How to Find Your Writing Voice

Regardless of whether you are a blogger or a writer, navigating your writing path and understanding how to find your writing voice is incredibly important. In fact, spend five minutes in any writing workshop and you will hear the word, voice, at least a half-dozen times.

Your voice as a writer is not all too dissimilar from your voice as a person. It is what makes you you. It distinguishes your writing from the writing of the blogger next to you. The words you choose, the cadence of those words, the tone of your writing… all of these things make up your voice. They make your writing yours and only yours.

writing voice

Something so quintessentially you should be easy to find, right? Well… not always. But here are a few steps to get you on your way.

How to Find Your Voice in Writing

Read, read, read

When I first started blogging, I read every blog I could find. The two that demanded I click every time they showed up in my reader? Enjoying the Small things by Kelle Hampton and MODG by Amanda. If you read these blogs then you know that these two ladies are amazing writers, each in their own way. And they each have a very distinctive, impossible to ignore, voice. I guarantee that if you read a piece by either of them somewhere other than on their blog, you’d know immediately that it was them. That’s voice. Being able to detect someone else’s voice is the first step to finding your own.

Experiment, experiment, experiment

Now that you have seen some voice in action, try some different styles on for size. When I first started blogging, I tried writing in the funny, sarcastic tone I found on MODG. Turns out, it wasn’t me. So I kept experimenting with different styles and voices I had noticed in my reading to see what felt most natural to me.

Write, write, write

What did your experimenting teach you? Do you want to write sarcastically? Do you want to be humorous? Serious? Reflective? Introspective? Which of these come naturally to you? Write, write, write and see what comes out when you let your fingers do the thinking. The words that come out when you are typing from your heart will lead you to your voice.

Tune, tune, tune

Once you’ve found your voice, tune it. Maintain it. Keep watch over it. As you write, note the way the words land on the page and the rhythm they adopt. Notice your favorite pieces and what distinguishes them from your less favorite pieces. Your favorite ones are the ones in which your voice shines through the most.

When in doubt, repeat!

Feel like you had your voice but, somewhere along the way, you lost it? It happens. So start again! Read, experiment, write, and tune. Sometimes I do all three of these as I write a single post, just to make sure I’m writing true to myself and my voice. In the end, your voice is a part of you. It will never be too far out of reach.

Author Bio
Tricia is an account director by day, writer by night, and mom all the time. She lives in Arlington, VA with her husband and bubbly, two-year-old daughter. Read about her quest for balance and life with her family on her blog Raising Humans.

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About Francesca

One of two behind The SITS Girls and Bloggy Boot Camp. Believer that this community is a movement, and not just a website. Currently on a quest for unending free WiFi & stronger caffeine. I'd love to get to know you better: Find me on Twitter @FranBanducci and on Google+.

Comments

  1. I too am trying to find my writing voice. I really want to improve my writing skills. I have another blog at http://www.motheringfromdaytoday.blogspot.com.

  2. I only write in one tone — the one I think in!

  3. These are great tips, I am just trying to find my voice and determine which way I want to go. These tips will help me in that process

  4. Thanks for these tips and ideas. I couldn’t agree more with them. I still struggle to find my own unique voice but love the process of hoping to get there one day.

  5. This is a FANTASTIC post. I absolutely LOVE reading other blogs, and I love figuring out exactly what makes me tick as a writer. Thank you for this!

    • Thanks for your comment! Reading other blogs is so helpful to the writing process, and conveniently something we all love to do as well!

  6. It’s amazing that people like me who have been writing forever will still sometimes lose their writing voice. This is great info.

    • Voice is a tricky thing, isn’t it? I know what you mean – I feel like I lose my writing voice from time to time too, no matter how much I write or how long I’ve been writing. The good news is, we can always get it back!

  7. It’s hard for me to keep a certain one voice. My personality fluxiates so much depending on how I feel that day that even I have a hard time keeping up with it. i do like your tips they’re very helpful and will keep writing and writing till i get there. :)

    • Keep at it, Lucy and you will get there! And along the way you may find that your voice is a blend of many things and that’s ok!

  8. Great tip! And I love that picture!! I don’t think I’ve found my voice yet but I am looking for it

  9. “Finding your voice” is key for me keeping up with my blog. Every once in while I write a post that feels exactly like how I want my blog to be. Then there are times when I pressure myself to put out an article just to keep up with my blogging schedule.

