Written words read out loud have a special power for you - whether you read for yourself in the quiet of an empty room or for others in a group. Not just poetry, which we all love and often prefer to hear read out loud. But also prose - fiction and nonfiction. And not just finished, polished pieces, but drafts of books, too, writing of all types that needs revision.

Reading your writing out loud can become an integral part of the process of deepening your writing, strengthening your unique expression, and preparing your writing for publication or sharing with friends and family. Here are three gifts you can receive in the process:

1. Deepen your writing. Strengthen your writing voice. Hearing your words read to a group or to yourself alone when no one else is listening can help you step more fully into your writer's voice. You hear what makes you unique.
You get what your message is. You feel the vibration and energy of your words and connect to your inner rhythms. You learn your intonations and develop the subtleties of your voice and the voices of your characters in fiction. You resonate with your own passion for language and its music. You can feel yourself freeing up your personal and writing voice.

2. Read your writing out loud: A new feedback mechanism. Reading your writing out loud also serves as an invitation to your inner editor and to trusted listeners to provide constructive feedback and encouragement.

When you read your words out loud to yourself or a group, you hear parts that need revision that you might not notice when you read them silently. Your voice trips over long or awkward sentences that looked all right, but do not sound right. Or, a section reveals itself as dead or heavy as you read.

You also hear where your writing bogs down, where the momentum slogs to a halt. A telltale clue. Your eyes glaze over as you read. You feel bored with your own words or sense your scene, dialogue or insights have gone on way too long.

Guess what? You probably have.

3. Build your risk-taking muscle by reading your writing to a group. Reading your writing out loud to a writing or creative group provides another way to build the risk-taking muscle that will support you to bring your writing out into the world. Seeing and hearing a supportive writing group's positive response can strengthen your own resolve and confidence in your ability.

Reading to a writing group that empowers its members also lets you express this vulnerable place in yourself - your unique expression through the written word. You can see that you - and your writing - can withstand constructive feedback or feeling exposed. Ultimately, you discover that your writing expressed and revised and re-expressed can enhance your writing and your strength as a writer and a reader. It helps prepare you for rejection - and acceptance - when you put your writing and books out for possible publication or when you perform writing at a reading.

You also can hear where you hold yourself back as a writer. Do you whisper your words or let them out fully. Does your throat start to close around passages that you are unsure of or that feel risky to you? Are you afraid when you read? Do you read fast without taking time to breath, wanting to get it over with as quickly as you can, almost as if you hope no one will notice you? Or, do you savor, pace yourself, sense the pleasure you feel in sharing your expression.

Writing is not only a quiet, solitary act - you, pen, paper, computer. your words have power, even while they lay silent on the page.

Let your reading your writing out loud teach you about the impact of your writer's voice. Learn when to speak in a soft voice and when to raise the tone. Either way is a step into living out loud.

Author's Bio: 

Write a Book -- Transform Your Life now. Sign up for your free writing ecourse with Alissa Lukara to discover 7 key steps to write a book. Plus visit www.transformationalwriters.com for lots more writing resources. Alissa Lukara, author of the memoir, Riding Grace: A Triumph of the Soul, works with writers and authors who want to make a positive difference. She is an editor, writing coach, book whisperer, and online and in person writing workshop leader and presenter.