I’ve been working lately on a lot of professional writing — papers for school, letters to department heads, mind numbingly dull writing if I’m being honest, but writing that I hope will make a difference when it gets put into the right hands.
I’ve found that my writing changes depending on what and where I’m writing — for school I use short, clipped language – according to my professor my writing belongs in news magazines – I get to the point, use easily read language, and my writing is accessible to all audiences.
When writing professional letters I age about twenty years and take on a whole new — hyper-professional voice.
My fiction is very dialogue driven (almost to a fault if you ask me) — each of my characters has their own distinct and unique voice (at least in my head they do, sometimes I don’t translate it well enough from my head to the page).
This — and an assignment in my writing class — has really gotten me thinking about my voice as a writer and what I want it to be. The more I thought about it the more I’ve realized that my ‘writer’s voice’ changes depending on the material in front of me and the situation I’m in — there is kind of this duality in all writers, we write things we’d never say, situations we’ve never had to face…that to me is the beauty of writing and finding your voice as a writer…a writer can take on several different ‘voices’ conducive to their style and the situations they face.
My voice here in this space is even different from any of my other writing — it’s more personal, more intimate than an academic paper or professional letter. I think we do a disservice to kids as they learn to write by telling them that they need to find a specific voice when from what I’ve learned as a writer there is no ONE voice that you take on as a writer, you find several voices in your writing.
Find your voice — voices — and use them to the best of your ability in all you write…have fun with it!