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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

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Here is a post I just prepared about the Redwood Forest in East Warburton for my client Visit Warburton that has an important message to share. These words need to land…

‘We are all charged with the responsibility to look after the fragile beauty of the Redwood Forest in East Warburton.

Up until two years ago, the Redwood Forest was a little-known stand of Californian Redwoods that was considered a secret and meditative destination among locals. As a National Trust heritage listed site, stepping into the forest was done with a sense of awe and respect – its silence and simple beauty the essence of its appeal.’

Today it is bittersweet to see that its appeal is so widespread. The attraction of visitors has happened at a rate that has far outpaced the Redwood Forest’s capacity to cope, and also the ability of authorities and stakeholders to develop appropriate infrastructure.

From one short TV segment thousands and thousands of people have come to visit – and its all adding up.

So how can we, as lovers and visitors of the Redwood Forest, ensure it remains healthy, viable and respected?

Here are some important ways every individual can help preserve this amazing natural wonder.

  • Please take ALL your litter home with you.
  • Please do not use the Redwood Forest or surrounding areas for toileting – public toilets are available at the hall in East Warburton or make sure you stop in Warburton on the way through.
  • Please respect the homes and people who live on the road to the Redwood Forest (Cement Creek Rd and Woods Point Rd particularly) – drive the speed limit (and avoid dust), be sensible when parking. If it is too busy, come back later, or another time.
  • Please respect the trees – leave branches in place, leave bark on trees and the forest floor undisturbed.
  • There are other fun ways you can have your forest experience – you can ride a bike to Cement Creek Rd via the O’Shannassey Aqueduct, car pool or use bus services.

Other tips for minimising impact are to choose a time to visit that is a non-peak visitation time – avoid weekends and keep your visits short. You may even choose to just walk the perimeter of the forest (there are tracks all around it), rather than walk through it.

Continuing foot traffic is compacting the forest floor, causing permanent damage to delicate micro-infrastructure and biodiversity.

Tred lightly, if at all, and help preserve this natural wonder.

Parking solutions and preservation issues are high on the priority list for local and state governments, but in the meantime we can all do our little bit to help protect this place we all love.

We appreciate your visit and invite you to explore more of what the Warburton Valley has to offer – there’s lots of ideas on the Visit Warburton website, but here are five  quick suggestions:

  1. Rainforest Gallery
  2. O’Shannassey Aqueduct trail
  3. Observation tower on Mt Donna Bang
  4. Big Peninsula Tunnel
  5. The Ada Tree

There are many more secrets to discover!

If you have any questions and want the advice of a local, pop in to the Waterwheel Visitor Information Centre on the main street of Warburton.

READ MORE 

or https://www.visitwarburton.com.au/blog/redwood-forest-a-place-to-care-for