The most confusing thing to me, when I was writing for a living, was when an editor talked about voice.
It's something with which a lot of writers struggle, especially beginning writers. I mean, they're our words, our ideas - so what's the problem?
For some of us, the issue is we fall in love with a favorite author, and suddenly? We appear to be writing with the same tone, the same cadence, the same use of metaphor.
Or maybe we're not writing with authority. We're trying out different things and searching for something that feels authentic.
Truth is, we all have our own unique voice. There is no one on earth exactly like us, and we carry our original selves into our writing.
But our writing voice isn't necessarily the same as how we speak. For instance, you may be a loud, extroverted bawdy girl. Your writing? Is gentle and introspective. And vice versa.
Think of your favorite novelists. Why do you like them? If they have written more than one book - even about completely different things - what do the books have in common?
Now think of your favorite or some well-known bloggers. Could you read an excerpt and know for sure it was Dooce or Pioneer Woman?
The two have very distinct voices: Heather Armstrong of Dooce uses a lot of run-on sentences, a lot of smilies, a lot of ALL CAPS. Ree Drummond of the Pioneer Woman uses approachable conversational snippets, always illustrating her pictures with running commentary.
They don't try to be who they're not. They are just themselves, when it comes to writing.
And that's also who you must be.
What are YOUR biggest issues with finding your voice? Do you have any great advice on the topic? Let's start a conversation.