Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Finding Your Voice

Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, once said:

"Find your voice and then inspire others to find their voice."


Photo by Danny Getz, courtesy of Flickr

Finding your voice takes more than checking underneath rocks or clam shells (check out my blog post from yesterday if you haven't already). Finding your voice takes work. In my  eyes, work comes in the following ways:

Research
Writing
Reading
Discovering

When I research for a book I am gleaning information that I may or may not use in my book; I usually gather more than I need. Can a person find their voice in research? I believe so. What they choose to research, and the direction their book takes them, tells an author much about what he/she should be writing about.

Writing is the best way I know of to find your voice. It takes writing and writing and writing before an author escapes the C.S. Lewis phraseology, or the long-winded, 'these words I looked up in my thesaurus so that I'd sound smarter' mentality.

Reading helps with voice, too. Consider when you've read something that really made a difference. Perhaps the phrase was written to tickle your funny bone or you begin to appreciate something small like nose hair or belly button lint.

Reading does wonders for your imagination that in turn helps you to develop your voice.

Photo by: emily.laurel504, courtesy of Flickr
Discovering comes in taking that class or attending that writer's conference. Here, you take in a lot, and for days after the conference you are sorting through notes and ideas that you want to incorporate into your work; a part of your voice.

Finding your voice doesn't happen overnight, and obviously it doesn't happen when looking under a rock, but your voice will come (and that's a promise) if you give it sunlight and plenty of feeding and experience.



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