I think I know what my problem is

I was working on my story [novel] today (which will probably not see the light of day, though I want it to eventually) and I realized that I really need to find my voice.

"Finding your voice" is an overused and vague phrase, and I used to not think it was as important as plot or other stuff, but now I've realized it is. I think I had that attitude because it sounded so fake: "find your voice." And it seemed impossible, and part of some requirement for writing like 100 years ago, when fiction didn't have to be so hyper-commercial to succeed.

But I've noticed in different creative mediums that people hit their stride when they find their voice, whether they're singers, painters, writers, musicians, radio talent, or anything that requires a person to dig deep within themselves to share their craft with the world. I've been able to spot and develop a voice in non-fiction writing, but for some reason, I didn't want to accept that I needed to hone it in fiction until I started feeling fake about what I was writing.

So today I worked on the story, and anytime I felt like I was being fake, I got to the "truth" by getting to my "voice". But the problem is, I still haven't settled on a voice, so I have to keep working at it.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the site. It was of great interest to read how you are searching for something in your writing. I would think that somehow you might tie it into the ideas that you generate in your blog. You seem to have a clear voice in this area of your life.
Enjoy. I also really liked your quiz on American culture.

Margaret Larkin said...

Thanks--since the blog isn't fiction, it would be hard to tie in the ideas for a story. I want to do another American culture quiz--I'm going to ask the students in my ESL class if they have any questions I can answer via a quiz :D

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