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One of the greatest compliments I have ever received as a writer was also one of the greatest revelations.

‘I was sitting in a café, and I picked up a magazine and started reading a story about a tea sommelier, and I got about half way through and thought to myself ‘Lindy wrote this’,” said a friend to me recently.

I was unprepared for the wave of emotion that rippled through me at being seen and known that intimately. Writing is such a public display of an inner reality and when I self-critique I am quick to chastise myself for being too pedestrian.

Yet here was someone who saw into and through the words and saw the part of me, that authentic writer, that had left a trace of herself despite her own recriminations. I had written something that had written me.

It was a beautiful feeling, full of relief, and surrender.

Last year I mentored a young man through a writing project he did for his year 12 assessments. When it came to giving a presentation reflecting on his process, I found myself offering the group – quite unpreparedly – an insight into the real achievement this young man’s year had held – he had found his unique voice. I knew he was the author of his stories without needing to read a byline. He was so young, so tentative, so in need of an editor – but he had voice.

This truth is voice is not easy to master. Too often we attempt to mimic others – a bestselling author, someone we admire, someone who does not know us nor do we know them. Too often we lack confidence in our own ‘way to be with the words’ and fall into the safety net of sameness presented in writing courses and how to books. It can take years to find our writing voices, but I also think it can be a simple moment where we absolutely fall into ourselves and let our writerly way roam free in authenticity, courage and respect.

Write one million words and always sound like somebody else (often nameless) or write one word and be real. Really.

Voice is a relationship between words and rhythm and intention and energy and knowing and vocabulary and spirit and grammar and cadence and tone and presence.

Voice cannot be imitated or forced. I’m not sure we can even truly name our voice, but we can know it and allow it to live its own life through our writing – a kind of muse that brings juice to the page.

If I think about the article I wrote that was apparently so recognisable as ‘my voice’ I am immediately transported back to how I wrote that piece. I was passionately engaged in the topic, I was still humming with the delightful time I’d had interviewing the subject, and I was totally overwhelmed and in that headspace that so often starts my process that screams at me ‘you can’t do this justice’.

Voice then is my Joan of Arc, that force that rescues me and brings an aliveness to my words. I write ‘in the shape’ of this force and the words that follow are distilled from a deeper place in me than ‘thinking’ can form.

I am a voice that is the sum of my lifetime, of that which I have found precious, of words that hold meaning and music that runs underneath the madness that keeps this crazy song going. Voice is what I leave on the page, more than words – although the words I choose are most certainly essential elements in voice.

When I write in my unique voice, there seems to always be someone who is touched, someone who sees me, someone who finds their own meaning within mine. And that is the reward of writing, and why if you just do one thing to ‘be a writer’ it’s the most delicious, heart pumping, act of fortitude to simply write your voice.

 

The magazine article is ‘The True nature of Tea’ available to read in my portfolio.

©Lindy Schneider www.lindyschneider.com.au

You’re worried what they will think of your writing
A Professional Writer will never judge you for your writing skills, or any attempt you’ve made to get your thoughts down on paper. We applaud you. We know it’s hard. And guess what – we are inspired by the challenge your writing presents us.

You’re not sure if you need a professional? (Aunty Mavis has always been a ‘bit good’ at English)
Would you cut your own hair? Install your own power points? Fix your own brakes? Probably not. Professional skills matter, let the experts do what they do best.

You don’t know how to put in words what you want to say
Thats exactly the right reason to hire a writer. We will help you work through your random ideas and craft it into copy that sings. That’s what we do best. We help you through the confusing bit and put words to your ideas. It will be exactly what you meant to say – promise.

You think you could or should be able to do it all
Outsourcing is where it’s at. Seems like the pressure today is to be a jack of everything. Not only do you have to run your business, make your products and more, you also have to be a social media expert, a writing maven and an SEO and website tech head. It’s exhausting and you can’t possibly do everything well. So outsource your writing tasks and focus on what you do best (and enjoy most).
Busy people need support.
You can’t be all things.
You can’t.

You still think you can write it yourself
You learn to write in primary school so you should be good at writing, right? Kind of. You’re probably better than you think you are, but even so, a Professional Writer has spent extra years in education and honing their craft in addition to primary school or high school English. It’s a special range of skills and knowledge you can’t possibly be expected to know.
And how long have you been meaning to write that piece or freshen up your website? Months? I thought so.

