Whose story is it, anyway?

I’ve been wondering lately what we are really talking about when we talk about a writer’s voice. When I was teaching 8th grade English, voice was always the hardest, most intangible lesson. The ineffable and unique quality that separates each person from the next is hard to define. Your writing voice is special and unique just to you, period. Even if it’s subtle, no one can completely duplicate someone else’s writing voice.

Or, can they?

People hire other people to write for them all the time, and on one level, I completely understand it. We all are really strapped for time, and not everyone is inclined towards writing. Copywriters, grant writers, and ghostwriters are more popular than ever. Celebrities have their publicists craft and release statements for them. Organizations have spokespeople. Even President Obama, the amazing orator, has a team of speechwriters.

So, who writes their own stuff these days? I’m honestly not sure. There’s really no way to tell. Schooled, by Anisha Lakhani, tells the fictional tale of the Manhattan private high school world where every child has a tutor who writes their papers for them. Fiction, yes, yet we all know that even fiction can be rooted in truth. It doesn’t seem so farfetched to me.

Lately I’ve been getting requests to write people’s stories for them, and it’s helped me to define what my business is all about.

So, what do I do?

As a Storyologist, I provide writing consulting for my clients, which in simplest terms includes writing coaching and editing. I strategize, brainstorm, teach, review, support, edit, revise, polish, and finalize. Yet, my clients do all of their own writing.

Why, you ask?

I believe in supporting people to write their own stories. Not everyone’s stories can sound like a professional copywriter, and I wouldn’t want them to. There’s such a wide variety of stories in the world and I love each unique tale.

It’s my goal to help people write more of their own stories and showcase their own voices. Yet, since I’m consistently mesmerized by Obama’s speeches, his speechwriters must be doing something right.