|Photo credit: JKim1 on Flickr|
Until, you know, I had to actually sit down and write the thing.
I suppose what makes this post so challenging is that I don’t really have any secrets to share with you except this one: there is no secret. There isn’t a formula or a magic exercise or a yoga pose that’ll suddenly unlock your voice so that you can release it onto the page.
The truth is guys, you already have a voice.
I don’t care if you’re 13 or 57, if you’ve never written a novel or if you’ve written more than 20—you have a voice and the moment you put a pencil to paper or your fingers to the keyboard you’ve released it. You’ve pushed the first domino, taken the first step towards what will eventually be a prose that is uniquely you.
And that’s what makes writing—any writing—special. I could ask all of you to write a short story with the same characters, same plot, same settings and themes and dialogue and in the end, every single one of you would come out with something different. Why?
Because you each have a voice.
It bothers me when I read or hear advice about trying to find your voice. There isn’t a form of laryngitis in writing—you can’t lose your voice, so there’s nothing to find. If you’ve written anything at all, you have a voice. Period.
That’s not to say you can’t develop your voice. Your first WIP will sound nothing like your sixth and your sixth WIP won’t look anything like your twenty-fourth simply because your voice develops as you mature as a writer. The more you write, the better your writing will be—and the more consistent and confident your words, your voice will become.
So how do you unleash your voice? The answer is one word. Can you guess it?
That’s it. Go out there and write and your voice will come naturally. Remember that every word you put on the page is unique because you put it there.
You already have a voice. Go use it.
To celebrate the end of this voice series, there will be an exciting announcement on Wednesday. Expect lots of confetti and pretty artsy things. J