Finding The Voice Within Your Heart

 “My goal in life is to be the exact same person to you, whether you’ve met me for the first time or the 21st time. Your knowledge of me is there from the beginning in an honest, brutal sort of way. Get your writings to be there…in an honest, brutal sort of way, and you’ll have found your true voice.” ~Joyce Jace

Do you hear me? Am I loud and clear? Or am I muffled behind some sort of mask?

Do you ever feel like you know the person behind the words? I mean when you feel more than just the emotion. Have you ever felt  a connection as if you are touching the soul of the writer or he/she is  touching yours? Do you have a favorite author that you are drawn to?

I’ve recently run across a lot of pieces on writer’s voice.  It seems that they all agree that the one thing that distinguishes a voice is author authenticity. I think this is true.  A few people have compared my fiction to the style of Eudora Welty. Of course, I felt wonderful. I was all excited and ready to study Eudora’s style, and then I thought better of it. I don’t want to mimic the style and craft of another. Trying to write like someone else might hone my skills but it will not give me a voice. There is a huge difference between skill and voice. I want my own voice to shine through my words.Don’t think I am saying that skill is not important because it is extremely important. I am only saying that without voice, skill is virtually useless.

I think that as writers, voice evolves just as we evolve as people. I know that my own writing has changed through the years. I used to write in search of my voice. My style and subject have changed but the voice remains mine.  I feel that I can finally be seen in my finished product. I write just as I speak and think. But most times even though I know what I want to write, I struggle with finding the perfect words to convey my sentiment. I write from my heart and I feel that I am in the words that I choose.

I feel that style portrays voice but does not define it. I think voice is a combination of passion, attitude, personality, experiences, and values. I don’t feel that voice can be taught, that it must be found. It is a reflection of who you are. I think a stronger and clearer voice is created when an author puts more of him/herself into what he/she writes. I think you can be coached to find your voice, but once you find it, it is yours alone.  Often imitation feels and sounds forced while authenticity has a resonance to it. I’ve found that while searching the most important question I asked myself was why I wrote. With that answer, I began to write with passion and person. Writing about what you love, what is important to you, and writing from your heart will lead you to your voice. The quality of it or the opinions of others does not matter when your voice is heard. The rest will follow in time.

I have found that when I read I am attracted by a particular style and subject. I don’t read things that are not of interest to me. However, it is the substance that pulls me in. The meat of the story is what propels me to read it in its entirety. Most importantly, it is the voice that keeps me coming back to that author. When I find an author who is unique in voice,  I like his/her style, and the subject matter is of importance to me, I will read him/her again and again.

“What is written without effort is in generally read without pleasure.”
Samuel Johnson

50 thoughts on “Finding The Voice Within Your Heart

  1. Well I like your style! I have come across some authors that leave me confused and having to go back and reread parts, these authors are quickly scratched from my list. If it doesn’t flow for me, then it becomes too much work to understand.

    I mean after all I am just a simpleton! LOL!

  2. I am not a writer. I used to think I could play one, but then I started reading writers’s blogs and I see the talent and the voice.

    For some reason, SuziCate, I always feel I hear more of your voice than you think. I FEEL it more than hear it. But . . . could be I also just imagine things . . . 😉

    Whatever the case, I am so happy to have found you and your blog. I truly enjoy reading it (and listening to it).

    • Thank you, that is very much a compliment to me and appreciated by me. I would much rather someone feel what I have to say than to read it and just hear the words. That is what my writing is about to me…heart, not just my words. But I often wonder that because I feel what I write, do I lose veryone else? And I think that is what kept me from writing for a long period of time.

    • And Terre, You are a writer. There are many types of writers. Your passion for Nia and nutrition is loud and clear. You do a fabulous job with your blog. It is informative and you write with personality, straight from your heart. Bet you didn’t realize that it shows, but it does.

      • Thanks, and no I didn’t. I don’t use lovely descriptions that take you to where I am and what I am doing . . . . but I am not doing that type of writing.

        But I do appreciate you visiting and commenting. And I really appreciate the vegetable freezing information. I gotta try that.

  3. Suzi, you have a fantastic voice. Thank you for this post. Finding my writing voice is something that I have stuggled with. It is the moments where I just write without thinking that I like the words.

    • That is because thosetimes it is flowing from your heart and not forced from your mind. I struggle with that myself because I want to find the best word I can to convey my thought and sometimes I lose the meaning.

