Writers Afraid of Their Own Voice? What?

I got an interesting message from someone on twitter the other day. Daniel Ford was preparing for an article about writers afraid of their own voice.

Side story: I’ve had some technical issues…my laptop DIED with a captial CRASH about 10 days ago. I waited a week to buy a new one because I kept up hope there was something redeemable on there. There wasn’t. It’s gone. Won’t turn on. It’s a brick.

So, I got a new laptop and started alllllll over again. 24 hours later high winds took out my Internet for a day or two LOL Leaving me to typo the snot out of a crap-ton of tweets and emails. Meanwhile…

Daniel got his article written and up and running. It’s a really good and insightful article and you can find it here on Engage the Blog.

I thought for the sake of a longer blog post (LOL I’m still playing catch-up) I’d add my full commentary here on why writers should not be afraid of their voice in writing. In regards to fearing your voice I said….

Don’t.

I firmly believe writing is more of a calling than anything else. As writers, we are passionate and driven to create. To fear that is to miss the point completely. Imagine your favorite tome. What if you had the same idea and had written that book instead of the author who captivated you with the tale? I guarantee the story wouldn’t have been the same. This is true because writers are uniquely gifted with perspective and experience that color our worlds and our words. Our individual voice sets the tone and guides the direction each story will take. No two authors will ever write the same story, even if they begin with the same concept. That’s the beauty of what we do. Writing is more than a skill, it’s an art and a lifestyle. Fearing your voice as a writer is like an artist fearing their medium, a painter avoiding his paint, a pianist afraid to play. I believe to be truly great at anything, we must be willing to dive in, lose ourselves in the wake and cast abandon aside. Don’t fear your gift. Treasure it. Your voice gives your story its passion and edge and bite. Voice should be embraced because its what makes you — you. Makes your stories yours. It’s the signature signed with your heart.

I think it’s natural to struggle with self doubt and insecurities, especially when we face new things. But, I also know there’s no surer way to fail yourself or lose your dream than to try to harness it. Don’t shove it into a box or make apologies for it. This is your dream and you are specially gifted to achieve it. Rest in the assurance that no one can tell your story but you.  

Who else has some encouraging thoughts for other aspiring authors out there? What do we do when we look at all the incredible books in print today and think….I can’t do it! I won’t measure up!

DO tell :)

 

5 comments to Writers Afraid of Their Own Voice? What?

  • I don’t know if I have any words of wisdom, but I absolutely believe in the power of your own voice. I used to own a small forum, and sometimes we would have writing contests. When given the same prompt – usually a song – no two people would write anything that was even close to being similar. My favourite example is from the song “Songbird” by Eva Cassidy. One person interpreted the song as being about letting go, and another saw it as a song about holding on.

    Having your own voice is the one thing that sets you apart form everyone else. You just have to make sure you perfect it, be true to it and make sure the voice is heard. :)

  • I will definitely be keeping this mind if I ever start to hate my voice. Overall, I dig it. Lol. But I can always find myself wishing I sounded like this author or that author.

    Great post, Julie. :D

  • I’m confused when writers are afraid of their voices as well. This isn’t to say that I never make mistakes with mine…I recently had to rewrite something entirely because I thought a timeline decision would be the better gimmick. Nope. I got three paragraphs through the change and my voice dried up.

    That wasn’t a gut decision, the change, it was a head one, and it was wrong. So, instead of floundering, I retyped the handwritten beginning and sailed blithely on.

    Very encouraging! Thank you.

  • I don’t always like my voice. I catch myself exaggerating all the time or sounding snappier than I meant to and I love sarcasm, which doesn’t always translate in writing… so, just in case, I let my writing sit a day or two before posting on my blog so I can catch some of that stuff. Maybe I’ll get more comfy with my attitude… I’ve just had plenty of feedback in real life that responded “NOT NICE!!” and sometimes I wonder why I think funny is better over nice sometimes? Or why my first response is so strong and I always want to tone it down? I’m not sure… but I’m willing to work on it. I agree with Daniel Ford. “Writing is more than a skill, it’s an art and a lifestyle.”
    Thx for sharing!!

  • This is a timely post for me to read.

    During the past three days of editing, I’ve been worried that I’m cutting out my voice. I’m not sure what my next steps will be.

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