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Writing Exercises - H.O.W. to Better Yourself and the World - Part Four

Updated on November 1, 2020
bravewarrior profile image

Shauna writes about a variety of topics in various genres, governed by whatever motivates her muse.

This writer's office opens her voice
This writer's office opens her voice | Source

Prelude to Part Four

This is the last in the Billybuc writing exercises challenge. As I mentioned in part three, this leg required posing a question to some readers and gaining their feedback. I sent out several requests, but only two came back. Well, actually I received three responses but the last one came via a comment to one of my hubs, but fits in perfectly, so I’ll use it.

The next item on the list is:

The Question and First Response

Ask someone else what your voice is. Have them describe what you sound like. Is their description something you can live with? If not, change it!

The first to respond to my request was Mr. Challenger himself, my good friend Bill aka Billybuc. Here’s what he had to say:

“Your writer’s voice sounds like fifty-year bourbon. It sounds like a quiet Sunday with friends and family. It sounds like Vin Scully calling a Dodger game. It sounds like a combination of Mayberry and Desperate Housewives. It sounds like….Sha!”

I must admit I was a bit confused by the bourbon and Vin Scully remarks so Bill expounded:

“The things I mentioned are either American institutions or quality products….you have a comfortable voice that reminds me of all that is good in America. You remind me of home, mom and apple pie.”

Can I live with that description? Abso-damn-lutely! Coming from my dear friend and mentor, his description of my writer’s voice warms my heart, brings tears to my eyes and propels me forward.

Next in Line

Next to respond was my sweet friend Maria aka marcoujor:

“I have never actually heard your voice with my ears. Yet, I feel as though I am qualified to answer as I believe we hear each other through our written word and actions just as much.

“You, Sha…have a voice that makes me feel as though I indeed have a kindred spirit in you. You are positive, yet real about it. You speak of decency and peacefulness, even though life has not always been that way towards you. You emulate freedom, individuality and acceptance of others for their individuality. I believe I could pick your voice out of a crowd and I would hug you…real hard!”

Wow! Do I even need to tell ya’ll that I can live with this perception of my writer’s voice? Holy Mackeral! Better yet, Holy Dungeness Crab!

A Surprise

And finally, Ghost aka Ghost32, whom I love dearly, commented on my hub called “Mountains Majesty”. I hadn’t solicited him in this portion of the writer’s exercises but he left a beautiful comment as follows:

“Nice, Sha. Very nice. Fresh coffee, pen in hand, cats aplenty—what else could any writer ask?

“Aside from the text itself, your choice of Carole King’s ‘Way Over Yonder’ is just right. The sound engineering on Carole’s song is especially awesome in that the instruments are there as support for her powerful voice rather than competing with it as so many do—and in turn, your song choice (both, but to me, Carole’s most of all) plays the same support role for your writing voice.

“’Looking out the window she saw her dreams outlined in the distance.’”

“Can’t get a better opening line than that.”

I thank you from the bottom of my heart, Ghost!

Final Words

The final step in Bill’s writing exercises is to write down a description of who your ideal reader is. What are they looking for when they read? Then ask yourself if you deliver what they want to read. If not, change it!

I believe this exercise needs to be answered personally; it doesn’t really warrant a hub, I don’t think. But it is a question we must all ask ourselves and be honest with our answers. That is how we grow as writers.

I want to thank Bill for posing the challenge and all who helped me with this last exercise. Please use the comments area to tell me how you perceive my writer’s voice and to offer any suggestions for improvement.

Become better writers and become better people. That’s H.O.W. we can better ourselves and the world.

How I See My Writer's Voice

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2013 Shauna L Bowling


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    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      8 years ago from Central Florida

      Audrey, you have just read me like a book. That's a good thing, I think. I have to reason to hide and every reason to celebrate my life. You are a doll. You have no idea how proud you have just made me feel.

      I'm taking a brief break from de-cluttering my office and found this. You have just made my day, my friend!

      BTW, I had thick eyebrows, too. Not anymore - I pluck, pluck, pluck away!

      Have a wonderful weekend. I will after reading your awesome comment!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      8 years ago from Pahrump NV

      Dear, beautiful Shauna ~ I don't know where to begin. With each remarkable hub of yours, I am getting to know you. And, to know you is to love you.

      I, too am made up of Native American on my mothers side. I carry this proudly. Like you, my high cheekbones give me away along with my huge eyebrows ( plucked most of them when I didn't know better.)

      Your voice is distinct. A blend of nobility, proficient, inspiring and uplifting ingredients.

      You write and speak from the heart. You are a teacher, a giver and I detect boldness which has grown out of courage.

      I am a follower of greatness always seeking more light and knowledge. This is why I follow you - my sister. ~ Love ~

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      8 years ago from Central Florida

      Pearl, you are a busy lady today! I'm so glad you're bringing some life back to these hubs. I appreciate how you hear my 'voice'. You've just made my day - again! That's quite an honor to be put up there with Bill. He's my writing hero, too!

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 

      8 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      bravewarrior, your voice, my friend, is: confident, capable, comfortable and comforting, encouraging, real, sweet and slightly tough with just the right amount of salt, inherently happy, and most of all memorable!

