It has been said that everything that needs to be said has already been said.
But the way in which it is said is what differentiates the message. This is called the Author Voice. The voice of the writer.
A person reads your book not necessarily because of the content but because they want to see they way you write it. They are interested in your viewpoint on the subject topic.
Every person had their own unique voice. They way you speak and the way you think goes through many internal filters in your brain before the message comes out through your words.
I read tonnes of books on meditation but the basic message within each book is the same. But I gravitate towards books written by Deepak Chopra because I like the way he thinks about mediation.
I like his insights into this area. I like the view he has to share. This is his author voice. This is what distinguish his books from another person writing on the same topic.
Your voice is what distinguishes you from any other person. It is your unique viewpoint told in your own unique way.
And the wonderful thing is that we all have an author voice. It’s just about discovering it and owning it.
It took me a while to find my voice on this blog and to be honest, I think I am still am trying to find my voice. When you read these words, I’m hoping you can tell what type of person I am. Whether I am loud or quiet. What my thoughts are about working a dull corporate job (!) and my ambitions to becoming a full-time author. You can hear if I am serious or funny.
But don’t worry too much if you think you don’t know what your author voice is. The truth is that it takes times to develop and show through your words.
Sometimes fear and self-doubt stop you from revealing your true voice. Other times you may not even know what your voice sounds like. Some say it even takes 4-5 books till your voice starts to show. Don’t fret. Remember, writing is a journey and the true joy (in anything) is in the learning and discovering.
So here are a few tips to help you find your author voice which I also use:
#1. Explore different topics to write about
See what makes you excited. I love to write about personal development and writing. But writing about finance bores me- sorry!
#2. Give your opinion and not just facts or statistics
What do you think about the fact that there are more books being released every day? Do you think this means competition will increase and we should give up being authors or do you think this is a sign there has never been a better time to become a writer?!
Don’t just recite facts. Add your own opinion to it. In my opinion, the fact that more books are being published each year is truly wonderful! This means there are more readers for your work!
#3. Your voice is closely related to your personality
Ask your friends to describe your personality in 3 words and see if those personality traits show up in your writing. Are you funny, caring or sensitive? Does it come across in the way you write?
When someone reads your work they should feel like they are having a conversation with you. How you write and how you talk in person should be closely aligned. This is when you know you have found your voice.
#4. What are your influences?
Jot down 5 different books or blogs or podcast you like to read/ listen to. Spend time looking into how they are different or similar. Often we admire writing that we aspire to be like. For example, I read blogs by Joanna Penn, Seth Godin and Jeff Goins.
Re-read something you have written and ask yourself honestly, ‘is this how I sound like?’.
#5. Once you find your voice, continue developing it
Be comfortable with the fact that it could take years but that’s OK. We live in a noisy world and credit no longer goes to those who shout the loudest.
You need to set yourself apart and show you have a unique contribution to make and not just adding to the bland noise. Embrace your unique voice because no one else writes quite like you. There is no competition to be just like you. Embrace and claim your voice because it is needed.
Other helpful resources:
- Check out this great podcast episode on finding your author voice by Joanna Penn and Roz Morris here.
- Read this post by Jeff Goins here on finding your Author Voice.
What does your writing voice sound like? Have you found it, or are you still searching? Share in the comments.