Saturday, November 1, 2008
Your Writing Voice
We all have unique qualities, inflections, tones in our speaking voice that help people to identify who we are, even if they can’t see us. Believe it or not, the same thing happens in your writing as well. When writers find their voice it becomes obvious to anyone reading their work, who wrote it. Think about it-could you tell the difference between Stephen King, Dave Barry and Jane Austin’s work?
The problem is, many writers spend a lot of time trying to write like some else. They want to be just like their favorite author. They end up copying their style and tone and in the end, sound like an impersonator. They do not have their own identity.
The biggest factor in finding your writing voice is trust. You must trust your self and your writing enough to get your thoughts and ideas on paper the way you want to write them. I know it can be difficult when you read an author who writes beautiful, flowing descriptions or one whose humor makes you laugh out loud. It can make you wish you could write just like them. There is nothing wrong with learning from other writers and incorporate some of what they do into your writing, but don’t go to such an extreme that it stifles your voice.
Finding your voice is not always an easy task, but it is a fun journey. You must write a lot and try out different styles and techniques. This is a time to try on those beautiful, flowing descriptions and that humor to see how it fits. Walk around in it awhile, see how it feels. Use the parts that work for you. The parts that enhance your voice.
Eventually you will find your voice amongst it all. It will start shining through and be the one you want to spend the most time with. The one that you are at ease around. Your true voice is the one that flows naturally and from the core of who you are. It is the voice that made you fall in love with writing. The one that wants to be nurtured and tended to. It is this voice that wants to be heard.