients include screenwriters, non-fiction writers, fiction writers and dissertation students.

Contact Lisa for a complimentary coaching call at:Lisa@writewhatyouknow.com or visit her website: http://www.writewhatyouknow.com and sign up for her free monthly newsletter.


MORE RESOURCES:
RELATED ARTICLES
Write Your Story, Put It On A Website, Sell Millions of Copies
Although he has his own website, John Grisham probably does very little self-promotion. When you have Doubleday on your side, most of the marketing is done for you.
Essay Types and Modes Youll Need to Write for College
~TYPES~You Want Us to Write What? Understanding the Task AssignedWhich academic essay writing types we use depends upon which disciplines (or classes) we write for. Each instructor or professor will assign papers that invite us to reveal in writing what we have learned/what we think about the material for that particular class:* ANALYTIC-A classic style used in art, science, history, psychology, education, and most other disciplines across the curriculum to explore and investigate an idea, process, person, action, or attitude.
How To Publish Your Own Newsletter
With the expansion and diversion of businesses, manufacturers, and even hobbyists into more and more specialized areas of endeavor, there is an increasing need for information. And newsletters are the high profit way to cash in on the market for specialized information.
Suspense Novels Made Easy
Suspense novels are probably the easiest novels to write. Suspense novels require a simple formula, which will make your work truly suspenseful.
Why Every Freelance Writer Needs A Website
What do you mean, you don't have a website yet? Websites these days aren't just for businesses and people who want to share their obsession with Buffy the Vampire Slayer with the world. These days, websites are one of the most important tools for writers.
Slow Pokes: Short Story On The Changing World Of Writing
"No one will ever know who I am, I'm a nobody-writer from nowhere? I've had a thousand rejections from all the major publishers. It seems my destiny is never to be read, another nameless soul lost to the sands of eternity.
Proof Positive: the importance of proofreading
Last week I was having a quick browse on eBay when something caught my eye. "Black patient shoes!" screamed the headline.
Basic Word Processing Tips for Writers
Word processors are so widely used now that I tend to take it for granted that most writers know how to perform basic tasks (e.g.
Three 30 Day Journaling Ideas
Here are 3 journaling or diary ideas that can contribute to, and enhance your life. You can use a notebook, The 5 Year Journal, a blank book, even a computer.
Have You Tested Your Theme Against Your Plot?
Creative Writing Tips -How we usually begin the preparation stage in the writing process is?We think of an idea for a storyWe think of a suitable themeWe plotOnce we come up with a theme and we begin plotting, we have to see how the theme and the plot match up. Sometimes as we plot we find that the theme we had initially chosen won't do.
Authors-Stop Expensive Mistakes Before you Spend on Professional Services
So many clients come to me as a book or marketing coach telling me how they spent and wasted a lot of money and time following different well-known gurus in the book and publicity fields. Debbie's Story A recent client, Debbie, already got her books printed--over 900 left to sell from the 1000 at too much cost.
The Writers Angst
What is this annoying, insidious angst that permeates my psyche? In all other regards, I'm a moderately confident guy. I'm secure in my abilities to be a good father, husband, employee, friend, gardener, etc.
Four Easy Ways to Get a Book Written (Especially If You Dont Like to Write)
Becoming an author is probably a lot easier than you think. It's time to get that book out of your head and onto the printed page.
Masquerading As Novel ~ Can Author's Work Convey Important Perceptions?
While novels do not usually attempt to convey concepts about the need to protect ourselves, this one does. For Sale By Owners:FSBO.
Spiritual Journaling
Whether you keep a separate spiritual journal or just wantto add your spiritual postings in your regular journal, youwill want to read this.Personal journaling supports our development and growth.
Publish Your Novel on the First Try
Rejection. This scary word plagues virtually every writer this side of John Grisham.
Get Your Writing Reviewed by Major Publications for Free
All Writers need the press, especially new writers. As a new novelist, I know I need name recognition.
Top 10 Common English Goofs by Web Authors
In reviewing and browsing web sites over the years, I have compiled a list of the most common misuses of English by web authors. Here they are in Letterman (reverse) order.
Becoming a Writer
The urge to write fiction seems God given for some, a learned skill for others.One thing is certain - it requires practice and a particular mindset.
How To Write to a Word Count
You've finished your story, and you're pretty happy with it. The plot is gripping, the characters are lively, and the pace zooms along.

Home | Articles Site Map