Finding Your Voice

One of the hardest things for me to find was ‘my voice.’

It took me until I reached my late 40s to find my physical voice—as in standing up for myself, whether from a stranger or family or friends. When I finally got out of an abusive relationship, my writing improved (as did my living situation), due in part to the loving support of family, friends, and what would become RWI.  

My writing voice sharpened as my writing skills did. My taste in reading for pleasure narrowed though. Now that I knew what ‘it’ was, I became more selective with what I could and more importantly, what I couldn’t read! Sad, I know.

I’m judging some unpubbed contest entries right now. The ones whose authors have found their voices, I can fly through. I still try to comment on why I liked a passage/scene/phrase as that’s what I would like to know. The authors who haven’t quite gotten there require more energy – sometimes I don’t want to give it my all, but if someone hadn’t taken the time with me. . .  Giving back helps me in the end.

I have no quick fix answers on finding your voice other than write, write and write some more.

Oh, and be open to suggestions from those who take the time to comment.

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11 thoughts on “Finding Your Voice

  1. Voice is one of those nebulous things. You can’t force it. Sometimes you have it when you start writing, but lose it when you are learning the craft only to discover it again years later. Other times, you have to experiment with different genres to find it. And some people never discover their voice because they let the constraints of the ‘rules’ stifle their natural story-telling voice.

    I love judging contests where I see the raw passion in a writer’s voice. Oh, they might have other craft issues to deal with, but those things can be learned and fixed. I always let the author know how much I love their voice.

    Like you, Meg, it took me years to find my writing voice and I tend to jealously guard it. 🙂

  2. I think I’m still trying to find my voice… When I pick up a book, voice is one of the first things I pay attention to, it’s what connects me with the author, what draws me in from the first sentence. Reading a familiar voice of an author I love, it’s like having a deep conversation with a good friend whose soul & mind I know very well.
    I appreciate all the comments I get, good or bad, they help me grow as a writer and I really hope I’ll find my voice one day 🙂

    • Hey, Lua!!
      I love your comment about having a deep conversation with a good friend. Excellent points!
      You will find your voice and when you do, that will carry you far.
      Thanks for stopping by…we’ve missed you.

  3. Meg,

    I’m not sure I’ve found my voice… but I certainly connect with authors who have a distinctive one, so I know how important it is. I agree with Magolla, it’s a nebulous thing. Very difficult to put your finger on, it’s either there or it’s not. spw

  4. I didn’t recognize my voice until we had Laura Shoffner speak on the subject at our retreat a few years ago. I’d had editors try to point it out to me, but with Laura, for the first time ever, *I* saw it. It was as if someone had turned on the lights in my little corner of the voice world.

  5. Ren,
    You would have LOVED that retreat–I think you’re more prepared now to find your voice. Wait until we have our next retreat! 😉

    I hope you have your calendar marked.

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