Q: How can I find my writer’s voice?
A: Keep writing.
No one wants to be derivative. So I understand my writers’ eagerness to find their own voices.
Unfortunately, there’s no shortcut, no Geiger counter you can wave across the sand of your creativity searching for buried treasure.
So how do you find your writer’s voice?
That’s one reason it’s essential to write every day.
When your writer’s voice starts whining
We’re in the home stretch of my first 90-Day Writing Challenge and fatigue has set in. I hear things like, “I’m tired of writing.” Or “I can’t wait to take a break.” I hear you. I’ve gotten out of a nice, warm bed to write when I realized I’d forgotten to do it earlier. That’s how you make it to 412 days (as of June 11th). And 412 days—and 413, 414, you get the idea—is how you get to be a better writer.
Still whining or not, a whopping 50% of my writers are on track to fulfill their complete commitment, either by writing Monday-Friday (earning $10 a week for their charity) or by writing every day. Yes, for 90 days in a row. That feat earns a donation of $150. And writers who hit smaller milestones earn donations too.
Remarkably, people who’ve broken their streaks start right back in again the next day. That’s dedication.
Some of the challenge writers have also been studying with me—we’re on the second of two 12-week-long courses—and especially with these writers, I can see the beginning of a consistent voice. But it’s hard. It’s frustrating to plug away at something day after day and feel like you’re still not where you want to be.
It’s even more frustrating for smart people who are used to picking up new things easily. Finding your writer’s voice isn’t something you can learn in three easy lessons. Or even 30. Your writer’s voice will emerge when it’s good and ready. On its time, not yours. And all you can do is let it know you’re there, ready to welcome it in with a hug and a warm cup of tea.
Invite writer’s voice to set a spell
And how do you let your writer’s voice know the kettle’s on? Uh-oh, I hope you’re thinking, I know what’s coming. Yep:
Every damn day.