Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Finding Your Voice

One of my favorite line from The Dead Poet's Society belongs to Robin Williams' character Mr. Keating. "You must strive to find your voice. Because the longer you take to begin, the less likely you are to find it at all."

One thing about writing that I don't know if I'll ever quite get the hang of is Voice. I've never been able to codify what makes good voice, or what mine is, except that when I've read books, I can tell it when it's there. Voice, in my opinion, the most elusive concept in the world, and all I can imagine is I'll know mine when I've found it. And I'm pretty sure I haven't found it yet.

But I'm not done looking for it. I'm still writing, still working, still trying. Because I don't want to give it up only to try again years later and find that I don't even know where to begin looking for it anymore. I have every intention of looking until I can find it.

I'm sure it's around here somewhere. :D

How about you? Have you found your voice yet?


  1. That's a great question. I feel like my voice changes from time to time. So, maybe this means I haven't found it yet. I'm like you, though. I will keep searching for it.

  2. I think we've found our voice or voices. I think voice needs to be refined for each project you work on, every character theoretically has a different voice, right? One thing that really helped us nail our voice and allowed us to experiment is our blog. There's something about being able to write about random things everyday that really forces you to develop a voice of your own.

  3. Susan -- I think you're right in thinking your voice changes, because people change, so their voice would change as well.

    LnL -- Maybe blogging helps. I don't know yet, but I'll bear that thought in mind.

  4. Dominique, I will say that for me it did just sort of happen and I only knew it happened afterwards. I found my voice because I was lucky enough to have six months where work at my job was minimal and I made a lot of time to experiment with my writing. I think time is the biggest help, so acquire as much of it as you can, even if you can only get it in little pieces.

  5. Davin -- Thanks for the advice. I think that accumulating it in little pieces is the way I'll have to go about it, but I think enough small bits can eventually make a whole.