      You and billybuc are my writing heroes ;) Pearl

      Voted Up++++

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      8 years ago from Central Florida

      Aloha, Joe! Ah, finally we meet. I appreciate your kind comment on this hub. As for my brother, we complete each other. He's been waking up in the middle of the night with story ideas for me. He says he feels as if he's half of my brain. Pretty cool, huh?

      I look forward to getting to know you other than what I see in Bill's comment section. Enjoy your weekend!

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 

      8 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Hi, Shauna!

      What a terrific job you did with this response to Bill's challenge! That man has made a world of difference here on HubPages, and I am so thankful to not only have made his acquaintance but also the amazing connections with so many who follow him.

      I definitely can see your Native American heritage in those lovely cheekbones.

      That was really cool and chic of you to include your artist brother in your HP profile photo AND text. I absolutely reinforce the notion that we have a common denominator SPIRIT that connects all of us.

      I always did wonder who Bill was referring to when he'd make reference to "Sha," and now I know.

      Aloha, Shauna, and have a fun and memorable weekend!


    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      8 years ago from Central Florida

      Epi, your words touch me. I'm so glad you like my writing style. I write from the heart with a dose of my personality. I don't know any other way to write.

      Enjoy your day and don't overdo the caffeine!

    • epigramman profile image


      8 years ago

      Well that's a very good point about life and living being a work in progress. I often think our relationships with people are like that too and yes it most definitely relates to our creative side. Quite often because my minds work like a speed freak and tackles so many different subjects and topics - I am usually thinking of writing the next one 'while' writing the current one , lol. I am a very fast writer - most of my pieces are written in about 20 minutes or so as if I am rushing to get it all out of me , lol.

      I always love 'your' personal approach and unique style in the way you write. It draws the reader in and we are not only just be entertained but enlightened as well. Thank you for always inspiring me and I will madly and gladly link and share your words and wisdom here on my FB wall for everyone to see and read.

      I am sending to you my good thoughts and good karma from Colin and his cats Tiffy and Gabriel at lake erie time 10:15am with 2nd cup of french vanilla coffee, a violin concerto and overcast skies but still muggy temperatures .

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      8 years ago from Central Florida

      Mickey, my dear (and somewhat mistreated!) friend, I am tickled to death that this is how you see me. I do try to stay in the middle by offering what I know and/or feel, but willing to hear others out. I learn a lot that way and that can only benefit me as a person. It's all about give and take. If I have something to say that is of value to the reader or brings a different perspective to a situation, than I have done by job as a writer and a human being.

      Thank you for taking the time to leave this much appreciated comment. You know I love you!

    • MickeySr profile image


      8 years ago from Hershey, Pa.

      Shauna ~ this is the first I've come across this, and I don't know where or how the question was asked, but I would offer my own answer;

      To me, you have a voice that is a wonderful harmony of a longsuffering interested party and a free-spirited adventurer in ideas . . . now, I think when I say 'interested party' that may sound like legal document- talk, but by it I mean to suggest that have a genuine interest in those you care about. For instance, we all feel the sincerity of your support in our own efforts at HubPages . . . as you read our work you really do get to know us, and that happens because you are attentive, it's not merely a chore or duty, you want to encourage and you delight to see those you care about do well, etc. I mean 'interested party' in the warmest sense . . . and, 'longsuffering' because you don't have to agree with others on all points, they don't have to be as you are, for you to like and support them.

      And I think of you as a free-spirited adventurer in ideas, because; some love to instruct, they love to tell others what they know - others are more hesitant to think anyone is interested in what they know and they adopt a role more of a student, they learn from others. You are so pleasantly in that glorious middle-ground - you have much to share and we can all learn from you, but you are perfectly comfortable learning from others as well.

      Yours is the voice of: a mother seeking exploits, a trusted chaperone on an intellectual expedition.

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      8 years ago from Central Florida

      Beckie, I remember your advice to go into interior design. I actually looked into it several years ago. It requires schooling and I don't want to go back to school. I do plan on writing a series of hubs about decorating on a budget. I'll get around to it on of these days!

      You mean a lot to me, too. You're a sweetheart and you make me laugh. Laughter is awesome!

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 

      8 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Shauna - I have been working some long hours of much-needed overtime and this is the first I have been able to sit down and catch up. I just want to let you know how YOUR voice sounds to me - I have often found myself experiencing the same sensation as curling up with a good book on an otherwise dreary day. I have heard your voice sound calming and soothing when "speaking" of such terrible tremors as child abuse, your voice has been educational when guiding me through my favorite hobby of planting, and most important - your voice has brought smiles to my spirit when I needed it the most. I once suggested you move in the world of interior design, however - after having had the pleasure of reading your creativity for more than a year now, I am so happy you took the road of writing. You found your calling.

      I can never fully express how blessed my life is having you as a friend.

      Sending such love, warmth and friendship to you.

      XOXO Beckie

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 

      8 years ago from Central Virginia

      Shauna, you are precious. Thank you for your love and care. As for my helping you with determining your niche, well, I only helped you locate it. You already knew what it was.

