|Pharell Williams sitting in his chair on "The Voice"|
This is Pharell.
He’s looking, listening, waiting for the singer who will blow the audience away.
What do they need to succeed?
Something that when they sing identifies them.
What do writers need to succeed?
Something that when they write identifies them.
What do artists need to succeed?
Yes, voice. Because how they choose to express what they see is what they are telling the world. Surely you know the difference between Picasso and Van Gogh. Right?
How do you want the world to see your voice?
What do you want to put in your writing to make it stand out?
Rich, lush descriptions? Like this from “The Disenchanted Widow” by Christina McKenna.
She blew jets of smoke from her nostrils like a dragon in a fairy tale, crushed the fag in a prickly pear cactus on the windowsill, yanked the bag from him.
Rich, full of images.
Full of style. Full of voice.
If you ever get stuck with your writing try listening to the sample of music provided on iTunes of the same song by different artists. You will be AMAZED at what they accomplish with their instrument, with their voice.
I didn’t mean to get hooked on “The Voice” this year, but gosh darn, I’m sucked in. I have my favorites and when they sing I get teary-eyed. I love the 15-year-old Sawyer who strengthened his voice by singing to the cows on their farm. I love Tanya who helps prison inmates sing in a choir. I adore crazy-moves Hannah who puts her entire body in her songs. I admire 17-year-old Mia from Pittsburgh (a Yinzer girl!) who gets taken over by the spirit of a smoky-voiced 40 year old experienced woman.
So, as you work with your writing, think about your voice. How do you want to sound to the rest of the world?