A Course to Find Your Writing Voice & Your Biggest Fans
Have you ever wished someone would:
- Reply to your newsletter or blog post just to tell you they loved it?
- Leave a comment on an article you wrote gushing about how good it is?
- Recognise you at a conference (or on the street!) because of your writing?
- Actively seek you out to write something for them because of your voice?
- Email you six years later to tell you how something you wrote impacted their life?
- Go right ahead and tell you they’re your fan, just like that? Like it’s no big deal?
And is all that’s actually happened:
You poured yourself into your writing only for it to be completely ignored.
You’re not good enough, you’re not interesting, you’re too stupid, you have nothing to say, and no one will ever listen to you. Sound familiar? Yeah. I’m gonna need you to stop that. None of those things are true.
I don’t care who you are. You’re not seriously trying to tell me you’re the only person in the world who thinks the way you do, is interested in the things you are, and can relate to the experiences you’ve had? Hmm. A little arrogant, don’t you think? Are you really that special?
You are not the problem. Well, you are. But not like that.
You’re not being ignored because of who you are. You’re being ignored because of what you say and how you say it. And, if we’re being honest, the things you don’t say, too. Don’t tell me you’ve never deleted a line because you were scared of what people would think.
God. Maybe you haven’t even reached the point of publishing your work yet. Is that right? You’re too worried people will think it’s complete crap? Damn. Well, alright then. I see I have my work cut out for me. But that’s okay.
Or are you actually pretty confident in your writing, and you’re confused why no one seems to care about it? If that’s the case, you’re probably saying too much rather than too little. Either that or you’re saying the right thing to the wrong people (or vice versa).
Well, whatever the situation, we’ll figure it out. Whether your voice is naturally a shout or more of a whisper, I’ll teach you how to write things people actually want to read and, more specifically, things people want to read because you wrote them. I mean, can you imagine if somebody told you they’d even read your stuff if it was about potato farming?
Now I work with an eye to what you pointed out, and I think my writing’s getting better — more ‘me’ — all the time.
The feedback you gave was spot-on and really helpful. It gave me a direction and focus that I wasn’t getting on my own. I’ll never have your wit, but I look forward to the day when my website reflects my personality as much as your site showcases yours. Thanks again, Kaz, for your high standards and your consistent support.
— Prudence Tippins
Why should you listen to me?
That potato farming quip? That’s just one of the things people have said to me over the years. I’ve also been stopped in the street and at conferences by strangers calling my name. After I’ve confirmed they’re not a BBC agent trying to harass me into paying for a TV Licence, I stop and talk to them and they say things like, ‘I’m a huge fan of your writing!’
When this happens, I’m mostly thinking shit like, Oh god did I brush my hair today? Do I have toothpaste on my shirt? Can they see all these Cheestrings in my shopping bag? It’s very gratifying. Highly recommended.
So, I know how to write things that’ll make people declare themselves a fan. And, as a professional copywriter who regularly writes things in voices other than my own, I know there’s more than one way to do it. Which means you can do it, too.
Anyway, here’s a few more people raving about how great I am and how much they love my writing. In the biz, we call this ‘social proof’ rather than ‘narcissism’.
Yes, I have a fanmail folder. Don’t look at me like that. Hey, maybe you’ll need one too by the time you’re done here.
What you’ll get from this course.
My goal is to help you uncover your true writing voice, then figure out how to wield it effectively – which will be different for everyone. It depends on who you are, what you care about, and what you want to accomplish with your writing. Here’s how it’ll go:
- Before the course officially begins, I’ll prompt you to email me with your goals, your hopes, your worries, what you want to write about, and what you feel your strengths and weaknesses are. (All of this in relation to your writing, obviously, because I am not a therapist.) This’ll help me give you the best feedback I can.
- Every Wednesday for four weeks, I’ll send you a guide introducing a core element you need to include in your writing if you want to a) feel good about the things you write, and b) make other people feel the same way.
- You’ll then write around 500–1000 words using what you’ve learned, and send it to me. (I’ll provide prompts in case you’re not sure what to write.) You can either write a fresh new piece each week or improve one piece the whole way through the course, incorporating the new info you learn along the way.
- I’ll edit the piece and include detailed commentary and practical advice explaining the areas you could improve on, and how to do it. I’ll highlight specific examples to make everything easy to understand. And, of course, I’ll tell you what’s working, too. You won’t feel like you’ve been whacked with the you-suck-at-this hammer afterwards, promise.
- For the duration of the course, you can email me as much as you want to ask questions and discuss what direction you want to take your writing.
- By the end of the course you’ll know exactly what goes into penning a piece of writing that’s compelling from start to finish – and maybe even capable of turning casual readers into fans. I’m betting you’ll feel more confident and excited about it, too.
And listen, I’m gonna shove my fist down your throat and pull that voice out of you if I have to. What, you don’t think threatening people is a good move in a sales pitch? Well sure, you say that now, but you’ll be laughing when people finally start paying attention to what you have to say.
