The Secret to Finding Your Writer’s Voice

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo how do you “find your voice” as a writer? You find it by spending more time writing and spending more of your writing time focused on the material you really need to be working on, what I like to call “your true material.” When we spend more time writing, we give ourselves the chance to develop our skills well enough so that our work can begin to match our vision for it. For some of us getting started can be the first stumbling block between us and our work. From Virginia Valian’s essay “Learning to Work,” I learned the trick of setting a timer for 15 minutes and telling myself 15 minutes was all I had to do, and most of you have a trick or two of your own for getting going, I’m sure. But many of us have had the experience of spending the time on the writing and yet feeling that we were simply “mailing it in.” We weren’t engaged with the material. We still weren’t where we knew we needed to be. We weren’t working with “our true material” or digging deeply enough into the material.

The focus of the Writing Is My Drink Webinar is on helping writers learn how they work best so they will work more often and with better results and on helping writers to zoom in on their true material. Registration for the next session, which starts in January, is open now.

Thanks, as always, for reading my blog!



The Writing Is My Drink Webinar

wimd-34The Writing Is My Drink Webinar focuses on finding your work’s (sometimes hidden) themes, discovering your aesthetic as a reader and a writer, and understanding what inspires you and learning how to tap into that inspiration so that your work is not just functionally sound but also representative of your vision and mission as a writer. We will also be discussing how to recognize and address the doubts that can stop us from writing. The webinar will offer many opportunities to do short in-class writing assignments and very short homework assignments designed to bring you into “your real writing,” the work that quietly and sometimes not-so-quietly nags at you until you do it.  By the way, I’m not a fan of writing exercises for the sake of writing exercises. The webinar’s activities are designed with the idea in mind that each participant should find at least a few that morph into larger pieces of writing that feel authentic and powerful to both the writer and readers.

The last half hour of each 1.5 hour long class session will be used for Q and A, in which students can ask me any question they like about writing.

Classes will be held on four Thursday evenings at 6pm to 7:30pm Pacific Time, starting September 4th (September 4, 11, 18, 25). The classes will be held via, allowing you to both see and hear me as well as view my screen. All classes will be recorded, so if you miss a class, you’ll be able to listen to the audio portion of it at your convenience. You can attend the classes from anywhere you can call in or get online. All enrolled students also receive a 30-minute private coaching call with me.

After you’ve paid for the class using Pay Pal or credit card, you will receive a confirmation email from me and instructions for entering the first class on September 4th and setting up your included one-on-one coaching appointment. If you prefer to pay with check or money order, email me at and I will send you an invoice with a mailing address. Cost for the four classes and 30-minute coaching session: $145. Questions? Email me at

Registration fees are 100 percent refundable until Midnight on September 5, 2014. So if after the first class meeting, you decide you don’t want to take the class, you can still get a full refund. After September 5, 2014, registration fees will not be refundable.

buy now


Writing Is My Drink Webinar registration:(4) 1.5 hour-long classes and (1) 30-minute coaching call with Theo Pauline Nestor. Click on pink button to pay through Pay Pal or credit card. To pay by check, email me for instructions.



Instructor bio: 10343490_10152284814133003_4467092064152072092_nTheo Pauline Nestor is the author of Writing Is My Drink: A Writer’s Story of Finding Her Voice (And a Guide to How You Can Too) (Simon & Schuster, 2013) and How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bed: A Memoir of Starting Over (Crown, 2008), which was selected by Kirkus Reviews as a 2008 Top Pick for Reading Groups and as a Target “Breakout Book.” An award-winning instructor, Nestor has taught the memoir certificate course for the University of Washington’s Professional & Continuing Education program since 2006 and also teaches at Richard Hugo House in Seattle. Nestor also produces events for writers such as the Wild Mountain Memoir Retreat, Bird by Bird & Beyond, and the Black Mesa Writers’ Intensive, featuring talks by literary leaders such as Anne Lamott, Cheryl Strayed, Julia Cameron, and Natalie Goldberg. She lives in Seattle with her family and their cat, Rory. You can follow her on Facebook here and on Twitter @theopnestor.

About Theo Pauline Nestor

Author of Writing Is My Drink (Simon & Schuster) and How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bed. Learn more about my courses, editing, and coaching at
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2 Responses to The Secret to Finding Your Writer’s Voice

  1. This message is so true and I learned it firsthand in Theo’s class at the UW (Certificate in Memoir Oct-June) What was good for me was to stay on topic but look at from many different ways. Thinking about the topic from someone else’s point of view over mine was very different. Thinking about the topic in relationship to what was going on in the world resurrected more memories…more material. Thinking about what the topic would mean if I omitted something I was holding on to and found out many times, I needed to let things go. Less is more. If you are on the fence…and you are struggling to develop your topic…if you want to see the potential of your efforts realized on the page, this is your class. I especially liked this class because Theo has walked through the same bed of coals we all must. She is humble about her experiences and even humorous, but fierce about you getting it.

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