Developing the writer’s voice


I dedicate this blog post to L. Frank Baum, who published his children’s book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in 1900.

This story has touched millions of people who have read it.  And in today’s culture, children everywhere have surely seen the movie adaptation.  I grew up watching it.

And, it’s hard to believe that this story, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has been in print for one hundred and sixteen years!

What a wonderful legacy to leave behind when the time for eternal rest knocks on one’s door!

As I handled the soft cover and contemplated the quote I thought deeply on the importance of journalling for creative writers.

In my opinion, creative writers need to noodle around inside the pages of a journal where it is safe to be exactly who they are – without censorship.  They need to do this as a daily ritual.


Because the act of daily journaling develops the writer’s voice.

It doesn’t matter what the topic is.  It is about the process of coming to the page.  Pen in hand.  Imagination and observation utterly engaged.

It is the place where magic begins to weave it’s way through the world and give the gift of sharing in this human life through story.

Some people don’t know what to write about and feel it to be a futile endeavor.  I disagree. I see a multitude of things to write about and even when it comes to visual art, there is inspiration sitting right beside me if I take the time to engage in life and become a part of the flow.

Developing the writer’s voice is vitally important if you wish to write fiction.  I’ll focus on fiction because that is where my creative heart lies.

Daily journal writing will open a doorway to the psyche, and reveal deep truths about human behavior including patterns you would not normally see.  It may provide you with treasures you may have dismissed otherwise.

To write fiction, we writers much engage in the world.  Watch the world.  Feel the world.  Taste it. Love it. Hate it. Be forged in the fires of dark and light to know the wide spectrum of the characters who will eventually knock on our creative doors, asking for their time on centre stage.

To write fiction, we must learn to listen deeply.  Hear sub-text.  Observe body language and see the correlation between what is being said and what is not being said, but is shouted at us through the body itself.

Writing in a journal develops our power of observation and we can noodle around, telling stories that make us happy or capture the deepest of sadness within. That is the gift of writing in a journal.

And I return to the quote on the cover of this novel journal from L. Frank Baum’s book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

True courage is in facing danger when you are afraid.

It’s hard to face oneself on the page, but it is so worth the effort.

I’ve been writing journals since I was 24 years old.  That’s nineteen years of developing my writer’s voice.  In that time I have recorded emotional turmoil, my hopes, my dreams and heartbreak down on the page.  I’ve jotted down niteteen years of human experience that now helps to add depth to my own fiction writing.

My journal writing has become a doorway to expressing relatable characters and conflict on the page.  And it has kept my secrets better than any friend ever could have.

So, when I found this ‘novel journal’ in the bookstore today I felt instantly inspired by the quote on the front cover.

In a strange way, the quote spoke to me.  So much so that I picked it up immediately and purchased it.

The quote whispered to my creative writing soul.

It said, “If you take the time to be true to who you are and write inside me with wild abandon you will discover untold treasures.”

I am not one to dismiss such creative whispering, and so I handed over my money and took possession of this beautiful lime-green journal; eager to discover what treasures will appear inside these pages.

Writing, art, anything creative is an expression of the human experience and I believe it is a legacy worth capturing.


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