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      8 years ago from Central Florida

      Linda, you bless my heart. If I could pick a 'best answer', your's would be it! I'm so sorry your mom is having hard times, and you, as the result. We will always have the Witch's Tower where we can go and look at the stars above, fireflies below and remove ourselves from life's strife.

      I love you my friend. Sending prayers your way as we speak.

      P.S. I think you have just determined my platform as a writer. I've been toiling over my 'niche', because I have so many. But I'm now thinking about phase II in my dream and was having a hard time coming up with my niche, let alone a platform. I was leaning towards "The Lighter/Brighter Side of Life". You've just validated my decision. I should have stepped outside of myself and realized that the first and foremost strength of my being is my Rose-Colored Glasses. Thank you for clearing the cobwebs in my mind, Linda.

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 

      8 years ago from Central Virginia

      Shauna, I love this piece and am sorry that I did not get a chance to respond to your query. My Mom had another stroke recently and so I have been away moe than I've been around. I love the responses you received and think they are right on the mark. If I could add anything, I would add that your voice for me is like being wrapped in a quilt that has been crafted with love and provides comfort when the world seems a bit too much and THEN...someone pulls the quilt away and says - WAKE UP...put on those ROSE COLORED glasses and see the world as a happy place. That, is my Shauna; comforting but always, always, real. :-)

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      8 years ago from Central Florida

      Sheri, if you're ever this way, we will do just that!

    • Sheri Faye profile image

      Sheri Dusseault 

      8 years ago from Chemainus. BC, Canada

      You sounds like a someone I would want to have lunch with..down to earth, kind and intelligent.

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 

      8 years ago from Scotland

      Your welcome, it is what I 'hear' :)

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      8 years ago from Central Florida

      Anna, you have just made my day. I appreciate your feedback and will work hard to continue to live up to what you 'hear' from me. Thank you so much!

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 

      8 years ago from Scotland

      I have missed one of your series and will have to catch up with it. I know the voice one is past but I hear you as very honest, decent and you don't tolerate fools. You say it like it is, which is a very good thing!

      You are perfectionist, an artist and very importantly you are a believer that we can make things happen.

      You have a postitive voice which seems to be continually evolving and growing and you have razor sharp wit to add to that.

      In essence you are a very interesting writer who writes with hope. Your positive outlook brings the topics alive, because you make us believe :)

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      8 years ago from Central Florida

      Eddy, you're so sweet! Enjoy your day, my friend!

    • Eiddwen profile image


      8 years ago from Wales

      Another wonderful share my dear friend and I vote up up and away!!!

      Have a great day.


    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      8 years ago from Central Florida

      Hi, Nell. I don't have a southern accent, with the exception of certain words. I'll go with soothing, tho. That's pretty cool!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      8 years ago from England

      Hi, I agree with 'your voice' being soothing, did someone say that or was that just me? lol! sounds silly but I can tell accents from the writers on here, just certain nuances in the words or the telling, I remember telling someone that I could hear her southern accent! lol! she was so surprised!

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      8 years ago from Central Florida

      Maria, spending much of my growing up years in Philly, I grew to love Maryland crabs and clams. My dad turned me on to them. I love crab! My favorite is Dungeness crab. They are much bigger and meatier than Maryland crabs. Dungeness come from the Pacific coast. Yummylicious! All crab is yummilicious!

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      8 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Hi Sha,

      And to find out you love crab, as I do too...awesome!

      I have enjoyed this series, inspired by Bill, and the reflective manner in which you shared with us. Voted UP and UABI.

      Love this and you more, Maria

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      8 years ago from Central Florida

      Hey Ghost, you didn't know you were going to be a star in this hub, did ya? Thanx for your support and kind words.

      Martin, what did she have to say?

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      8 years ago from San Francisco

      It is always good to find yourself. Ann Rice was on Coast to Coast tonight. Coincidentally, she had an interesting insight into this.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      You called it; I wasn't expecting my comment to make into your "Voice" Hub (which of course hadn't been written yet when I posted).

      One of the finest aspects of your writing, IMO, is your commitment to personal growth in your craft. When I was in the 8th grade (Oh how clearly I remember!), my motivation wasn't nearly as admirable--I just wanted to beat out my Mom!

      Competition, ya know.

      But that's a lengthy tale. Not trying to hijack your most excellent Hub. (Which I would term excellent even if I was NOT in it!):)

      Voted Up and More.

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      8 years ago from Central Florida

      Hey Martie, my SA friend! Thank you so much for your agreement. How people regard us as writers has everything to do with the people we are and the souls we keep. You already know how I feel about you!

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      8 years ago from South Africa

      Very interesting and important to know how others 'hear' our voice. Of course, I agree with all three adjudicators :)

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      8 years ago from Central Florida

      Bill, I can always count on you to be the first. I love you dearly. You inspire me to forge ahead. Did you get my email about my new venture on

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      8 years ago from Olympia, WA

      See, I'm not the only one who thinks you are cool! :) Great hub my dear and I'm so impressed with you for taking the challenge. You continue to spread your wings and soar and it is a thrill standing by watching you grow.




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