How I found my voice and fell in love with blogging

Coloured PencilsAll good stories start at the beginning…  My beginning was when I’d been blogging for a few months and I was boring myself senseless. It was yawny yawn yawn.

And when you are bored with something, you grown to hate it.

And I definitely hated it.  Even resented it, maybe?

So how did I stop being so damn boring even to myself and fall in love with blogging?

And how did I find my own voice so I didn’t look like a copy cat of that big name blogger that rocks the Kazbah with every post?

Lean in and listen closely…. cause this is what I figured out.

Yes, you are a writer.  You are not writing “Spot sat on the mat”.  You are writing the greatest adventure story ever.  Your story.  Of slaying dragons and climbing mountains.    The ugly snotty tears of failure and disappointment.  The tragic 80’s happy dance in your lounge room in that moment of victory.  (Because most of the time, your victories happen when no-one is watching… that’s just how the universe works).

So share your heart with the world.  Be open.  Be true.  Be vulnerable.  That’s where the beauty in writing is.  That’s what makes you fall in love with blogging.

Be you.   For the love of all that is good and holy, do not say Amazeballs on your blog if you never, ever use it in person.  Don’t talk about the green juice you had for breakfast after your sunrise yoga workout if you really rolled out of bed about 11-ish and went straight for the coffee and leftover takeaway.  (It should still be good after 2 days… right?)   Why would you do that? (the copying, not the takeaway.  Actually, yeah, the takeaway too).  Because it’s the ‘in thing’?  Because it’s trendy?  I dunno about you, but I ain’t trendy in real life, so I’m not gonna be able to pull that off on my blog.  People will see through that in about 5 seconds.  And no-one likes a phoney pony.  When you write like that, you aren’t believable.  And you want people to believe in your adventure.  To be slaying the dragons right along with you.  Or at least cheering you on from the safety of the sidelines.

Listen to yourself.  Listen to the voice in your head that shows up, usually when you can’t write anything down.  The words that you say in your head when you are in the shower with your hair all soapy.  When you are just pulling out onto the highway and kicking the car into 5th gear.  Amazing how all your best stuff shows up then.  Another trick the universe loves to play on you.

Don’t clean it up (unless you are taking the swear words out… I have to do that sometimes.  Okay, more than sometimes).  I write things like wanna and kinda and gonna because that’s how I talk.   I say some words twice in real life, so I write like that.  As in – I love love things.  That’s your writing signature.  Not your “I just won an Oscar” signature (I’ve practiced that one for years).  The signature that means people recognize your writing, without even seeing your name.  And when you write like that… it flows like music.  Beautiful blogging music.

Is *insert spunky actor here* reading this?  Wanna write your bestest blog post ever?  Imagine your favourite actor is reading it.  And it’s the difference between him thinking you are an idiot or asking you to run away with him.  (Remember to share who your spunky actor is in the comments… I wanna know).

Or pretend it’s your arch nemesis reading and you wanna blow them away with your awesomeness.  Like you are wearing your Wonder Woman bracelets and your writing is deflecting their evil.  It stops you being lazy and thinking ‘that’ll do’ as you hit publish.  Near enough is SO not good enough.  Awesome blogs don’t do near enough.

Don’t write for the millions.  Don’t write as though you have a million readers (cause I know I don’t have anywhere near that many readers and I’m kinda guessing you don’t either).  When you write for that many people, you don’t see them.  You don’t see them in your head when you write. So write for you.  Write your little heart out, baby.  Share your heart and your art and your soul with the world.  Write as though there is just one person reading.

Because that may be who comes to read your blog today.  Who reads your words for the very first time.  And who loves every word.  Those are the people to write for.  Because they become more than blog readers.  They become dear friends.  They become the  cheerleaders on your adventure.  They become kind hearted mentors.  And that’s where the true beauty of blogging is.  That’s where the soul deep meaning is.  That’s why you fall in love with it.

