Every writer has a “voice” or “style.” Your voice is how you sound to the reader. It defines you. We know what Grisham sounds like versus Clancy, Patterson, Steel or Sparks. They all sound remarkably different. And while each genre is different, so is each voice.
At the beginning of our writing career we all ask, how do I find my voice? While some authors may disagree, I believe you don’t find your voice, it emerges. You don’t have to look for it, it’s already there; raw and undefined perhaps, but it’s there. It emerges slowly and comes into focus over a large body of work so you may not recognize it at first. Think about it. If you had a colleague read over a large volume of your work and then asked him to read your latest work he may likely say, “Yeah, this sounds like you.”
I believe your voice is an outgrowth of who you are, how you think and how you most naturally express yourself. The way that expression actually spills on the page is your writer’s voice. I’ve been writing for over 25 years and I noticed the same voice in my early work and my present work. Granted, my voice today is much more refined and polished simply from the discipline of writing, but it is essentially the same voice. I recently came across some of my published work from a few decades ago. I even forgot I wrote it. But when I reread it, sure enough, I said, “Wow, sounds like me.”
If you are early in your writing career, don’t worry about finding your voice. Instead, write and keep writing. Concentrate on achieving a certain velocity and volume to your work. Once you complete a large body of work, reread it. You will notice something. You won’t have to find your voice; it will find you.
The Writer’s Refuge blog is a place for writers, like you, to break away from your
daily routine and for just a few minutes find insight, inspiration or simply a word of
encouragement. Blog entries are posted once a week on Thursday.
Please leave a comment or you may reach me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Have You Listened To Your Writing Voice? (thestoryinme.wordpress.com)
- 8 Ideas for Developing your Blogging Voice (carolhbates.com)