I remember reading somewhere that one finds their writing voice by writing. Being yourself. By reading and experimenting with different styles.
All sound advice, but I was looking for something more specific.
Someone else mentions confidence–self-confidence. Maybe.
Feedback. Be it in the form of a mentor, or peer review. Possibly.
Or all the above, and then some.
Of late it has been on my mind, a lot. What my writing voice sounds like.
For you see I do write a lot, and I’m not familiar with my writing voice. The closest I’ve come is the echo I hear whilst reading, say, my favorite writers, when something resonates. And sometimes I’ll write something, shelve it, then come to it at a later date, and I’ll think i hear a distinct tone…..the closest I’ve come.
And then there’s the shadow side of those echos, the belief that I can do better ‘if only… ‘ Hubris. Tearing a piece apart to show how it could have been, say, more this, or that. Better. And in my head, I’m brilliant. But with each word on paper/screen the chasm grows, between what’s on my mind and what finds it way on paper.
Those ‘oughts’ and ‘shoulds’ I impose on anothers material are clues as to my own bent, if only. And sometimes it feels like I’m working–or like theres a counter force that seems determined to ensure that my writing isnt cohesive. Or do I imagine it? And, if there’s indeed a counter force, whats the pay off?
Style is character, I heard it said. This seems to imply that an artist is inseparable from his work. It makes sense since it an expression of a particular, distinction point of view. So authenticity is an important ingredient in the process.
The more I think (write) about it the more it appears that what I need is not so much search for my voice but clear away the noise, the static, so I’m heard. It’s being present, otherwise its a party where the host forgot to invite himself, ot is masquerading as someone else, making a fool of themselves.
It’s about clarity. It’ll involve abandoning all those ‘oughts’ and ‘shoulds’ I adopted along the way. It’s about being clear on who it is I address. Who’s the audience. What is it I wish to convey. How.
So, what do ya’ll think?