You’re not sure if its too expensive for you
A Professional Writer will always work with you on a brief, a quote and a budget. They are the three things you need to ask for, and in doing so you’ll have control. And consider the costs of not having professional words to back you up. People leave websites just because they’ve seen a typo. People can’t get you and what you’re offering if they don’t read a clear message. It’s a distracting world out there and a Professional Writer will bring clarity, direction and focus to your words and business.

You don’t want to look silly, unprepared, and a million other ways we tell ourselves we’re not ok
We get this. It’s almost everyone’s bag. No judgement. We’re all equals.

You’ve just never done it before so you don’t know what to expect or how it rolls
The first step is a baby one – make the call or enquiry. We will figure it out. We’ll take care of you. Every writing job is different and we’ll guide you step by step.

And yes, you can get out of it. And yes you get final say on what is written.

And it will be fun!

(C)Lindy Schneider

Contact - basic

How do you choose a professional copy and content writer who will polish and bring your message to life? Everyone learns to write at school, but not everyone takes the extra step of becoming a ‘professional’.  If you’ve never engaged a professional copy and content writer before, and you think it’s time, here’s a list of quick tips to help guide your search for the right fit.

Local Life 

While you don’t necessarily need to meet with your professional copy and content writer face to face (thank you technology!), knowing they aren’t far away can be reassuring. It also means they understand the area you are operating in, will have strong networks, be in the same time zone as you for instant real-time responses, and will understand the subtleties and nuances of your market. There are ‘localised’ elements to the way we speak and write that come naturally to locals. And local can mean anything from ‘within 100 kilometres’ to ‘same continent’ depending on what you need!

Marketing Acumen 

If your engaging a writer for blog and content writing for your business then it is vital your writer has sound marketing instincts, after all they will be preparing information that presents your precious brand to the world. Look for a writer who has studied marketing and the copy you commission will be insightful and effective.

Journalistic Discipline 

Ensuring people are being quoted correctly, copyright, fair use, even areas of defamation or false advertising all come into play in writing content. It’s also super important to make appropriate  references to people’s gender,  sexuality and abilities to be inclusive, fair and empathetic.  A copywriter should be able to evidence a working knowledge of the do’s and don’t’s.

Real Relationships 

Building an ongoing relationship with your writer is not only efficient, it can bring a sense of ease and fun to the work. When you find a copy and content writer that gets you and your business, the whole process is streamlined and you will both be passionate and eager to do the best work. There is a mutual benefit in developing an ongoing connection and professional writers adore providing service and ‘extra mile’ support to their valued clients.

Across the backend 

if you’re too busy to write, you’re probably too busy to upload content as well. A good copywriter can offer you the additional service of content loading to your website and may even take it a step further and offer digital support across social media channels. Knowing how the backend of your website works is helpful when writing as it can influence how copy is presented (and therefore how it’s written) and how images, captions and other elements can be worked in together for the best possible read for your users.

Editing Diva

A copywriter who has taken the time to become qualified or educated as an editor and proofreader will always provide you with superior copy. High school English lessons only go so far. If you want to be professional, engage a professional who has done the ‘hard’ work of learning there are nine different types of nouns and what a dangling modifier is! And nothing turns people away quicker than a typo.

Deadlines done and dusted 

Copy and content writers need to have superhuman organisational skills. While you might only see the finished copy at the end of the process, the research, drafting, editing and crosschecking of content is often a time-intensive process. Ask your copy and content writer how they approach deadlines, and if they can facilitate quick turnaround jobs and you’ll get an instant feel for whether you’ll be waiting!

Breadth of experience 

An established copywriter will have a broad range of clients in their back story and be highly adaptable across different industries and writing styles. That is what it means to be a professional writer, not just a writer! Copy and content writers over time naturally build up a solid and broad ‘expertise’ base even when they have specialist disciplines they work in. (And what you learn in one industry can be very useful in another.)

coffee cheers

Connected and Creative 

Successful copy and content writers get to meet many different people in their working lives and naturally gravitate to the service providers they encounter that share the same work ethic and values. This means the right copywriter will also have an instant network of other businesses (think web designers, photographers, graphic artists and so on) to connect you with that offer that same quality work – you’ll end up with a team if you choose wisely!

Portfolio and testimonials 

Always, always, always check out the writers’ folio. If a writer is proud of what they do, they will have a dedicated page on their website with samples of their work and testimonials from clients. Check out the socials and see what others say about them.

Lindy X

Please give me a call on 0417 365 697 or ping me a message if you have any questions!