The Difference Between Your Story and Your Voice

As a voice discovery coach, I am often asked by perspective clients what the difference is between their story and their voice. It’s something that people confuse often, feeling like they can’t share their story because it’s not unique or because someone with a similar story has shared it before. However, your story is not your voice. Your voice is unique to you.

What do I mean? I have been looking for an example that may be more relatable to folks than TD Jakes and Lysa TerKeurst. I finally thought of it tonight when thinking about a young woman whose blog I follow.

Caralyn’s story is that of someone who has overcome an eating disorder. You’ve possibly met others with a similar story and maybe even have one yourself. But if you take time to listen to the video, you will hear her voice and understand that you haven’t heard the story told in her voice previously. When you read her blog, the same voice that shares this story in spoken word format shares recipes with you and quips about dating and developing a stronger relationship with God. You recognize her writing because she has a distinct voice, which is apart from her story.

This is a very simplistic way of explaining it, but its one that you can hopefully relate to. As a voice discovery coach, I see so many people struggle with thinking their story IS their voice. But your voice changes with your audience and development; your story does not. Today, Caralyn is well known for being someone who talks about recovering from anorexia. In 10 years she may no longer choose to be defined by something that happened in her teen years and may instead become a voice for those who are raising women who feel insecure or unloved. At that time, her story will still be that she struggled and overcame anorexia but it wasn’t be what her voice is most known for. Think of a young man going through puberty and how his voice changes as he develops. Your voice can change as you grow. This is why people can share your experience but not your voice. Only you have the power to share your story the way you do. Only you speak with the passion you speak with about the things you speak about.

More on this in the weeks to come as we talk about journaling to discover your story!

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To learn more about Caralyn, check out her blog: www.BeautyBeyondBones.com.

Book Release: When I Stopped Remembering Tomorrow

I sat down at my computer 22 years ago and began compiling a book that would end up taking me years to write because I would pick it up and put it down due to some of the pain within it. I finally finished it last month and published it this week. Today the Kindle version is available the first orders of the paperback will arrive. It feels surreal. It feels like an achievement I’ve waited my whole life to feel. And it feels like something totally unexpected since I NEVER imagined this would be the story I sat down to begin writing.

The book is a poetic walk through my life with reflections providing the narrative if you would like the back story for the poems. Together, they weave this story of how a broken girl fell in love with a boy who led her back to the God she thought she knew and in the falling, she met herself and learned to love herself and God for the first time.

Here’s the first few pages in case you’d like a glimpse:

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Perspective

What do you see when you look at this picture? Is he letting her go? Is she holding on? Is he encouraging her to go forward? Is she pulling him along?

Think about what you see and then look at the picture again from the various vantage points.

Does what you see change when you know there are other ways to look at it?

Photo credit: Viktor Hanacek via PicJumbo Premium Subscription

Journal through your thoughts this week and see what you notice.

Journaling to Discover Your Story

I am teaching a journaling class this Spring for the New London Recreation department. If you have a desire to learn how to journal to discover your story, process your thoughts, or have an outlet for your feelings, join us!

In this 8-week program, we will have 45 minutes of instruction on how to journal and flow with your thoughts and 45 minutes of writing / creative time in which participants will apply the skill they have learned by completing a writing prompt. There is an extra half hour built in for discussion and questions so if people arrive late, it doesn’t take away from learning.

  • Week One: Journaling 101: It’s Your Book, Your Rules
  • Week Two: Remembering When: Responsible Storytelling
  • Week Three: Outlining Your Life: Looking at the Timeline of You
  • Week Four: Benefiting from Writer’s Block: Blocks are For Building
  • Week Five: Free Flowing: When You Have Something To Say but Can’t Say It
  • Week Six: Breaking Patterns: Using New Thought Patterns
  • Week Seven: Pulling Back: When to Take a Break & Try Another Method
  • Week Eight: Why Me?: Why People Need to Hear from You

Supplies & Equipment You Bring: A notebook with at least 100 sheets, pencil and pen or any other form of writing instrument you like to write with.

REGISTER HERE.

Here’s the description from www.NewLondonRec.com.

