Of the many things that we all desire when we are writing is to find the voice. It’s that piece of you that permeates the pages of what you write, telling the person reading that even if they didn’t see your name, they know it is from you. But how does one find their voice?
Many of us (at least me) struggle throughout our lives to figure out what our voice is. For over 25 years I’ve been trying to figure it out. Then it finally occurred to me: I needed to stop worrying so much about it and do just one thing. Just one thing.
Did you think I would uncover some ancient secret that catapulted all us writers into the stratosphere of success?
Nope. It’s simply: write.
Like I noted above, I’ve been writing for over 25 years. That struggle has gone off and on, never culminating in any discipline. It never came to any consistency. I wrote when I felt like writing, if I felt like writing at all. A lot of that time, I didn’t feel like writing.
What was happening to me was the pressure of succeeding. It was the pressure of not knowing how to write, or what my voice was, or if the plot was good, blah blah blah…
Here I am, over 25 years later, on the cusp of turning 40, and somehow a simple truth permeated my brain. Just fucking write. Stop caring about anything and write. WRITE! Write like it is the only thing that matters. Put words onto a fucking page. Do it every day. No questions asked. Write, write, write, write, write.
Just fucking write!
All the other things surrounding the writing can be dealt with at another time. Building that skill is the key though. The more words you put down on a page, the more days in a row you commit to doing it, the easier it starts to be. Then you will start to see patterns, both good and bad, in how you form a story. It turns out that writing is the one thing needed to be a writer. Strange, right?!
And you know what really ends up happening? You begin to let go of worrying about it. Sure, I want what I write to be good. However, I have become more willing to let my brain work rather than holding it back. Worrying about your writing voice is another excuse for that bastard of a brain of ours to tell us we aren’t good enough. Learn to not listen to it by just churning out words. Flood it with them.
Just write. You’ll be happier when you do.