Oooooh, thank you for this. I’ve had a few people I know in real life actually be shocked by my writing ability as I seem to come across airy and ditsy IRL! Has given me fear around doing talky things as I think those who read my writing might be ‘disappointed’.

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This is such an interesting topic! For me, becoming a public writer meant turning the writing voice I'd used to talk to myself for many decades- journalling- into one that hopefully makes some kind of sense to other people. I also notice that the more I write in public, the more I strive for clarity, and actually, that's a quality I admire in your work, too: clear communication of ideas.

Individualism (hopefully) gives charm and distinction to writing voice, but is also terribly personal. The analogy I sometimes use is to the singing voice: I can control many things about my singing technique, but not voice itself, which is shaped by my particular body. Voice in writing seems like voice in singing: revealing, sometimes embarrassing, and emergent from body.

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I love this!

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Wow, That was a great read. It really got me thinking about how I change my voice to the medium I write in/on etcetera. My voice is really different when I write about the phases of the moon and how they make me feel, handwritten in my Book of Shadows, compared with my short but necessary text messages, compared with keeping my actual friends informed about what's going on in my life presently (on Facebook), compared with writing my fantasy novel, or even writing a comment here. Then there's my morning pages, the ones full of automatic writing, which I find essential to my life functioning well. I've been skipping them this last extremely difficult month, and I am noticing how everything is falling off the rails for me. I am eating badly with too much chocolate, smoking again even though I am allergic to the nightshades, the family that tobacco is a part of, and drinking again. Don't get me wrong, I am not an alcoholic, I drink never more than three drinks, but it's a measure of how important that self examination is in my morning pages.

And this has turned into a bit of an essay, because I'm not writing elsewhere.

Then there's the shorthand I speak with my closest friends. And how I speak to customers at work, etcetera.

By the way, I was really surprised when I first Dougald's voice. His voice is not what I expected after reading a bit of his writing, but it was over Substack, so he probably sounds a bit different in person.

BTW, he was who put me on to reading your Substack, and I loved it straight away. When I unsubscribed for three months, it was only due to acute financial stress.

I love your writing, by the way, keep it up.

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