In college I had this really awesome idea that i would write a book about some of the challenges I had as a youth and with intentions to help people. Then one day I encountered a Junior Composition teacher at Ohio University that made me feel like I was incapable of writing. I say this only because I was really upset when she compared my writing to the works of slave narratives. She did not say my writing was bad. She had envisioned my writing to be comparable to that of a slave and I was offended and I should of embraced the stylistic critiquing but all I saw were color lines:
Advice from WordPress in those moments
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Think about an event you’ve attended and loved. Your hometown’s annual fair. That life-changing music festival. A conference that shifted your worldview. Imagine you’re told it will be cancelled forever or taken over by an evil corporate force.
How does that make you feel?
Let’s consider your voice again. This topic can be tricky, as you might not be sure what your voice sounds like — yet. But it’s not that it’s not there, as Chuck Wendig explains in his “Ten Things I’d Like to Say to Young Writers” post. It just takes time to hone it:
You will chase your voice like a dog chasing a car, but you’ll never catch it. Because you were your voice all along. You were never the dog. You were always the car.
Our favorite writers, from Jane Austen to Gabriel Garcia Marquez to Paul Auster, have distinct voices. You read their writing and hear their words in your head. From their word choices, to the rhythm of their sentences, to the intimate spaces they create — right there on the page — they sound like no one else but them.
Today’s twist: While writing this post, focus again on your own voice. Pay attention to your word choice, tone, and rhythm. Read each sentence aloud multiple times, making edits as you read through. Before you hit “Publish,” read your entire piece out loud to ensure it sounds like you.
Need a helping hand? Head to The Commons.