Skip to content

Finding your voice and the personal newsletter

David Gane
David Gane
2 min read

Over the past twelve months, I have been writing daily. On July 13, I hit my first anniversary. For the next few days, I want to reflect on the year.

Voice is a tricky thing to write about.

I know I have a voice, but I'm still fine-tuning it. It's like a giant mixing board in a recording studio, but the dials are humor, sarcasm, personal, educator, and so on. I'm still fiddling with the dials and trying to figure out what the final mix will be.

The easiest way to nail it down is to write and test things out and find out what works for me and my readers. I figure it will be another long year of working on it before I feel like I've got it.

I also think that those settings will be adjusted the older I get. I will move some elements of myself forward into the spotlight, and I may eventually retire others. It will be a continual project.

While I'm comfortable with my daily blog voice, I'm still trying to figure out the monthly newsletter. It's a different beast, an attempt to find a balancing act between the teacher and writer and the personal.

If the daily blog is for me, the personal newsletter is for my sister. A way to reach out and share a tiny part of myself and my journey over the past weeks.

For some reason, being personal is hard for me.

The main reason is that there's a lot I don't want to share. I've always skirted around the weekly travels home I made for my mother over the past two years, and only sharing it now that she's in a care home and I don't have to travel as much.

I'm not particularly eager to put my grievances on the page either. Any time I get angry about things, it usually bites me in the ass, and I end up apologizing. And airing dirty laundry never seems a good strategy either.

I try to share my mistakes—I believe it helps others realize they can as well—but even then, my pride gets the best of me, and it takes me a while to share these moments.

So, finding my voice with the monthly newsletters is still a work in progress—often two steps forward and one step back. The biggest challenge is that it takes much longer to learn my lessons since I only get to do them once a month. Hopefully, I'll have figured it out by this time next year.

That's it for this one—a small lesson in finding your voice and admitting my weaknesses. If any lesson can be taken from this, it would be that the only way to learn is by doing, practicing, and making mistakes. As long as you keep going, eventually, you'll figure it out.


David Gane Twitter

Co-writer of the Shepherd and Wolfe young adult mysteries, the internationally award-winning series, and teacher of storytelling and screenwriting.


Related Posts

Members Public

What's it for?

Seth Godin recently asked two questions in a blog post: "Who's it for? What's it for?" When writing, do you know who it's for? It doesn't have to be an audience with a capital "A." It doesn't have to be for any audience; it can be for just you. But

Members Public

Journey with your characters

Most people can't have the whole story in their heads. Too many pieces, too many moving parts. That doesn't mean you must plan it out. Once your character's story takes shape, then begin. Allow yourself to be surprised and adapt, and let your imagination take you on a journey. That

Members Public

The lies our characters tell themselves

Akira Kurosawa's Rashomon tells the story of a priest and woodcutter trying to understand a murder by listening to the testimonies of the multiple people involved. Ultimately, they struggle to find the truth amongst the lies. A similar type of story occurs within each of us. We tell ourselves multiple