Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Finding Your Writer's Voice

I hear a lot from writers about finding their writer's voice. They want to know how to find it, how you know when you've found it, and what sorts of things they should write about once their voice has been found.

I have an answer for all three of these questions, but keep in mind, they stem from my own personal journey and another writer may find them from climbing an entirely different mountain.

How to Find Your voice

I like to think of discovering your writer's voice sort of like finding a precious diamond and keeping it forever. Years ago, I lost the diamond out of my wedding ring. I managed to find it. A few months later, one of the prongs came lose again and the diamond was lost. Yes, I managed to find it again, but I told myself that I was going have my band adjusted to a lower setting before I wore my diamond ring again.


Photo by: jurvetson, courtesy of Flickr
I can't tell you the day I first found my writing voice, but it came about the time I lost my fears of making my writing perfect. It came when I cared more about my story and less about the grammar associated with it. It came when I let go of what I thought a writer "should be."

How You Know When You've Found Your Writer's Voice

Unlike losing your diamond, finding your voice is one of those things that sticks once its been found. You aren't always wondering if your piece of writing sounds authentic or "right" because what comes from your fingertips is the voice that you've discovered.

Your voice might be "a diamond in the rough," but your diamond is your diamond. You speak from your heart. You share your voice. You aren't trying to mimic another. The voice you share on paper is yours because you "feel" it.

What You Should Write About Once Your Voice is Found

I try to stay away from what's "popular" in the book market; instead, I focus on what comes to me in dreams, (waking and sleeping) what others suggest might be a good subject (that's how "Conquering Your Goliaths" came to be) and what subjects speak to me. I also consider the books I enjoy reading. Because I enjoy a good mystery as well as non-fiction and Christian fiction that speaks to the heart, much of my writing follows these three areas. All three of my published books follow the Christian fiction theme, and my first cozy mystery will be published next year.


Finding your voice comes easier if you're more focused on writing what you love and less focused on trying to make it sound "right." You'll never lose your writer's voice, so you might as well have fun with it and write what you enjoy.

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