Your Brand, Your Voice, Your Life
By Briana Hansen
As an emerging writer constantly pitching yourself and your projects, you’ve likely heard about the value of finding your "voice.” Figuring out your "voice” as a writer is like asking yourself the question “Who Am I?” It’s an ongoing, frustrating, ever-changing, and often nebulous process.
But boy, oh boy, is it worth it.
Finding and amplifying who you are as a storyteller, a creative, and a writer are what will make your work stand out in a saturated market. And, maybe more importantly, it will make your work really mean something both to you and to anyone lucky enough to read (or see!) it.
So how do you go about finding it? Well, the good news is, it’s sitting right below your nose waiting to be found. The bad news is, it can be confusing to figure out and truly get clarity on.
One way to really figure out your voice is to get a clear sense of your brand. In the Pitch Prep Program, we dedicate two sessions to honing in on how to really find your brand in your existing body of work (and beyond). The main lesson from the Branding Clinic is that sometimes you have to walk away from the grind of the work itself and look at your portfolio as a whole. You have to step outside of yourself and really look at your why. Why are you telling these stories? Why are you spending so much time writing about these particular characters and these particular situations? Why do you write?
Figuring this out will help you really hone in on what makes you unique and the type of writer you are. By understanding these things, you can lean even further into them within your creative work and bring it to the forefront with your individual voice.
And, as a bonus, you can (hopefully) remember some of the fun outside of the creative work that you truly enjoy doing. So when you need to step away from a project because you’re stuck, you’re frustrated, or you just feel like you don’t know what to do with it...you can choose to engage in something delightful that brings you joy. By renewing that delight within yourself, you can (when the time is right) come back to a project with a fresh set of eyes and a refreshed soul.
But just because you’ve honed in once on “your voice” or “your brand”, that doesn’t mean your work is done. Don’t forget: You’re an evolving, growing, changing human who has ongoing experiences that affect how you see the world every day. Sometimes those experiences will dramatically change you. Other times, they’re more subtle. But they’re always consistently happening. So it’s incredibly important to do periodic check in’s with yourself and reconnect with the truth of your voice in whatever here and now you’re experiencing.
The most important part about finding your voice? Don’t be afraid to use it. We all want - and need - to hear you.