Voice

Writers, even though they are not working in an audible way, spend a lot of time thinking about their voice.

I want to talk about the writer’s voice. Our voice, when we write (you write too, so I’m including you) is how we sound.

I personally have worked really hard on my voice. I have a way of writing that expresses my emotion and my personality. I like to bring humor–little nods and asides—into what I write.

You may notice, I’m also really fond of white space.

In the solitary space of writing, where I am alone with the thoughts I am trying to convey, I like to pause. For laughter? Maybe. But also for the ideas to sink in.

I try to introduce ideas that are unusual, a different way of thinking about an ordinary circumstance or situation.

You know what I don’t like? Repeating myself. Just now I am considering deleting either “circumstance” or “situation” because they are saying almost the same thing.

And deleting things that are repetitive means that I write short pieces. I say what I have to say, get it done and we can all move on.

You know what else I do? I talk about myself. The first person is all I ever talk about.

Recently I had to write a rather long piece with no first person whatsoever. I was nowhere to be found.

I found myself wanting to go all A.A. Milne in there, and have asides reaching to the audience. Breaking the fourth wall of writing, to acknowledge that there is in fact a reader, and that reader is in fact reading the shapes of the words on the page.

I suspect this is frowned upon in circles of people who do not use the first person.

There are other ways of indicating that action has taken place, ways that do not require mentioning a party who acts or a party who is the receiver of that action.

Passive voice abounds.

Mistakes were made.

I like to write. I like for my writing to be read. I like readers, and I like it when readers let me know they have read what I write.

The bestseller list confirms that people who read like to read action.

I will have to learn a whole set of new skills if I am to write without referring to myself.

Some people are very insistent on that. I understand that removing the actor and the acted upon means the thing written is less likely to cause offense.

But it’s also a lot less likely to engage.

It might be a new challenge to learn how to be exciting without any action. It’s my voice. I get to use it how I want.