Don’t Lose Your (Writer’s) Voice! | Writer’s Relief

by | Nov 10, 2022 | Writing Tips | 0 comments

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Don’t Lose Your (Writer’s) Voice! | Writer’s Relief

Vocalists talk about protecting their voices to ensure they’ll be able to sing and share their gift. Writers have a “voice” too—and you don’t want to lose yours, either! Your writer’s voice is your signature style: the unique, identifiable “sound” and personality of your writing. At Writer’s Relief, we know finding your writer voice and protecting it can be tricky. When outside influences or lack of use threaten to silence what’s unique about your writing, here’s how to ensure you don’t lose your writer’s voice.

6 Tips For Finding (And Keeping!) Your Writer’s Voice

  1. Read to be inspired, but don’t imitate. While reading like a writer is an invaluable skill, you lose your own voice by mimicking someone else’s. As much as you may admire another writer’s work, you don’t want to write in their voice. We don’t need another Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, or Colson Whitehead, because we already have one! As Oscar Wilde said: Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.
  1. Explore what makes your writing unique. Ask yourself these questions to pinpoint—and take advantage of— your biggest strengths: Are you especially good at character development or making your writing atmospheric? Can you craft a plot twist like no one else? Is your writing stronger when it comes to narration or dialogue? Once you find the answers to these questions, you’ll gain a sense of what you do well, so that you can do more of it—and stand out even more!
  1. Examine your grammatical choices. Your writerly voice is made up of not just what you write, but how you write. Grammar choices help to develop your style: Do your sentences tend to be longer or shorter (or is there intentional variation here)? Do you prefer colloquial, conversational language or a loftier vocabulary? Do you use a lot of asides, and if so, do you prefer parentheses or em dashes? Is your writing cut-and-dried or heavier on descriptive flourishes? Being aware of your grammar style can also help you avoid pitfalls like excessive passive voice in your writing.
  1. Find your “why.” Another important element in addition to what and how you write: why you write. What draws you to your story? What makes you the best person to tell it? Do you have some personal connection to the subject matter? Is there an opinion or worldview you’re looking to share through your writing? While you never want your writing to become preachy, it’s important for readers to get a sense of the viewpoints and messages you want your writing to communicate.
  1. Turn away any negativity. Negative thoughts, self-doubt, overthinking writing critiques, and grappling with impostor syndrome—every writer has been there! While this negativity can be loud, your authentic voice can—and should!—be louder. From building a hype squad to revisiting your list of strengths as a writer to celebrating your wins, it’s important to focus on the positive aspects of your writing life…and to silence the negative noise when you need to.

And Our Most Important Tip For Keeping Your Writer’s Voice Loud And Proud…

  1. Tune out distractions. When it gets harder to hear your own writer’s voice, the best thing to do is take a step back and regroup. Too much input from conferences, classes, or well-meaning members of your writing group can get inside your head and start changing the way you think about your own writing. Consider silencing that outside noise for a little while so you can hear the whisper of your own voice coming through the chaos.

Just as singers protect their voices, you as a writer must guard against losing your voice. By following these tips, you can ensure your authentic writer’s voice stays strong, clear, and healthy!

 

Question: What author has a strong, distinctive writing voice?

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