Working with Kaz gave me the confidence I never thought I’d have when it came to writing.
I wanted to be a freelance writer, but lack of confidence and the fear that it was a terrible idea held me back. Then I came across Kaz’s website and loved her ballsy, take-no-prisoners attitude.
— Mel Green
What this course isn’t.
This isn’t for fiction.
I should probably clear this one up immediately. You may learn things that’ll apply to fiction writing, but this course is not about that. It’s about building a brand around your personal non-fiction writing, for whatever reason you wish to do that.
This isn’t about writing like I do.
You have your own voice, and you’re going to damn well use it. You don’t want mine. Seriously, just ask your grandma.
This isn’t about ‘networking’.
You’re not going to beg people you already know to leave comments and reviews on your work so other people will find it more impressive. Not on my watch. People are going to share your work because they want to.
This isn’t about learning correct grammar.
Bad grammar isn’t the reason you’re being ignored. It’s amateurish, yes, but it’s not a deal breaker. You can construct shoddy sentences and still appeal to people. I don’t recommend it, but it’s better than the reverse: beautifully written but ultimately meaningless garbage. A thousand correctly placed apostrophes won’t save you from boring writing. But sure, if there’s a mistake you repeatedly make, I’ll point it out so you can correct it. I’m just not actively going to teach you how to use commas.
This isn’t (just) about writing better sentences.
It’s about writing things people will care about. And, to be clear, you can write about literally any subject and others will share that interest – but they may not necessarily want to read what you have to say about it. Your subject matter is not the issue. Your writing is. But why? That’s what we’re here to figure out.
This isn’t about clickbait.
We’re gonna be writing good things here, not mediocre crap people forget about within seconds. If you try to send me an article titled Top 10 Things That’ll Blow Your Mind (You Won’t Believe Number 7!) I’ll slap you into outer space.
This isn’t about marketing.
It’s not about how to get your writing in front of the people who will want to read it. It’s about learning to write things people will love when they do read it. Having said that, I will provide some bonus material at the end of the course with ideas to get you started.
This isn’t about copywriting.
This course is not designed to teach you how to be a copywriter or to find work as a freelancer. It won’t hurt, though 🤷🏻♀️
This is not a guarantee of anything.
I’ll give you the tools and knowledge to write things people want to read. What you do with it after the course is over is up to you.
Okay, with that out of the way, let’s talk specifics. Here’s what the course entails:
The Course Content
WEEK 1: Who are you?
Your writing voice is so much more than the way you construct your sentences. It’s your personality on the page. It’s what you say, and why and how. It’s your opinions and beliefs and ideas. It’s your cadence. It’s the beautiful swirling mess of everything you put into your words. And this week, you’re going to show me who you are – after I’ve shot down every excuse you have not to. Yikes. Scary, right? But don’t worry, I’m not going to make you share your deepest and darkest secrets, and I wouldn’t advise that anyway.
WEEK 2: What do you have to say?
Theoretically, you can write about anything you want. And if you’re at all like me, there are a bunch of things that interest you. You could potentially write about all of them and make it work. But you could also choose a particular topic and home in on that, which would make it easier to get noticed and build fans. We’ll cover each approach to figure out which one’s best for you.
We’ll also go over the three themes most likely to draw readers in and how you can fit your writing into them. Plus, I’ll share the three angles you could aproach your writing from, at least one of which you must incorporate into everything you write.
WEEK 3: Could you be more specific? But not too specific.
Boredom is the main reason people stop reading things, or never start reading them in the first place. If you say too much, you’ll come across as boring. But the same thing will happen if you don’t say enough. Annoying, I know.
Details are important in writing. But what details are the right ones to include, and which ones are simply self-indulgent? How do you identify what to leave in and what to remove? And how do you structure things in an engaging way that keeps people reading to the end? How do you write impactful beginnings and endings? We’ll cover all this in week 3.
WEEK 4: Why should anyone care?
With everything you write, you should always be thinking, Why would anyone care? Why am I writing this? In the final week, we’ll explore the purpose of your writing. And here’s a spoiler: compelling writing isn’t about you. It may look like it is, but it isn’t.
I’ll show you how to write things with universal appeal – the kind of stuff anybody can relate to, even if they haven’t experienced exactly the same things as you. Because that’s all we really want, isn’t it? To know we’re not alone? That other people feel the same as us? We’ll cover things like how to write in an authoritative way while still being approachable and relatable, and whether it’s important to be likeable. And I’ll just tell you right now, there’s a fine line between appealing and offputting.
BONUS WEEK 5: How do you get your writing out there?
At the end of the course, I’ll send you a bonus PDF containing ideas about how and where to get your writing out into the world.
Get notified next time I run the course.
If you’re interested in taking the course, the best way to stay in the loop is to sign up to Clattermouth. I keep my subscribers updated on everything that’s going on.
And never forget: people will find you because you wrote about something that interested them. They’ll stick around because of the way you said it.