    Its a bit like a pendulum swinging back and forth between the posts I like and the schedule.

    Rather than finding the middle ground, I want to get off the ride and just post when it feels right. Thanks for the tips to help move towards that goal.

    • I definitely know what you mean and I’m the same – the posts that I really think about and work on sound exactly as I want them to and exemplify my voice. And then the posts that I rush to put up are just not quite there. Keeping your voice through deadlines and schedules is almost more difficult than finding it to begin with. Keep re-reading your favorite posts and I know we’ll both get there.

  10. Excellent information! Thank you so much for writing this post. :)

  11. I guess I have some homework :) I’m in search of my voice.

  12. I’ve reached the stage in my writing where I have no other voice BUT my own.

    I’m not saying “I’ve arrived”.

    I’m just saying that for me, at this point, it’s more a matter of editing, editing, editing, once my voice has poured out.
    It IS a pouring out, and then RE-reading, to be SURE that other people read my sentences with the same inflection that I heard in my head when I was writing them.

    That’s why it’s helpful to sometimes let my husband read what I’ve written.
    He’s good at helping me catch phrases that need to be cleaned up. Refined.

    • I can totally relate to the edit, edit, edit. I feel that I’m super wordy (afterall my profession is Speech-Language Pathology). After I sit down and write what I feel/think I then go back several times to edit. Sometimes what I start with is very different than my first draft. I love that about writing!!

  13. I think I just talk too much, whether about funny stuff, interesting stuff (to me, anyway) or nonsense. Blogging allows me to talk too much without people saying, “Seriously?! You talk too much!!”

  14. Great tips…. always love reading about how to improve my writing or get helpful hints, even though I have been blogging for years! Thanks!

  15. Thank you for the great tips, Tricia! I particularly relate to write, write and write!

    • Thanks, Alison! It’s amazing how when we write we are able to sort it all out and find exactly what we wanted to say.

  16. This is the area I struggle with the most. I feel like I’m pretty consistent but identifying my own voice is hard. I think, for me, its something I really need an outsider to do.

  17. Hi Francesca,

    I really enjoyed reading your article; it’s something I’ve searched for now and again with my personal sites. You’re right, it’s important to keep writing.

    About four years ago, I took a break from a personal blog that I’d owned… sure I was still writing at my business websites and I wrote for a few online and print publications too, so yes I did keep writing but it was a different writing style; technical.

    A few years ago, I started another personal website, the first few years I floundered, and to be honest really didn’t put too much effort into finding my voice again, until recently. It’s something I practice daily, and I’m slowly getting back into the groove with my personal writing style.

  18. Love this post!! Sometimes when I struggle with my writing, I just start reading! That usually helps me a little in finding my voice. I might not ever be a great writer and I’m fine with that, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE learning new things and learning from other people. Reading is a great way to do that, when it comes to writing.

    • I completely agree. Whenever I feel stuck, I just read. Doesn’t matter if I read my favorite blog, the book sitting on my nightstand, or even one of my daughter’s picture books. Reading never fails to bring a new perspective.

  19. Great tips! I especially connect to write, write WRITE! I feel like the more I write, the stronger my writing becomes. I also try to make sure my voice is consistent! :)

    • Isn’t it great that by doing more of what we love (writing) we get better at doing what we love (writing)? :)

  20. I’ve noticed my voice tends to take on two personas:

    The serious, intellectual side of me that ponders life and tries to learn something every day and the goofball, sarcastic side of me who is usually ready for a smart aleck response (some would say witty). I don’t mind going between both because it’s part of who I am. For the most part I am loaded with sarcasm but I do have my softer, more sentimental moments. I’d like to think this shows in my writing and I am fairly certain it does.

    • I agree, I think it does show in your writing. I drew a bit of a distinction here between different kinds of voices but you are right – voices can be much more dimensional. I love writers like you whose voice has both a serious and sarcastic side. Keeps me on my toes!

Trackbacks

  1. […] get the point here, you need to spend time writing.  Check out this post from The SITS Girls about finding your voice.  I think finding your voice is a process and blog posts will only get better with experience.  […]

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