How important is a writers voice? Is it the most important thing in the world? Is it stronger than anything else we own?
In my opinion it is. Without our voice what are we? It’s what expresses our words, our ideas, and who we are. A writers voice is everything.
However, I also believe we have several voices inside us. I’m sure some people have a universal voice, and in some ways maybe this is the ultimate goal. i don’t think I do, though. Do you?
I’ve done a very short experiment to see if this is true. Not only can you read this post, but you can listen to it as well. I recorded my words just before I wrote this. It was done in one-take and includes mistakes, mannerisms, and my accent. The subject is the same in both versions, and many of the same words are used. Do the versions differ?
You can listen to the MP3 here>>> My-Song.mp3 (to download right click and save as)
The Differing World Of A Writers Voice
Maybe the ultimate aim is to have a universal voice. I have no idea if this is true for everyone or if indeed people ever achieve it. Maybe we do on our death bed. Maybe in our final moments it makes sense.
All I know is that I have several voices that I use:
- The way I write my fiction
- The way I write this blog
- The way I speak to friends
- The way I speak to strangers
- Networking Events
- When I’m drunk
- Early in the morning
So many platforms and so many circumstances. I believe my voice differs in each. Not in a big way, but in subtle, varying degrees. Does this make me a fraud? Am I a gigantic fake?
Maybe, but I don’t believe it does. I don’t think it matters if we have several voices, so long as they all share some common ground. It still needs to be you doing the speaking. It still needs to have your true values shining through. But we adapt from situation to situation, and I believe everyone does this.
Do you talk to your boss the same as you do your friends?
Do you speak to your mother the same as your sister?
Do you act the same in the pub as you do on a podium?
The Two Questions To Ask
I think you need to ask two questions:
- How can you best resonate with your audience?
- How can you have your true values and personality shine through?
Like most things in life, it’s a balancing act. I think we need to adapt to who we’re talking to, but at the same time keep YOU at the centre. In some circumstances the changes might be slight, and on other occasions large.
You need to always have it come from YOU, though.
If we get these two things wrong the result could be bad. If you don’t resonate with your audience then no one will listen. If it isn’t coming from you, people will see you as a fake…a liar.
This surely takes time and it’s because of this that it takes a while to develop our best voice(s)
Did you know I have a Facebook Page dedicated to my writing? I’m inviting fellow writers & readers to LIKE my page and join the fun. If you do so in July you’ll be entered into a Free Prize Draw where one lucky winner will receive a $20 Amazon Voucher & a 1-Hour Consultancy Chat with ME!
It’s not about the prize, though, it’s about engagement. I’ll be using my Facebook Page to document my writing, showcase samples and designs, and create competitions and polls to get your feedback. Doesn’t that sound fun?
All you have to do is Press Like.
What’s Your Voice?
As I say, some people probably have the same voice at all times. They live life without care or have perfected it over time. Then again, maybe this kind of person does’t exist. Maybe everyone, to some point, alters their voice form time to time.
I don’t think this is a bad thing, so long as you keep it personal.
As a modern day writer you speak to people every day. Sometimes it’s through your fiction, other times through your Blog, and on occasion, in person. Can you honestly say you have the same voice for all these platforms?
And if they are different, do you understand how? I don’t think this is an easy thing to answer and I think it takes years to discover. It’s vital to think about, though. These days it’s all about engaging with people, and any leverage you can create will help.
A writers voice can help them stand out from the crowd.
A writers voice is important, if not the most important thing of all.
Share your thoughts below.
How does your voice differ?
Do you disagree? Let me know…
Turndog Millionaire – @turndog_million