And that is what will get you up at 4.30am to write before you go to that day job.

Coral.  xo

This post is part of a blog hop hosted by April from Blacksburg Belle (love her!) all about the joy of blogging – yes it can be fun!  Don’t miss what the other hoppers are sharing.

Today Sage Grayson and Lisa Lehmann are joining me.

Stay tuned to April’s blog over the next few days – there’s the  amazing Michelle Ward – the famous When I Grow Up Coach.  Mayi Carles – April’s partner in mischief, artist and creator of soon to be Life is Messy Kitchen.  Kimberly Palmer – money savvy side gig cheerleader.  Ashlee Thurlow – a business coach making it simple – yes please.  Laura Clempson – Creator of Cupcakes for Clara.   And Emily Thompson – web designer who loves working with creative business owners (that’s us!).

ANNND….. My gorgeous friend (and mentor) April is teaching a workshop all about blogging.  Learn how to write engaging headlines {you know, the kind that actually make you click}, take pretty pictures, develop a solid content strategy {bye bye writer’s block}, monetize your blog {yes, actual money} and so much more in April Bowles Olin’s workshop on creativeLIVE May 1st to May 3rd.

RSVP to watch it live for FREE. Because, free things are pretty awesome. (High-fives, library books, birthday desserts at your fave restaurant, Pinterest. All pretty awesome.) You’ve got to tune in for this course. She won’t disappoint.  She never does.

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25 Responses to How I found my voice and fell in love with blogging

  1. Sage Grayson says:

    I love this! I was kind of bored with blogging after about my first month too. That’s probably because I wasn’t writing in my own voice. I was an editor for 10 years, and my writing used to be very technical, just like the books I edited. Now my style is more loosey goosey–and a ton more fun! 🙂 Thanks for the link-up.

    • Coral says:

      Oh Sage, the change from technical to letting your hair down and your heart out are so so different. And haaaard! Loving your idea of loosely-goosey writing style. Conjures up a much more exciting adventure. Sounds so fun and like it can take you anywhere. Love love that.

  2. April says:

    Okay, I actually started crying when reading this. Not sobbing or blubbering. But full tears in my eyes at “Because they become more than blog readers…” It’s completely true.

    You touched my heart with this one.

    And my celebrity would have to be: Tina Fey. I also sometimes imagine Ashley Ambirge from The Middle Finger Project even though she’s not a “celebrity”–she is in my book.

    Thank you so very much for this post and for helping me spread the word about my creativeLIVE workshop. You’re the BEST.

    • Coral says:

      You are too sweet April. I love Ash! A rock star and a stand out among the boring and same sameness that can be out there. And funny smart Tina Fey is a great one.

      So many ‘experts’ talk about having a gazillion subscribers and how to get your billionth like on Facebook blah blah blah. Eck. Where is the soul? The connection? The friendship and community and surrounding yourself with kind hearted souls that just get you? I kinda feel sorry for them cause they are missing out on the good stuff. The really deep down awesomeness.

      It’s like getting a fistful of junk mail in the post and thinking that’s better than one hand written letter from a friend. I know which one I’d rather 😉

      So excited to be a part of your blog hop. And crazy excited for your workshop – can’t wait to hear all about it. Biggest of big hugs – to my blogging friend and mentor.

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  4. I have struggled for years to make my blog something wonderful, but I finally came to the conclusion that I’m not supposed to be a ‘big’ blogger… LOL. I’m not trendy either, and all these amazing posts don’t come so naturally to me. You are right, that the community we create from blogging… those relationships we’ve made and held onto, are what makes it all so special.

    I love your page! Keep writing!! 🙂

    • Coral says:

      It’s funny – I’ve just had this conversation with another blog friend. We both have figured out that we aren’t interested in “going big”. Maybe it’s a creative girl thing? We both want the connection and soulful inspiration. The friendship and all the gorgeous things that come with that like enthusiastic cheerleading in our victories and arms bearing ice cream in defeat. Kelly Rae Roberts is one of the few that seems to have a big following but has kept it heart centred.

