Writing 101: Your Voice Will Find You

You’re told that an event that’s dear to your heart — an annual fair, festival, or conference — will be cancelled forever (or taken over by an evil organization). Write about it. For your twist, read your piece aloud, multiple times. Hone that voice of yours!

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Think about an event you’ve attended and loved. Your hometown’s annual fair. That life-changing music festival. A conference that shifted your worldview. Imagine you’re told it will be cancelled forever or taken over by an evil corporate force.

How does that make you feel?

Let’s consider your voice again. This topic can be tricky, as you might not be sure what your voice sounds like — yet. But it’s not that it’s not there, as Chuck Wendig explains in his “Ten Things I’d Like to Say to Young Writers” post. It just takes time to hone it:

You will chase your voice like a dog chasing a car, but you’ll never catch it. Because you were your voice all along. You were never the dog. You were always the car.

Our favorite writers, from Jane Austen to Gabriel Garcia Marquez to Paul Auster, have distinct voices. You read their writing and hear their words in your head. From their word choices, to the rhythm of their sentences, to the intimate spaces they create — right there on the page — they sound like no one else but them.

Today’s twist: While writing this post, focus again on your own voice. Pay attention to your word choice, tone, and rhythm. Read each sentence aloud multiple times, making edits as you read through. Before you hit “Publish,” read your entire piece out loud to ensure it sounds like you.

Need a helping hand? Head to The Commons.

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  1. I was working really hard on this yesterday, sometimes I’m so busy trying to sound interesting and writerly and live up to all the wonderful blogs I follow that I forget how to sound like myself.

    As I wrote this I channelled my inner me: http://www.evabecca.com/writing-our-wedding-ceremony/ (backdated to when it actually happened – we missed blogging our wedding due to hecticness and are filling in the gaps now)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love this blog!
      I agree with the advice to read it aloud ten times.
      But then I wouldn’t publish anything. The sentences and the scenes could always be better.
      When I am discouraged, I say aloud what a writer told me at her first book signing in Kansas City, MO (probably twenty years ago): “I think being a writer means a willingness to stand publically with your pants down.”
      I know she didn’t mean literally flash some one–but what is literary and worthy of praise is unique and biased. It is completely out of the writers’ control. No one can control what others will say or publish about what you write. Just consider: Perfectionism is a roadblock–and it cannot be achieved–so publish it already! Peace!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I try to keep as native to “my own voice” as I consciously can. I find it best to just write and when it’s read back it sounds like me. I just type what I would say. 🙂


  3. As I am participating in these assignments every day, I am finding that there’s absolutely nothing more real than your own voice. Thanks to the WP team for organizing this. I am finding it very encouraging and supportive. Here’s my response to this one: http://wp.me/p1OEbC-3V


  4. Nice post! I agree with the comments here.. As a writer, especially for the ones, who tells their own experienced stories, feelings and emotions, makes you of course extremely vulnerable, but therefore it will feel real, the readers will be able to actually feel what you are writing and maybe even recognize some of the experiences or thoughts.. and if not, it could be also interesting to notice some other writing-styles.. For example me, it is very sensitive thing to post your story, that is inspired by experiences in you life.The most beautiful thing is the open personality and open perspective the writer will give. Of course people can give feedback good or bad about the writing style, rhymes or the chosen subject but the essence is the message behind and intention… So just keep writing whatever you want.. let your voice come out and speak.. and if you are afraid.. be anonymous.. like I am..


  5. Ha! It just struck me that I do that without realizing it and cut myself off when I realize it (kind of like snoring).