Finding Your Voice – Writing Your Way Out Of It by DBC Pierre

For Prisoners Everywhere

Which also means Us 

DBC Pierre 2016

    This blog was going to be about writing. To be exact, what DBC Pierre has to say in his book Release the Bats – Writing Your Way Out Of It.  I’ve read the book numerous times, and the more I read, the more I notice how his wisdom can be applied to almost any venture; but something of interest to me is the act of  finding your voice.

‘I started to write.  It wasn’t a lifelong wish.  I didn’t train for it, didn’t know any writers, editors or publishers.  I just had a strong feeling with nowhere to go… Thankfully it’s a knack you can practise over time.’

‘The Gods of writing weren’t waiting for another impeccable tomb from some learned technician, they were waiting for a shout from the rooftops.  For mine and for yours.’

    The issue of finding your voice comes up regularly in management and leadership, as does the art of active listening.  It seems that one’s voice needs to be heard by people willing to listen.  Like the writing of a Booker award winning novel, it’s a grind: an  artful, stoical and delusional journey demanding fortitude.

‘My feeling was that shout and by isolating it, wrestling it, and building it a cage, I was harnessing the only thing I had to give.  I couldn’t compete with theory or craft, the shout was all I had.  But take note if you mean to write: it was enough.’

    I was inspired to write recently, by Dr Matt Morgan, he’d written a patient story, one of many that had meaning for him.  And yet there are so many humbling experiences to honour.  The children who took their last breath because science wasn’t enough, the children that lived because science won, the children that lived against all the odds; the child that woke up on intensive care and ate six Weetabix in the middle of the night, the teenager who refused to enter the MRI unless I held onto his foot talking him through it, the children who legged it into the lifts causing dignified scuffles around the hospital: as a student, the old man who gave me a pound for looking after him, his crumpled face on its return.  Along with the people who shared these experiences with us, all these people live in our hearts.

    There are two requirements of writing according to DBC Pierre:

  • Something to say
  • Patience to write it  

    Pierre began by writing a page in anger and found he liked it, all it needed was a spark  doused with rocket fuel to keep pushing through. How will you find your voice?


Release The Bats, Writing Your Way Out of It (2016) DBC Pierre, Faber and Faber.

Vernon God Little (2005) DBC Pierre, Faber and Faber


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