Zen and the Art of Finding Your Voice. Like a CopyMaster.

The Ultimate Guide to Your Perfect Writing Voice must exist, sure. You’ve probably Googled it. And if you’ve been writing a long time like I have you’ve probably checked it out at the library. Hey, speaking of which–

Have you checked books out at the library lately? I have not. I really want to get back to that library, and I will, mark my words. I’ve been only buying books or reading stuff online for the past few years now. Frankly, I’m tired of it.

I LOVE books stores and libraries. But the best part about libraries was possibly the free part. I miss that. Of course, now there are all these free eBooks I keep downloading. Still, it’s not the same. Everyone knows it. Yet everyone keeps doing it–putting out the free books and signing up to get them. It’s hard to resist!

Did you know I have a book out as well? I will say, I’m proud of it. I put in strong quality control efforts, I am an excellent writing advisor, and it’s truly unlike anything you’ve ever read. Plus, there’s the free part.

Here you go, you should get it: Become a 30-Minute CopyMaster 

Okay, let’s get me back to this post.Find Your Voice pen to Zen

As I was saying, the Ultimate Guide must exist, but this post is the Zen guide. So you can be a Master of your own Copy Destiny, not go through a complex process of figuring out someone else’s rules about your voice.

Do you hear my voice in what I write? I included that opener about libraries and eBooks for a reason. Though it’s random, it should sound distinctly like me. Let me break it down for you just in case:

I am relaxed.

I mean literally, I’m stretched on the sofa with my feet up on pillows and my laptop on–you guessed it–top of my lap. I’m in this position because my ankles have been weirdly swelling lately. Kinda gross, but it’s nothing to worry about. Just gravity. I guess I can’t stand at my desk or sit at my table for hours any more. Good.

Also, I’m relaxed when I write because I love it. I’m trying to help you simmer down too. It’s only writing. We’re doing the Zen thing here.

I am confident.

Confident sometimes bordering on wry, but trying not to be sarcastic. Or often bordering on silly. All this is because I’m experienced enough to feel confident in my authenticity. I don’t need to try to please everyone or hide core aspects of myself.

Please understand that not all confident voices come out as quirky as mine might, and they don’t all provide random physical information like the ankle swelling up there. Some of this relates to the type of business I am in and the audience I am speaking to. I’m “allowed” to have this personality because…

I am creative.

You want some creativity in your copywriter, usually, so here you go.

I know, I know. You’re thinking “don’t we need to be more concise on the internet?” and “you can’t write like that for business clients!” Very good, grasshopper. If you or I write to your audience, we better get your voice down to speak to them.

But here at pentozen.com I write for you. I’m not writing your marketing copy. I’m trying to help you. I’m not displaying a model I say you should follow… I want you to enjoy.

So, by that reasoning, if my writing is too long, or too “creative,” too confident, quirky, or authentic or relaxed or too much information for you, then you’re already gone anyway.

I am okay with that.

Not to be rude. But it doesn’t matter because you already clicked out of the post.

See, I keep having to explain (to others and my own inner critic) my lack of robust website traffic. And my wee rankings and slow-growing email list. It’s almost as if people think I don’t know what I’m doing.

In a way, this is because I insist on writing in my own voice.

It’s possible I could convert more with different message hierarchy, different page layouts, and the like. I could use popular bloggers’ formulas for cranking out content and test them out to see what will make my numbers rise.

Yet I WON’T do stuff that changes the way I sound. Because I promise to sound like the relaxed, confident, authentic, creative advisor I am. Because I write for you. So I’m not worried about what those other people think. And I do know what I’m doing.

How do I know?

I know my audience.

Once again, I mean literally. I know people in my audience. I am their friend. I’ve been their co-worker. We chat on a forum. They are my clients. We met in a writers group and now they want to start an online business but they don’t know about writing on a blog. Stuff like that.

Yeah, my cozy tribe looks even smaller now that we consider I personally know a bunch of people in it. But they trust me to help them become CopyMasters, and I will tell you honestly, knowing them is the way I know I am a Master of my own Copy voice.

It’s a powerful method for you, too.

The Zen Part

To find your own voice takes time and practice. There’s no way around it. You can’t know how perfectly wonderful you CAN and WILL sound, until after you’ve been writing a while.

That includes any form of writing where some style or personal expression is allowed–blog posts, reviews, and your own marketing copy such as video scripts or your About page. Be Zen-like in your work as you find your voice. Try doing what I did: define some of your business personality traits that you can write with and that you think would sit well with your readers. Then write as the person who is those things.

In other words, be the writer you wish to sound like. Many people try it the other way around (trying to sound like the writers they wish to be). It’s hard to make that work. That’s like trying to look like the fit person you wish to be. No. Be a fit person. Then you’ll look that way. That’s so Zen.

The Art Part

The art of finding your voice is in knowing your audience, and the art of knowing your audience is in interacting with them. It’s art because there are so many cool ways to build a relationship with your readers. So many expressive ways to reach out to your followers.

So many beautiful ways to say “I Love You, Man” to your customers!

  • Ask for reactions
  • Pay attention to what works
  • Give more–of what they want
  • Pay attention to what doesn’t work
  • Offer to personally help people

And so on. How is this helpful for determining your perfect writing voice?

If you were looking for an answer like, food bloggers should be casual but thorough, or magazine sites should only post articles with a factual tone, then, sorry, you read all this way and those specific answers will not be coming. You’ll need to read elsewhere for that.

But I wish you wouldn’t. Honestly. Stop here. If you think your voice should be helpful, intelligent, hip, nostalgic or motivational–then there’s your start. You don’t need the Ultimate Guide, you just need to write more. Try a little sumthin sumthin now and again.

Once you know your audience responds to who you are, like no other, when you write, then you’ve not only found your voice, you’ve developed the art of using it like a CopyMaster. (Remember my free book also helps: Become a 30-Minute CopyMaster)

What’s your voice? Tell me below, so I can visit your site and “hear” it in action!


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