Sherrinda over at A Writer Wannabe has an interesting post about voice. Her thoughts (and forgive me Sherrinda if I describe the intent of your post wrong) revolve around finding our voice as authors. As I was putting a comment, I realized I have a slightly different perspective on the subject and I'd like to share it with everyone.
Voice can be described as the way the story is told, or the stylings of the particular author that comes through in their writing. I've heard it said many times that we need to find our voice, but I disagree. Distinctive voice in writing is something everyone has, even if they are barely capable of stringing together a complete sentence. If their writing is disjointed and ugly, they still have a writer's voice. It may not be pleasant to read through or even intelligible, but it's there waiting to burst forth. Voice is as much an expression of our personality as it is our experiences - and so much more.
Since everyone has it, there really isn't a need to find it. As we grow and improve our writing, our voice has the chance to shine. We break down the walls that keep us from writing well, and with each brick removed, the voice is allowed to be heard more clearly. For example, when we learn to stop obsessing over the perfect word, a brick is removed. When we are able to sit and write for hours on end, a brick is removed. When we use our red pen like a sword, cutting a swath of edits through our own manuscript, a brick is removed. All that remains is the story, told in our voice, unhindered and unencumbered by all those bricks. So while it's splitting hairs, the focus shouldn't be on finding our voice. Instead we should concentrate on improving our writing, getting past our own bad habits and issues, and the voice will come through naturally like a beacon.
Have you removed all your personal bricks? Do you hear your voice in your writing? What barriers do you still need to get rid of in order to free it?