Finding Your Voice

Finding Your Voice

You may not know this, but everyone has a signature style in their writing. Have you ever explored yours? It’s actually a lot of fun! Here are a few ways to play around and maybe add a bit of pizazz to your writing.

Steal
Picasso once said, “Good artists borrow, great artists steal.” This can be shocking to those who have a never cheated a day in their life, and rightly so. The lesson here is that the great artist is looking to others to see what has worked, and adopts it in their own way. For example, think about a time when you made a recipe and it didn’t completely work out; then you asked someone who has made it before what they did and then you copy it and get the right result. This is exactly the type of thing you need to be doing in your writing. Grab that extra ingredient and use it for your own.

Imitate
Every writer has a favorite artist. Have you ever looked at the way your favorite artist writes? Are their sentences really long? Do they have a lot of pauses? Is their writing dialogue-heavy? Take a passage from your favorite story and copy it down word-for-word. Circle the punctuation, look at the way sentences are strung together, and read it aloud to yourself. Then, attempt to emulate it. Create a passage as close in style as you can get. Do it again with another writer. You will soon find that, like practicing your handwriting, that you will come up with new little bits that you didn’t use before.

A few artists with wildly different styles:

Hunter S. ThompsonYou may not know this, but everyone has a signature style in their writing. Have you ever explored yours? It’s actually a lot of fun! Here are a few ways to play around and maybe add a bit of pizazz to your writing.

Steal
Picasso once said, “Good artists borrow, great artists steal.” This can be shocking to those who have a never cheated a day in their life, and rightly so. The lesson here is that the great artist is looking to others to see what has worked, and adopts it in their own way. For example, think about a time when you made a recipe and it didn’t completely work out; then you asked someone who has made it before what they did and then you copy it and get the right result. This is exactly the type of thing you need to be doing in your writing. Grab that extra ingredient and use it for your own.

Imitate
Every writer has a favorite artist. Have you ever looked at the way your favorite artist writes? Are their sentences really long? Do they have a lot of pauses? Is their writing dialogue-heavy? Take a passage from your favorite story and copy it down word-for-word. Circle the punctuation, look at the way sentences are strung together, and read it aloud to yourself. Then, attempt to emulate it. Create a passage as close in style as you can get. Do it again with another writer. You will soon find that, like practicing your handwriting, that you will come up with new little bits that you didn’t use before.

A few artists with wildly different styles:

Hunter S. Thompson
Toni Morrison
Chinua Achebe
Tom Clancy
His Holiness, The Dalai Lama

Write
Any time anyone needs to improve or tweak their writing, it is best to just do it! Practice makes perfect. Write. Write every day. Write once an hour. Write periodic sentences, plays, anything you can. Never stop moving your pencil and bashing those keys. “Well begun is half done” the wise Mary Poppins tells us; so get going.

Toni Morrison
Chinua Achebe
Tom Clancy
His Holiness, The Dalai Lama

Write
Any time anyone needs to improve or tweak their writing, it is best to just do it! Practice makes perfect. Write. Write every day. Write once an hour. Write periodic sentences, plays, anything you can. Never stop moving your pencil and bashing those keys. “Well begun is half done” the wise Mary Poppins tells us; so get going.