Whether you’re a novelist, a songwriter, a poet or a blogger, the question remains the same: how do I find my writing style? In other words, what is my voice? ‘Voice’ is quite a hard thing to define, especially as we associate it with something audible; the written word is, of course, intrinsically silent.
But every writer knows what it means. A little bit of style, a little bit of personality, a touch of branding and a dash of authority – that’s voice. It’s a crucial tool for writers. It makes people sit up and take notice of what you have to say, while enjoying how you’re saying it. Here’s how to find your writing voice.
Stay True To Yourself
Your voice is yours alone; the uniqueness is what makes it a ‘voice’. So to find it, you have to stay true to yourself. Now, this might sound a little vague and self-helpy (à la Gwyneth Paltrow), but it also happens to be a fact. If you write too far out of your comfort zone, you’ll end up sounding forced and insincere. A bit like a bad Oscar acceptance speech. Miaow!
People can smell this kind of copy a mile away, even through the computer screen. We’ve had open access to the internet for many years now, so most users are adept at filtering out this kind of content. Be honest and sincere when you write, and your audience will respond to it.
How Do I Find My Writing Style?
Unless you’re writing a stream-of-consciousness-style blog (in which case, go nuts), your copy should have a goal in mind. Often, this goal is to attract potential customers, clients or collaborators to your site. So a great place to start when you’re finding your writing voice is to imagine your ideal reader and write directly to them.
It might be helpful to actually write down a character or a persona (don’t skimp on the details, either – there is no such thing as OTT with this one!) to fully create their image in your mind. Then your ‘copy goal’ is to befriend this very specific person you’ve dreamed up. This is a great way to nail your target audience while also developing your style and voice to suit your objectives.
Creating My Personal Writing Tone
Try not to feel shackled by your own idea of yourself. Push your humour, your tastes and your sensibilities a little more in your copy. If you’ve ever worked in hospitality, you’ll know exactly the right dials to flick here; a little more pep, a little more eagerness and a little more brightness. You don’t want to blow the place out, so to speak. That’ll come over too false and people will catch it a mile off. Just up the wattage.
You can be the absolute best version of yourself when given the right amount of time and a liberal use of the ‘delete’ button. You can be funnier, cooler, more charming, more adventurous and more persuasive. Use that to your advantage.
This is how to find your voice in writing; imagine the exact type of person you’re trying to reach, and start putting pen to paper!