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Writing 101, Day Fifteen: Your Voice Will Find You

You’re told that an event that’s dear to your heart — an annual fair, festival, or conference — will be cancelled forever (or taken over by an evil organization). Write about it. For your twist, read your piece aloud, multiple times. Hone that voice of yours!

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.

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  1. It’s true our voices are at our best when we are writing passionately. I am a freelance writer and some of the best feedback I get is from clients for whom the subject matter inspired me and will inspire passion in others. Passionate writing is contagious and its these passionate subjects that draw most people in.

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    1. Wow, this was very emotional. I loved the article. I feel as if this is something you truly believe in just by the way it is written. Very good job. =)

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    1. This post is something that is deep and emotional for you. It is something you would have a strong emotion at the thought of cancelling. It does not have to be something that is truly happening, although it does help. Just find something, maybe an annual family reunion that will never happen again or an art festival that you have attended every year.

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    2. If some kind of event doesn’t come to mind, feel free to interpret this loosely — an unexpected change in something or someone. A previous school. A childhood best friend. A TV show you’ve watched a long time that has gone downhill. Anything.

      If that doesn’t get you started, think about something — anything — you’re absolutely passionate about: Soccer. Environmental politics. Teaching. Cooking. Then perhaps think about’s dear to you about it, and how you’d feel if some aspect of it changed, for the worse.

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    3. As writers, we all go through this stage. Taking whatever the mind is focusing on, whether its the fact that I can’t come up with anything to write about or how good that cupcake was that I had at lunchtime. Take from all avenues and you will be rewarded with writing experience you never imagined.

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  2. It’s so true, and I think one thing that needs to be learnt is editing without loosing your voice. All work need to be edited, but it is so easy to put an unrecognisable mask of phrases over the original piece to the point it sounds like it has come from somebody else.

    Whilst it is easy to spill thoughts on paper, I personally find the challenge is maintaining some kind of personality when editing. I do agree the voice is always there, it just takes courage to go with it and share it (especially if its a unique style)

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  3. Here is my daily contribution, this was a little tough for me but I feel I did okay. I would really appreciate ANY feedback as I took this course to enhance my writing skills. I will also be taking some other courses since this is a passion. Please read and feel free to read my prior posts and give feedback for those as well!
    http://www.raphsodibreece.wordpress.com

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  4. hehe well I have caught up for 3 days worth here, short but sweet but i obviously work better under pressure. I think I have a voice, but i guess its for my readers to let me know whether I do have one or not. Would love some feedback now that I have finally caught up….pretty please?? Anyone around?

    http://eclecticoddsnsods.com/2014/06/20/writing-101-day-thirteen-fourteen-fifteen-a-brief-catch-up-a-variety-to-please-some-not-all/

    Justine xx

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