Voice, Finding Yours

In regards to writing, what is Voice? Is it the way we converse with each other or our internal dialogue (thought)?

Is it both? Is it neither? Is it style—the way a writer strings words together?

Voice is deeper. Voice incorporates who we are—our fears, desires, beliefs, and experiences.

Voice is a writer’s emotional thoughts and responses to stimuli developed over a lifetime. Thereby, writing Voice is infused into the words used and the themes chosen. Over time, Voice gives readers a glimpse into who a writer is.

If you are a new writer, you may believe that your first novel is worthy of publication. I too believed this to be true. And there are some who are gifted with words naturally, but with most writers, finding your Voice takes time, like traditional publication. I once read somewhere that a writer won’t truly find their Voice until they’ve written a million words—that’s ten 100,000 word novels. I tend to agree.

I can best compare finding my Voice to riding a bike: 

I learned how to ride a bike at the age of four. With training wheels attached, my tires ate up the sidewalk.  Then the training wheels were removed. With knees, palms, and elbows scraped, scabbed over, and scarred, I once again became a reckless force on wheels.  Years later I learned how to maneuver gears, to enhance my mountain biking experience, until pedaling and shifting were natural, without thought and only action. Then finally, I became proficient enough to enter several races.

You see, to become proficient enough to compete with professionals, I needed to develop my riding skills through brute force and determination and time. I fell, but I picked myself up and began again. Not fresh, but battered and determined to succeed. Changed. And open to continual advances. Further development.

The more we practice our writing, like developing skeletal muscles, we train our brains to get better and faster with words infused with the results and opinions of our experiences until they spill from our minds organically.

So if you feel like you’re struggling to find your Voice, remember the words of Lance Armstrong:

“Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place.  Lance Armstrong, It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life

Stick with writing long enough to develop You. Endure the pain and struggles of life, form opinions, take a stand, fall, change, and you, too, will be able discover the other side of “something else.” You will discover your true Voice.

Happy Writing, 

Cyndi Faria

10 thoughts on “Voice, Finding Yours

  1. Cindy, I liked your use of comparing it to riding a bike. I was a late bloomer for riding a bike. I was ten when I said, I was going to tackle it and grabbed a two wheeler. I hadn’t ridden anything since I was five. I rode across the street. Then I rode down the block. Then you couldn’t get me off it. Thanks for the memories and perspective.

  2. Sometimes with the first book, we’re also thinking about SO many different things that it’s not just flowing, you know? Fun blog, Cyndi. Voice is an interesting thing to think about cuz it just happens.

  3. I was watching my 1 year old nephew this weekend. He is almost walking. He falls. He gets frustrated. He pulls himself up and tries again. One day he will be walking all over the place and won’t even remember when he couldn’t. That is finding your voice.

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