[Tipster] Find Your Writing Voice on Social MediaApr 01, 2022
Dave asked me (Melissa) to write this week’s Tipster. I started and stopped and restarted 19 times. You’d think I wouldn’t agonize over crafting an email.
I’m a writer. I should be able to write an email about writing.
Then it hit me. I simply needed to write this email like I would a post for my Instagram account, @megillicutti.
That’s where I do my most regular writing.
In fact, it’s where I found my writing voice. About seven years ago I committed to (almost daily) writing about my passion for and expertise in vintage living.
I had always considered myself a writer, but I rarely wrote outside of work--about stuff that mattered to me.
I was a professional writer, but not a “writer” in the Steinbeckian sense. That demanded a regimen, I thought, like "get-up-at-dawn" or "write-by-candlelight" writing sessions.
But writing on IG was something I could commit to every day. I didn’t need chunks of time.
Social posts are meant to be short. (Too long, I learned, and you lose your readers.)
I could craft something in 15 minutes while drinking my morning coffee, while I was waiting to see a doctor, or while my husband binge-watched his recordings of English football.
Simply, I could fit it in pockets of space, rather than waiting for an uninterrupted expanse of time (which I never seemed to have).
The “Myth of the Writer”
Writing on social media dispelled the “Myth of the Writer” I had constructed over the years.
Yes, my posts were usually only about 150 words (sometimes less). But I was playing with sentence structure and storytelling, thinking through the connotative value of a word, and figuring out how to connect with my ideal reader.
Words loosened. Ideas crystalized.
I was writing. And as we like to say, “A writer’s gotta write.”
If you’re struggling to find your writing voice, maybe start like I did. Post to your social media account regularly.
Write about something that hit you in the Starbucks drive-thru line. Craft a story about a fluky encounter. Float some of the ideas for that future book of yours.
With limited space, you’ll be surprised (and delighted) by how you’ll learn to create a gripping opening sentence, carve out unnecessary words, pick the most descriptive words, and get to your point—quickly.
The Gift of Immediate Feedback
I’m going to out myself. The best part of writing on social media is this: when you hit publish, you get immediate feedback.
A thumbs up. A “Yes!” Or a “Thanks for sharing this. It made me think of…”
The tastiest feedback? When your writing is shared.
Too often writers write in isolation. That’s where the Imposter Boogey-Man lurks. He says, “Your words don’t matter.” Or “Your ideas are trash.”
Writing on social media—and getting immediate feedback—reminds you that your ideas are meant to be shared. They matter.
Is setting aside chunks of time for writing impossible for you right now?
You can still develop as a writer. Social media might be the place to start.
Now, buckle up and write!