When Shelly told me that Clean Cut Blog was hosting a group writing project about your ONE first rule of writing I was intrigued. I love riffing off a theme, and I love to hear myself talk (or should that be read myself writing?), so off I went to the wilds of my keyboard to try and come up with my own very first rule of writing.
Hmmm... What to pick... tap... tap tap... tap tap tap...
Should it be "always spellcheck", or "always start with a hook", or "picture them in their underwear"?... (Oh wait, that one is for public speaking. Nevermind.) Perhaps it is "always follow the hero cycle" - that one worked for writing 12th grade English papers...
I thought about what makes me enjoy various writers - is it the expertly crafted sentences, the fascinating subject material, the beautifully realistic dialogue?... Perhaps it's their overly zealous use of periods...
No, my first rule of writing wasn't any of those. And then it became clear.
My first rule of writing is to find your own voice.
Sure, there are a whole lot of great writers out there, crafting beautiful turns of phrase that are a pleasure to read. I love reading a great novel, or a fascinating blog, or heck, even the back of a cereal box, and can take inspiration from all of them, but my own writing, such as it is, wouldn't ring true if it weren't written with my own voice.
I believe that everyone has something to say, and that everyone CAN say it. Who better to tell a story than the person living it, either physically or within their own imagination. I'm not a professional writer (ok, I am in a way, but that's markcom, not creative writing. Ok, yes, I suppose markcom can be a form of fiction at times, but you know what I mean.) and I will never be a great writer. What I can do is be true to my inner muse, whether she wants to write long philosophical essays about nothing at all or just to document the minutiae of my children's lives.
By writing in my own voice, I give you a glimpse into my world, my head, my heart. Read it if you like.
I hope you will.
Oh, and don't forget to spellcheck.