Finding your writing voice is a struggle. But it is worth time and focus. Whether you write academic essays, blog for fun, create novels or compose poems, it’s vital that you discover your unique style.
It is something exclusively your own. It makes your work pop. And readers can recognize the familiarity. You can identify the difference between Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway, can’t you?
Let’s delve a little more deeply into what writer’s voice is. It is made up of attitude, tone, and personal style.
Attitude is defined as what the author feels about the subject. These are emotions, beliefs and, values behind the words.
A tone of voice governs not only what you say in writing, but how you say it. It expresses the attitude of a writer. For example, you can say:
“Give me my beer!” or,
“May I have my beer, please?”
Personal style is exposed through vocabulary usage, grammatical structure, and other more technical elements of writing. It reflects your personality and preferences.
Are your sentences short or long? Is your language flowery? Or is it casual? Do you prefer minute detail or cutting to the chase?
Writing voice is the personality that a reader “hears” in a text. Some writers are more self-righteous and opinionated than others. Some say things in a harsh voice. Others are moderate in statements. Everyone has a different way of expressing oneself.
You can refine your penmanship over time. Moreover, you can develop different writing voices. It is necessary for various types of writing and creating multiple fictional characters.
1. Read a lot
Read anything and everything. Don’t limit it to the type of stuff you write. If you are a student who writes nothing but academic papers, read something except the pages you are assigned. If you are a blogger, read something that has nothing to do with the blogosphere.
A range of literature enriches vocabulary. It will make you more articulate. You will learn to express and fully explain your thoughts and ideas.
Your literary journey can help you gain a sense of prose or poetry rhythm. You will borrow patterns, stylistic devices, and inspiration. It will strengthen your own blogger's writing voice. The newspaper, magazines, blogs, fiction, nonfiction – just read.
2. Keep a journal
A journal is an ideal place to hone your authorial voice. Nobody is going to read it but you. Forget about editing. Just write. The more you practice it, the easier it comes.
Journaling is my favorite writing practice. I appreciate the maximum privacy in expression. I describe my deepest feelings and dreams. I don’t censor myself, no matter what may come out on the page. Now it’s no big deal to write a 1,500-word entry in an hour or so. My voice has improved.
Regular journaling practice helps to become a more confident writer. And you won’t feel vulnerable when talking to your reader in your academic paper, short story or blog post.
3. Be confident in your grammar
Knowledge of spelling, punctuation, and grammar will help you properly arrange words in sentences and add the correct punctuation. A writer with that kind of skills achieves a state of flow.
Novice writers often make the same mistake. They want to make things perfect at once. However, writing process hinges on editing. It can interrupt your flash of inspiration.
Try generating new text without any amendments as you write. Leave all not quite correct words and ideas. Learn to tolerate this kind of mess. Give your writing voice room to grow and the possibility to show itself.
When editing, check for grammar accuracy. Remove repetitions with synonyms. Don’t forget about punctuation.
Maintain a consistent voice throughout the text. Read aloud. You will hear the rhythm and stuff on the page. If some section lacks a true voice, rewrite it so that it sounds natural.
4. Let your personality shine through writing
When you learn the craft of writing it is OK to imitate your favorite authors. But as you gain stronger writing abilities, you should start accessing your authentic voice in blogging.
Don’t strive to mimic other authors. Readers don’t need another J.K. Rowling or J.R.R. Tolkien. They need you! Because no one can “do you” as well as you can. So why try to imitate someone else’s voice?
Stay true to yourself. If there is slang in your everyday conversations, use it in blogging. Or don’t. It is entirely your choice. To make your voice sound more interesting and distinctive, use your favorite oral expressions in writing.
5. Don't forget about your audience
Each piece of writing requires you to address a particular reader. Some writers have fear of being read and/or judged by others. To handle it, write like nobody will be invited to read it.
Write your draft without any restraints. Then edit it. At this stage, you should keep your reader in mind. If you are writing an essay, think what your instructor expects to see in it. Is your language formal enough? Does it contain terms related to the topic? If you are crafting a blog post, aim to engage a large audience with easy to read content.
Shaping your voice is a challenging task. You may be afraid of going to unknown territory. Plus, it’s more work! But your voice will sound true. You will improve reader’s engagement and drive more mass appeal. You will be satisfied with both the process and the result. It does require effort (trust me on this I know from firsthand experience). But the outcome may be thrilling.
About the Author: Jennifer Lockman is the student majoring in Journalism and the editor-in-chief at EssayService.com blog. Her writer's expertise includes business, freelance, general education and e-learning.