Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Sound of My Own Voice

by Kelli Wommack

About a month ago, I wrote a blog post about my twelve-year-old daughter, Bekah, desiring to be homeschooled. She told me she felt like God wanted her to be different and that it was extremely difficult to live that out with all the pressure from other kids at school. She asked me if I would take at least a year of homeschooling to not only teach her academics, but also boldness.

The more I think about it, the more I realize that I have faced a similar struggle with writing. I feel like God has gifted me to have a unique writing voice, but it is extremely difficult to maintain that voice with all the pressures of the writing world.

I started actively blogging July 4 of this year. Yes, I am a newbie. I had started a blog two years ago and posted three times. Within 6 months. Major commitment problem. So this time, I was dedicated to write at least twice a week. I honestly wasn’t sure about a theme or a niche, so I just began writing about what God was teaching me on a daily basis. For inspiration, I started following many different blogs and reading the posts of many different writers. The more I read, the more I struggled with what I should write. I saw other writers’ successes as incentives to write like them.

I want to write beautiful prose that drips with imagery and movement. The kind that leaps off the page and makes you want to sing the words.

Or maybe I will write like her... she is lighthearted and makes me laugh out loud.

His writing is packed with leadership strategies and attracts lots of readers. Perhaps I will follow suit.

She shares stories through many photos, but few words. And yet, I am powerfully moved. Wow, I wish I had that gift.

My need for inspiration spiraled into a need to conform. Yes, I was plagued with the same struggle as my tweenage daughter. I knew that God had given me a distinctive writing voice, but it seemed much easier and attractive to follow the way of others I admired. I prayed that God would teach me how to be BOLD and communicate the message only I could write.

So, how did I discover my unique writing voice?

  1. I prayed for God to reveal the message and/or method specific to me.
  2. I asked readers and friends what value I give in my writing.
  3. I read my own words...past articles, journal entries, and blog posts. What was a topic on which I passionately and consistently wrote? Or was there a common thread throughout my writing?
After putting these steps into action, I realized that my writing identity is somewhat like a cheerleader.  I motivate people to see their potential and purpose in life using Scripture and personal life illustrations. I offer prayer, encouragement, and even advice regularly to readers fighting the battles of life and help them see the power and presence of God through it all.
 
No, I probably will not ever write beautiful prose, or use magnificent photos to tell a story. I don’t think being a leadership guru or a comedian is in the master plan, either. But that’s okay. The different, unique writing voice God has given me includes pompoms and a megaphone. And who knows, one day you might just see me on your sideline. I’d like that.
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Once a cheerleader, always a cheerleader! Kelli is a motivational speaker, writer, and blogger and loves seeing people reach their full potential in Christ. In her role as Serve Minister at Christ Community Church in Georgia, she has the awesome privilege of rallying others to find their unique place of ministry. Her favorite home team includes her loving, funny, yet quiet husband, and her two loving, funny, and not so quiet children. 

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