Bloggers are told to “find your writing voice” to ensure your writing sounds unique, genuine, and distinctive.
Have you ever wondered, What is this elusive thing called writing voice, and why do I need to find it?
That’s the eternal question. Developing a unique writing voice is one of the most difficult writing concepts to explain, let alone master as a regular writer.
I think the best definition of Voice in writing comes from Roy Peter Clark in his book, “Writing Tools – 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer.”
Clark says, “ … voice is an effect created by the writer that reaches the reader through his ears, even when he is receiving the message through his eyes.”
Voice is the distinctive “sound” each writer brings to a piece of writing.
Voice can be determined by many factors, one being the rhythm that marches underneath the words. Every draft has a tempo that either enhances or detracts from the listener’s experience. A tone-deaf writer to easy to pick out; their drafts fall flat, even when they are technically correct.
When you are developing your own writing voice, notice how you use the following:
- Word choice – Do you use slang, swearing, or colloquial turns of phrase? Or do you choose more logical, formal, or stiff phrasing?
- The “person” – Do you write in 1st person (I/we); 2nd person (You); or 3rd (They)? Or do you mix it up?
- Examples and anecdotes – Do your examples and imagery come from highbrow culture or from a street-view perspective of the world?
- Sentence length – Are your sentences short, long, both — or are they sometimes not sentences at all?
- Tone – Is your tone crisp and refined like a college professor’s, more relaxed and conversational, or more edgy and raw?
To know if your draft’s cadence is steady, you’ve got to experience your writing voice firsthand. The best way to do that is to read your drafts aloud.
Yes, I literally want you to read your post out loud so that you can hear it. This allows you to experience your own voice with your ears and your eyes.
When you finish, ask yourself, Does the voice in this piece of writing sound like me?
Remember, being authentic trumps being clever every single time. (The word “authentic” brings to mind the words “author” and “authority.” Funny how that works.)
If you really want to see writing voice in action, go read 5 different blogs from writers in different niches. Consider the writers’ intended audiences, topics, and the messages they want to convey. Examine how their voices and tones set the pace of their pieces. Notice their word choices, the imagery they use, and the way you can “hear” each one in your mind.
Does your writing voice need a tune up? I know a few tricks to help you make your writing voice sound more relatable, more real, and more like you?
Let’s set up a time to talk about how you can separate yourself from the crowd and attract perfect fit clients.