      Yeah, it must be a creative girl thing….

  5. Amanda Sue says:

    This was really awesome!!!! (I found you through April’s post!) Be You was a big eye opener for me, that I’m working on right now…I feel like I’ve spent the last month trying to figure what “my” voice is. Up until then I was writing too formally….trying to be “professional” y’know. But one day I noticed…when I’m talking with my sister, people eavesdrop on our conversations, because apparently when I’m in my element, I’m freakin’ funny! Who knew? lol

    Let’s see…sassy actor….Sassy Spock…wait…just kidding. Oooohhhhh can I have Benedict Cumberbatch read it in my head? Hang on…let me think about that one for a few minutes…yeah…that’s nice. But for my target, methinks I’ll hear it in Felicia Day’s voice…..since I’m catering to the quirky ladies. 😀

    • Coral says:

      Ooh…Sherlock. He’s a great one. You know, you are allowed to have two… Hehehe. Felicia and Benedict sounds fine to me.

      I started out trying to sound proper and articulate. But when that isn’t how you talk, it is boriiiiiing. What helped me find my voice or at least realise I needed to go looking was that I got compliments on my accent on a video I had done. My accent is quite ocker Aussie. Funnily enough, April also gave me compliments about my comments I left on her blog. I wasn’t writing on my blog the way I was writing on hers.

      Funny is THE BEST!!! A girl I deal with via email at That Day Job sends the most amazing emails. They are funny and sarcastic and self deprecating in the best way. They are the highlight of my week. Please oh please be you. Share that with the world and they will adore you. xo

  6. Marie-France says:

    Thank you for this post and your authenticity. It took me a while to realize that my true voice was worth sharing with the world. I’m finally writing from my heart and soul and it feels soooooooo good!! I’m grateful for my followers and know that those people who are meant to be in my tribe will find their way to me. I am truly blessed!

    Oh, and the spunky actor I’d be writing for is Richard Dean Anderson. 🙂

    • Coral says:

      Ah, Richard Dean Anderson. A resourceful man… Gotta love that! Hehe – my Mum used to loooove him.

      Voice is so where it’s at. When you write with your true heart, your words, your ideas, your writing glows like a beacon. People connect to what you have to say, they want to come on your adventure with you. And it makes blogging so much more fun. You aren’t doing what strangers tell you that you should be doing. You are being your true self. Telling your stories. Your truths. And in your words. Voice and authenticity and vulnerability and heartfelt truth is where blogging becomes magic.

    • Amanda Sue says:

      OOOOOHHHHH MacGyver/Jack O’Neill! 😀 I LOVE it. 😀

  7. Christine says:

    Wonderful post. I’m signed up for the course – I just hope I’ll be able to follow most of it without my 15-month old daughter throwing too many tantrums!

    My spunky actor is Benedict Cumberbatch (AKA my Alternative Universe Husband, according to my [Real Life] husband). Sadly he doesn’t represent the target audience of the business I’m currently building up, at all, unless he’s looking for beaded jewelry for a female in his life! 🙂 Is there an actress whose style is elegant, with the occasional alternative/Goth/historical influence/inspiration?

    • Coral says:

      Don’t worry if you miss bits because of a tantrum. The universe seems to find a way to make sure you hear the bits you need to hear. And often, it’s one sentence. One idea. One concept that sticks. That stays with you for weeks afterwards. That leads you down the path you need to follow.

      Ooh, that Benedict is a popular fellow isn’t he? Hello Sherlock! Don’t think he can’t count. It’s not that he relates to what you blog about. It’s about him thinking what you do is awesome. That you love what you wrote so much that you would be proud for him to read it. That if he read it, he would think you were a mad genius and instantly decide that he had to kiss you madly the next time he saw you! Sounds crazy, but gee wizz, you write your bestest when that is how you assess what you’ve written.

