I find this term humorous, apt as it is. The idea of “finding your voice” infers that you have somehow lost your voice and need to find it again. Or, that someone has stolen your voice and you, similarly, need to find it again.

Even the use of the “voice” fascinates me. It reenforces the fact that when we read text, we vocalize the words in our minds, as if reading it to ourselves. OK, I’ll stop poking fun at this phrase. We all know what it means. Finding your voice as a writer is a worthwhile aim. It’s a topic I think about daily as a professional writer. In one sense, having my own voice means that I am matching in writing what I naturally do in speech and thought. To a large extent, that’s true. I would just add that there is the possibility that you may develop a writerly voice that is distinctly different than your voice as a speaker.

So what defines someone’s “voice” in writing? There’s no one device or characteristic that shapes this aspect of writing. Length of sentences, word choice, and rhythm are obvious features of voice. The key here is to remember that it’s the recurring use of these features that establishes voice.

You will naturally develop your voice as a writer over time. And it does take time. As you follow your favorite writer or blogger, ask yourself what features of his or her writings are unique. Try imitating their writing techniques. Keep what feels natural to you. Before you know it, you may find your voice.

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