Spring20 Journaling to Discover Your Story

Have you wanted to journal but don’t know where to start with it? Do you have a story to tell but fear you don’t know how to write well enough to share it? This class is for you! You will invest your time learning how to creatively journal through your thoughts so you can tell your story in a way that will make sense when you pull it all together in the future. By walking through exercises and writing prompts, you will pull together pieces of your physical and thought life that combine to tell your story: the story of you.
Date Information: Tuesdays, March 10 – May 5, 2020; 6:00 – 8:00 PM; 8 wks
Cost: $40 residents/ $45 nonresident; $5.00 late fee after start of class
Age Requirements: Ages 16 and up
Location: Winthrop School Library
REGISTRATION ENDS 03/17/2020
For questions contact Sharon Bousquet at 860-447-5230 or email at sbousquet@ci.new-london.ct.us.

I hope you see you at the class if you are local. If you aren’t local and it sounds like something you’re interested in doing, I’m considering teaching an online version of it as well that spans the full 12 weeks from when I first taught the class years ago. Reach out to me if you are interested.

Freebie from a Friend: How to Find a Good Editor

Remember Nancee, The Language Agent, from the Fireside Chat a few weeks ago? Well, it turns out that she and some friends wrote a book about how to find a great editor. And it’s free!

Download it today if you would like the inside school from REAL editors!

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/find-a-real-editor?

Email Marketing for Creatives: How You Should Talk to Your Audience

Ashely DeLuca and I sat to talk about email marketing, moving from a side gig to a full time business, and how to set big goals for your life and business. She shares actionable tips for talking to your audience and growing your list, as well as inspires you to be more intentional about how you are living. Take a listen to the video and see what you can act on today!

Music & Musings: "Simple" by People & Songs

My pastor sent a song to me about a month ago that I’ve been meditating on and allowing to speak to my soul. As a writer, I love to hear the heart behind words. As a coach, I love to digest how I process things so I don’t write something that I don’t fully understand. As an overthinker, I love to overanalyze and then apply the things I listen to so I don’t waste their potential. This process is anything but… simple.

Since I’d been considering bringing the Music & Musings series back, I figured why not kick it off with a post sharing my reflections on this song. So…welcome to Music & Musings, where I break down a song and share my thoughts on it in somewhere between 250 and 7437 words. Semi-kidding, though Say Something was very long.

Before I begin sharing my thoughts, please take a moment to listen the song:

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Reaching Your Dreams by Creating Goals

My goal is to be a bridge while showing people how to take the stairs.

**What the heck does that mean?!**

I listen to my clients’ desires for what they want to do with their creativity and voice. I hear what they are saying but I listen for their needs. When I identify them, I assemble a team, seek out resources, and form a connection between them and their goals so they can reach them. However, they must be willing to take the first step, like with a staircase. They must take actions and utilize what I share with them, or they won’t reach goals.

**That’s great but I’m not a client so how does you telling this help me?**

I’d love to show you! Here’s a version of the process I use with my voice discovery coaching clients to help them dream again and identify which dreams shall remain ones they see with their eyes closed and which should be ones they live out, eyes wide open, and turn into accomplishments.

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Is It Time to Edit Your Book? Here's the Team You Need… [Video]

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to talk with Nancee-Laetitia Marin of The Language Agent about editing, the importance of having the right team, and how she got started in the industry. The conversation was very informative and it was great to hear another writing professional share the difference between line editing, copy editing, developmental editing, and proofreading. I can attest to the importance of a great editor. I am terrible at editing my own work! When you have a great team supporting you, you are able to accomplish more and think of things you may not have considered without the outside opinion.

Let’s jump in to the talk!

This interview was originally posted on my creative lifestyle blog.

New Year, Better Version of You

It’s a new year so naturally there is all this pressure to be a “new you” and to make resolutions you will give up by tomorrow and set goals that you will fail to hit and give up on by the 13th. That doesn’t make you want to get out of bed but instead encourages you to hide under the covers until next year! But what if it didn’t need to be that way?

Who says it does?

I haven’t made resolutions since 2006. I haven’t set unrealistic goals for myself in about 2 or 3 years. Instead, I set my goals for the new year starting in October of the previous year and do the Last 90 Days challenge hosted by Rachel Hollis and her Start Today brand. I then solidify those goals the last week of the year and start the year in full execution mode!

With each goal, I use the SMART goal format (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timed) so I am able to keep myself accountable for them. I ensure at least two of the goals are ones that scare me and feel out of reach despite being realistic for my skill set and how God has gifted me. I don’t set goals that make me a new me but instead focus on improving myself and becoming a better version of myself.

Below I share with you my intention for 2020 as well as some thoughts and resources for you so you can have a powerful, productive, and better year as well. Where do we start?

Ditch the resolutions!

Scrap the goals that don’t excite you!

Lose the idea you have to become someone different to succeed!

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