Hi again and welcome to week three. This week, we're going to talk about finding your voice. How to create the tone and style on the page that really feels right and true and authentically you. Now, to do this, you need to write a lot. There's no substitute for that, you just have to put in the time. Gerta said, "Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it. Action has magic grace and power in it." This is absolutely true of writing. The only way to get better to get closer to your goal is to start and then keep going. The more you write, the more you'll know about writing. Every sentence you write makes you incrementally better. You learn some tiny thing everytime you craft a paragraph. People ask me sometimes what I do when I suffer from writer's block and I always sort of laugh because writer's block isn't really an option for me. I have to finish my pieces or won't get paid and then I'll have a major problem. So, even if I'm up till four in the morning, the night before something is due which has happened more recently than I'd like to admit, I still always get my writing done. If for no other reason then, it's due. If writing is your job, you don't really have a choice, but if you're just starting out, chances are this isn't your job and I think it's actually much harder to force yourself to write in that situation. I think it's a big advantage having to get stuff done and that's why if you're anything like me, it's a good idea to create a situation where you'll have some deliverables. Now, if you're a naturally disciplined person and you have no trouble making yourself sit down and work and you do it every day no matter what, that's great. They envy you. But if that's not the case, in addition to completing this class, I strongly recommend joining or forming a writing group with other people who you find interesting and who take their work seriously. So, that you can share and critique each other's work and most importantly, so you'll have deadlines to meet. If that feels overwhelming, try to find just one friend or colleague who is as serious about writing as you are and come up with a schedule. Maybe you exchange work once a week, or every two weeks, or once a month, whatever feels right to you and then give each other feedback and I hope that person's feedback will be valuable in and of itself, but even if it's not, at least you're getting work done. At least you're forcing yourself to write. Because you know you've got a deadline, you know someone is expecting you to hand something over. I have friends who have hired writing coaches for this reason and if that's something that's comfortable and affordable to you, then that's great. But if it's not, think about finding a writing partner. Just someone who has the same goal as you do to write well and then no money has to exchange hands. You're off from each other the same thing which is feedback, but also just someone who expects to have writing handed over to him. My writing partner is my editor at The New Yorker who was a guy named Nick Troutwine who I love a lot and sometimes the only reason they finish something and I'm serious, the only way I'm able to force myself to write that last thousand words or even that last paragraph is that I know Nick is waiting for my piece and I don't want to disappoint him. Now, I realize, I'm not making this sound very pleasant when I say things like, I forced myself to write. But it is work. To be good at anything, you can't just dabble, you have to really commit yourself and put the time in to become skilled, and there's a payoff. When I hit a groove and somehow, the language is coming to me without a lot of struggle and a paragraph or a page or once in a blue moon, a whole piece feels like it's writing itself, that's euphoria. That's the best. That feeling is so good and so pleasurable. I keep going. Month after month, year after year, gutting it out when it's not pleasant and it is hard because I want the next hit of that feeling. That great feeling when it just flows and I'm totally absorbed in what I'm writing and I don't even want to stop to eat which is really saying something because I really like to eat.