Hello! I’m Claire Schoenberger, the prose editor for Opus. Recently I have been reading Amy Poehler’s Book, Yes Please. In it, she has a disclaimer that tells the reader she is not a writer, but she wanted to tell her story. But after finishing this book, I was surprised that she added it at all. The disclaimer didn’t make sense to me anymore because I loved the book so much. I though about this for a while because I knew this book wasn’t a literary masterpiece, but I still felt like this book was worth reading and rereading again and again. Maybe its because I’m a huge fan of hers, or maybe its something else.
Something Poehler says in one of her Smart Girls at the Party podcasts, a web based project she has developed for supporting and empowering young girls, is about voice, and it got me thinking about her book even more.
“No one can have your voice, and that’s what makes you powerful.”
After hearing this, the reason I liked her book makes so much more sense. She has a consistent, confident, and meaningful voice throughout her book and that’s what made it so powerful to me. She never wavers in that voice or her beliefs, which makes her a trustworthy source. The reader wants her to succeed because the story is told so well, so smoothly, and with so much passion that the voice takes precedent over her writing skills. While obviously those are important—especially if writing is going to be your focus, rather than comedy— developing and owning the voice you have in your writing will make your work even more powerful and credible. No one wants to read a book by an author who doesn’t believe in the power of their voice.
Thanks for reading, and here’s something I hope you can resonate with!