Watch your tone.Mar 02, 2022
When I was nine years old, I'd sneak into my father's study, wrestle his old Olympia typewriter out of the closet, and type out stories.
Each page was one sentence that I would later add an illustration to and then staple all the sheets together into a "book."
At first, the stories I typed were mere summaries of stories I had read. I remember condensing HG Wells' War of the Worlds into an 8-page (and therefore, 8-sentence) "novel."
Why Reader's Digest never sought to hire me to author their ultimate "condensed" versions of classics is still a mystery to me...
One day, an original story came to me about a boy, a dog, and a scarecrow who build and fly a rocket to a star that had lost its light.
The intrepid heroes saved the day by installing a flashlight into the star, and they all lived happily ever after.
I think that story took ten whole pages to tell...
That is the first time I remember experiencing what it feels (and sounds) like to sound like myself.
I lost touch with my love for storytelling and writing for a long time. School required me to write term papers and themes that didn't encourage or reward sounding like me. What was encouraged and rewarded was sounding like everyone else.
I eventually reconnected with my love of writing as a musician and songwriter and later as a blogger. During my time in Seth Godin's altMBA, I moved into writing and publishing handbooks on Amazon.
In both my song and prose writing, the experience was very much the same as my childhood efforts. At first, I sounded like those who inspired me. Eventually, I came to discover, define, and refine my tone and timbre—my voice.
What do I sound like when I sound most like me? Here are a few things that I notice or have had reflected back to me: pithy, crystalizing, and thoughtful (AKA empathetic antagonism).
How about you? How do you sound when you sound like you? Why not celebrate and share that more often?
Scott Perry, Chief Difference-Maker at Creative on Purpose.
If this resonates, please share it with a friend!