Watch your tone.

personal development storytelling 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

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