  4. Finding one’s voice is a long process, just as finding one’s true self is. For me, I must just go with what I feel; if others enjoy it, so much the better!

    I see you – if I didn’t I wouldn’t come back.

    • You’re right it is a long process just to find oneself. You do write from your heart…or I wouldn’t keep coming back! So, it’s not only good for you but for us as well.

  5. I would rather read something by a writer who’s voice resonates well than something others claim to be technically sound, yet is boring as hell. Great post, Suzicate.

  6. I love how you write, what you write about, and how you bring it across to your readers. Your own talent, your own voice, and your own style is what writing is all about. When one writes from the heart, and use the words God gave them can’t be nothing but a winner. You do all of these things Suzi, and you do it so well. I believe in being yourself.

  7. I have a hard time not writing what I feel. I guess I never realized it was a writing voice. Yours is very wonderful and true. It really is like soaring when I come here.

    As always, beautifully said.

  8. “Often imitation feels and sounds forced while authenticity has a resonance to it.” That pretty much sums it up, both in writing and in life.

  9. When I taught writing, a student asked me if writing could be learned or if it was one of those skills you either had or didn’t. She was struggling with her writing and was frustrated. I tried to explain that every writer has a voice and that capturing that voice is a challenge, even for the most adept writer. I hope that sticks with her, and I wish I had had this post to share with her!

  10. I couldn’t agree with you more. It always rings false when someone is trying to emulate someone else. Being true to oneself is the best way to go.

    I definitely think that there’s an evolution to it. At first you just write to write and then all the sudden, you realize that you have a certain tone and style to your writing. That’s so cool when you realize it!

  11. This kind of freaked me out reading this today, because this morning I wrote a poem that I think I’m gonna call “Words of a Poet.” It talks about how my words are not empty, and how much heart and soul I put into them. Hmm, strange minds think alike…? Loved your post, and I say amen!!

  12. I am here on the recommendation of Katherine (at “A New Day”). I am *so* glad I stopped by and will definitely return.

    Your voice is a good one! 🙂

  13. Love both of these quotes, Suzi. Especially the first one, about being the exact same person when you first meet me and many times later. It’s about being authentic and genuine, which isn’t always easy to do.

  14. I like your style Suzicate but that’s not what keeps me coming back. What keeps me coming back is the fact that you call hubby dirtman and hes OK with it. Brilliant!

  15. “Have you ever felt a connection as if you are touching the soul of the writer or he/she is touching yours?”
    YES! And there is no feeling like it in the world… No one who hasn’t experienced the power of someone else’s words can understand this, but it is a magical feeling! 🙂
    Voice is what helps the writer create that effect, it is the pulse of the story… And your writing has a very strong pulse Suzicate 🙂

  16. You make interesting points. I agree that writers have voices, but I find that the truly extraordinary ones are those that have more than one voice. Those are the writers that blow me away – the fact that they can sound absolutely different and still retain truth in the different voices is amazing.

  17. SuziCate your last paragraph, that is it in a nutshell. Better than any quote you could include, those words say it all.

    I think when you write from the heart, that is when people are truly touched by your writing and when it is truly authentic and also potentially truly brilliant.

    Wonderful post and wonderful words

  18. I struggle with this in my own work. In my fiction, I am always searching to find my character’s voice, but sometimes I focus so much on plot, I forget the essence of the character. In my non-fiction, sometimes what I want to say is censored, muting my inner voice.

    This was a great post and I look forward to more posts related to writing. Thanks.

  19. From the moment I began reading you, I felt your passion, your voice, and your emotion. You are a gifted writer because you have these qualities. You are not afraid to put it out there. (well it doesn’t come across that way!) If you are, good for you for pushing through it!

    I save your posts as well as Pegs when I am in a quiet time, so I can savor them..

  20. I gave up cursing years ago, but I will revive it and say, “That was damn good!” Your post, I mean. 🙂

    I’ve been listening to “The Secret Life of Bees” on audio tape, and the voice is absolutely mesmerizing. Even though I’m listening to a very talented person reading it, I have to give credit to the author.

    You explained it so well.

    • That is one of my most favorite books EVER! It is one of those book I keep so that I can reread it every few years. And thank you…sorry I made you say a bad word!

  21. You’re welcome.

    Good to know that you have an appreciation for the book too. I may end up reading it some day, and compare my feelings of reading it and listening to it.

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