Be true to your element.

Your voice grows out of your basic element, so it's important to know it and stay true to it. Otherwise, it's hard to find your voice.

Be true to your element.

I have a confession to make. Last week I changed my way of writing my first draft, and as a result my text changed with it. It came out differently than usual, and I didn't see it until a few days later.

The thing is that your voice grows out of a certain combination of the five elements that's unique to you. That's why you have to know your basic element to find your voice.


When you do, you find a specific way of accessing your voice. Your method and voice develop a coherent behavior, and it all leads back to your basic element.

If you change your method, your voice needs time to adjust, and that's what happened to me last week. I didn't give my voice any fair warning of the sudden change in method. A serious error that runs much deeper than it sounds.

Because underneath what seems to be a small misstep as a writer, lies a much more fundamental mistake that could have been devastating over time if I hadn't caught myself in it.

The mistake I made was this,

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