      Ooh – girl ideas? Who do you admire or look up to? If this is your style, you must have someone you think is super duper awesome. How about Angelina Jolie or Ditta Von Tess? Elegant but with a little darkness. When you say gothic, I think of Abby from NCIS. A happy goth rather than elegant but she’s kinda my go to girl for goth cause it’s one of my favourite shows. Maybe find a photo on Pinterest (look at my Drawing Inspiration board – a little goth influence in there) and give her your dream personality. Sassy and smart and a daydreamer. An adventurer who wears her heart on her sleeve. Dressed down introvert by day, wild gothic artist by night. Make her your champion. Your role model. Your imaginary best friend. Could be crazy wicked fun?

  8. Nita says:

    Oh, well said, Coral! I don’t know if I’ve found my voice yet… I don’t think I’ve actually gone looking! I don’t even know if I could put down in words why I write a blog. I know I don’t stress about it and am a “slow” blogger. I write when I have something to share, which is sometimes a lot and other times not so much. I don’t know if what I have to say or the way in which I say it is of any interest to anybody, and I can’t decide on a niche…there are too many interesting things to focus on just one! Maybe I should figure it out and write a blog post about it. Hummm… 🙂

    • Coral says:

      I had a blog once before forever ago which was for me to play along with art challenges. I would post every couple of months, and it was very vanilla. None of my personality came through in my writing and it was quite obvious my heart wasn’t in it.

      My writing on my 2 blogs is so different now. My words are so very me. My heart is in it. I get up at 4.30am during the week to write my posts and edit photos. Sounds crazy I know, but it’s because it’s so important to me now. I can feel the difference. Blogging the way I do now is so special. I wish everyone felt that way.

      There are lots of girls who blog about multiple things on their blog. Family and recipes and various craft. Look at April – last year she added colour inspirations, recipes, craft projects in amongst her biz advice. I think niche-ing is important if it’s a corporate/serious business blog. But for anything else, I think there is room to add a few things. In some ways, I feel like I know April better because of what she did. I know what her art style is like because of the art books she reads, the colours she shared and the projects she worked on. Sometimes that makes a blog feel fuller, not confused or crowded. And it’s your blog. You get to do it your way. That’s what makes it so awesome. Sing it with me…. “I did it myyyyyyy waaaaaaaay”.

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  11. Emily says:

    Aaa! I love this! And I needed to read this tonight. So the best part of watching April’s CreativeLive class has been finding her amazing blog and then all of these other amazing blogs by stalking the comments! And this was just perfect!

    You know, I wrote an entire blog post today (but didn’t publish it because something just didn’t feel right) and now I know what it is. Even though I keep saying I’m going to write with my authentic voice (which I pretty much do on my more personal blog) I didn’t really stick to that with my blog on my website (that I’m reviving from the dead.) I WANT to. I just didn’t. But just in reading this I feel this new… aliveness! I feel excited to go in and rewrite. And then hit publish. And then imagine my arch nemesis reading it and weeping in her kale smoothy while I enjoy a glass of wine! 😉

    • Coral says:

      I loved being a part of April’s blog hop. So many amazing girls sharing the beautiful side of blogging. I’ve got 2 blogs as well – it’s funny that each one sounds slightly different just because of the topic. But underneath it all, I’m there. My quirky phrases, my self deprecating comments, my unwavering enthusiasm for the creative life. And that’s what people seem to love the most.

      You didn’t hit publish because you knew. You knew it wasn’t quite right. That the mad passion for what you are writing wasn’t there. You knew something was missing. Let the real you out. Don’t hold back. Let your heart out. And enjoy that glass of wine!

      • Emily says:

        Oh it’s so great to hear that someone else has two blogs! It feels like too much to keep up with–but then seems to make the most sense for my business and target audiences.

        It felt SO GOOD to go back and rewrite that post. And then I felt great about publishing it instead of just “meh.”

        Thank you again for such a great post!

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