Look at the voice, content, and style of your writing. How has it changed over the years? Here are a few questions to help you assess your writing style – sort of a “before” and “after” look at yourself as a writer, blogger, novelist, or poet.
My reason for writing this is a question from a reader. On What is Writer’s Voice? The Key to Writing a Good Story, Lesley of Healing the Workplace asked how my writing has changed over the years.
Funnily enough, lately my writing style and content has shifted. I started my MSW (Master’s of Social Work) at UBC (University of British Columbia) last September, and have found myself wanting to write different types of articles.
I also wanted to shift myself from The Adventurous Writer to The Bounce Back Babe. I want to be a source of light, inspiration, health, and happiness. I want to help people grow into themselves, and flow with whatever life brings. I don’t care about freelance writing anymore – I quit accepting freelancing contracts over a year ago. I just want to write stuff that helps people, like Martha Beck or Louise Hay do.
Anyway – here’s a glimpse into me and my writing. Then, a few questions to help you assess how your writing has changed over the years.
How My Writing Has Changed Since 2008
I’m more open
I really like writing tips-based articles, but I’ve learned that people like to hear stories about my life. I myself like to read about other writers’ successes and failures, ups and downs, highs and lows. So it stands to reason that others would like to read about my life…and yet I’m always reluctant to share. I’m not embarrassed – nor do I have anything to hide! On the contrary, I’m happy to spill my guts about everything from infertility (we can’t have kids) to our income (I make at least $150 per day blogging, sometimes as much as $400).
I don’t like to write about my life because it’s boring to me. Toni Morrison said the same thing to Jian Ghomeshi, when he interviewed her on Q a couple months ago. She doesn’t want to write her memoir or autobiography because …. Yawn … what a bore for her! I feel the same way. I’d much rather seek and write about stuff that’s new to me.
That said, however, my writing has changed over the years in that I’m opening up more about my life. I’m even including pictures of me on my blog posts!
I’m getting more confident as a blogger
This blog – Quips and Tips for Successful Writers – has been neglected for the last couple of years. I felt there were so many writing and blogging blogs out there, and I didn’t feel like I had anything to offer. There are so many opinions, thoughts, ideas, blog posts, op-eds, articles, updates, tweets, on and on and on and on…why contribute to the teeming slew?
But I’m learning that just being me is what I have to offer. I may not be a traditionally published author of print books, nor have I gone on blog tours or guest posted all that much, but I am a strong writer. I earn enough money blogging to live on, which is huge. I am unique, interesting, creative, enthusiastic, flexible, and happy.
My writing has gotten stronger and louder over the years, because I’m becoming more confident in and accepting of myself.
Are you a confident writer? If not, read How to Increase Writing Confidence – Grow the Skin of a Rhino.
My spiritual life is more important
I’ve always believed in God, but my spirituality didn’t really impact my writing. Now, however, I realize how healthy my spiritual life makes me. I feel comforted, happy, fulfilled, and more alive when I connect to God in prayer, Bible Study, church, or discussions with others.
My faith makes me feel good about life and myself, and that should change my writing. My faith and spirituality should change how I spend my time online, how I respond to readers, and where I put my energy. But, I often find myself getting caught up in Twitter, Facebook, surfing, and writing articles to make money instead of writing from my heart.
Does your spirituality, values, or beliefs affect your writing? It’s a process, it seems. And it ebbs and flows, like the tides.
Questions to Help You Assess How Your Writing Has Changed
It’s probably easiest to pick a specific time in your writing life to look back on. If you’ve been writing for 25 years, it’ll be difficult to do a “before” and “after” snapshot of your entire writing life! So, take a look at the last year or two of your writing life.
If some of the questions seem to overlap, just go on to the next one.
- When did you decide to start writing?
- Was there a gap between when you realized you wanted to be a writer, and when you actually started writing?
- What fuels your writing now, versus what fueled your writing “back then”?
- What are your reasons for writing? (eg, money, publication, creativity, self-respect, lifelong desire, something to say, etc)
- What life changes have you experienced since you started writing?
- How has your personality, values, beliefs, lifestyle, relationships, and career changed over the years?
- Are those changes reflected in your writing style, content, or voice?
- Why do you write? Are your reasons for writing copacetic with your actual writing? That is, are you writing articles, books, or poems that you want to write?
- How has your writing changed over the years?
If you’d like to share your answers below, I’d love to read them!