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Find your own voice
Cut The Crap
Writing can boost health
Be mindful, not mind-full
Hidden information risky
Blog for bucks
Information workers vs manual workers
Don't forget to ask for the money
What are you worth?
Writing for the living web
How to break into online writing and editing
How to be published in print
How to tap into your innate creativity
Effective communication saves dollars
How to become a travel writer
Freelance writing FAQs
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Do yourself a favour, hire an editor
Grant proposal writing
Greeting card writing
When the shoe doesn't fit
Setting your fees
Freelance rates fail to keep up with inflation
Victory to freelancers
Stop verbal viruses
How to rouse the reluctant writer
How to evaluate a web writer
Watch your words
Slash redundant words
Tips to help kids learn to write well
Take the copyeditor's quiz
How to cut the fluff
Writing for the web
It's a disgrace
Choose meaningful file names
Web vs print
Before you begin
Keep it short

Find your own voice

After 25 years, I returned to university recently as a nervous new student ready to explore a lifelong passion - art.

The class title, Finding Your Visual Voice, appealed. Despite spending most of my career extolling the benefits of honest writing, I've forgotten how to express myself honestly through other media.

Art is a whole other language for communicating. As with writing, technical skills are only half the story. The real challenge is hearing your own voice over the loud stories in your head borne of fear, inhibition, self-consciousness, habit, perfectionism, laziness or socialisation.

Just speaking plainly and openly is challenging enough let alone writing authentically, particularly if you've constricted your style to suit the culture around you.

Academic, corporate and government writers must take extra care to protect their personal voices from being steadily strangled by gobbledygook, jargon and political correctness.

I've landed in hot water more than once for speaking out, both verbally and in text. (Long-term readers will remember the ramifications of sharing my views on Mr Murdoch and September 11.)

I suspect the trick to creating honest art, as with honest writing, is to just be yourself and pretend nobody will ever see your work.

Working quickly often helps jammed-up writers as does writing about a passion. If you don't have conviction about your subject matter, forget it - you can't fake "authentic" voice.


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