Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Blog Chain - Discovering Your Voice
Today on 'Da Muse, we're back on the chain gang to answer a question posed by the ever talented Sarah. She asks:
How did you discover your particular voice as a writer?
This is a great question, but it assumes that we've already discovered our voice. For a writer like me - who is still exploring this weird thing called writing - finding my voice is like hunting for sewing needles in a bed of cactus. Blindfolded.
Okay, so maybe it's not quite that difficult (or painful), but I will admit to moments of frustration when a passage or turn of phrase doesn't seem quite right. I usually don't notice I am writing with my own voice until after I've finished a section and look back in admiration at something that has really come out right. For example, when I wrote the Ten Word Tuesday entry, that felt like a part of my voice. It just came out right. The same thing with the excerpts here and here. When I got done, I was able to look back on the writing and feel confident that it wasn't half bad.
As I reflect on how my mind is working and feeling while I'm writing these little bits, I remember the feeling of being in the zone. The words are just pouring out and I am stopping fewer times to go back and edit this word or that phrase. This is when I feel like my writer's voice is screaming in all it's fury, and it's a glorious sound.
The problem is that if you look over the three examples I highlight, they are all over the board. The first is comical, the second sentimental, and the third is dark. Examining this, I can't say for sure I've really discovered my voice yet. Or at least I haven't discovered the way to always write within my voice. All I do know is that when I hit my stride, the fingers are racing on the keyboard as fast as the mind can translate the ideas. At that point, I'm a demi-god. A demi-god with a chainmail bikini-clad bodyguard. Right Rebecca?
I don't know how well I've answered this question, but you can read my predecessor Sandra's response or wait anxiously for Kat's answer tomorrow.