July 01st, 2018
What exactly IS voice?
I mean, everyone has a voice, right? You use it to speak. Or if we’re talking writing, that’s… what you write with? No, those are words. Voice is the sound that comes out of your mouth when you speak, so with writing? It can’t be that. It’s got to be something different.
It is. Your voice as a writer is a combination of who you are, where you are from, your life experiences, your view on the world, your philosophy, your tastes, a mishmash of every book you ever loved and some of the ones you hated, your hopes and dreams and also your fears and the things you run from. Your voice is your style, how casual you are, the kid you were as an awkward preteen, the nagging that your mom did again and again, that great essay you wrote in high school that got you an A, the trust you have in yourself, that dream you woke up screaming from last night.
Your voice is your word choice, and your POV preference. It’s your genre and your character development. It’s whether you have a happy ending, a bittersweet one or a tragedy.
Your writing voice is everything about you as a writer— as a person. Because the writer that you are is entirely a product of the person you are. Your insecurities will show and so will your pride. Your grandmother’s first language is going to pop up, and all those curses you wanted to throw at that jackass who was the worst person in your life.
Your writing voice is the colors of your life, painted on the page. It is the you-est part of you….
And it isn’t you at all. It’s the you that you let go of, because it’s separate once it hits the page. It’s the you of your dreams and your horrors that you just want to exorcise. It’s the you that once it’s down and in black and white, is now a thing outside of you that you can look at and edit out and also turn into oh… someone else. Someone you can make into a hero or a villain. It’s also the freight train barreling down the tracks headed for disaster and the hope of a blue dawn at the end.
Your voice is where you come from and where you’re going. It is naturally who you are, and the way you present yourself on the page, when you are not even TALKING about yourself. And it is also a constructed and sculpted form of yourself, the very worst and the very best, the most alien, the difference, the part of you that you have picked apart to reform. Your Frankenstein’s monster.
Your voice is you as a writer. As a story. As the characters and the plot and the dilemmas and the deus ex machina. Your writer’s voice is god.
However, it can be very hard to figure out what your writer’s voice is, and it can be even harder to learn how to have faith in your writer’s voice and just write from a place of honesty, because you learn to trust yourself as a writer, as a human being and as a soul to be worthy of the words. Worthy of the story. Worthy of the audience. Worthy of being heard.
But you are.
Every single one of us is worthy of being heard. And every single one of us has a voice that is valid and important and has heartbreaking or tragic or lovely or hysterical stories to tell.
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Wonderer, wanderer, warrior. Been around for a while. Got some stuff going on. Should probably get back to blogging. I mean....I didn't go away, I was just talking about science fiction for a while.