Monday, October 09, 2006

Voice

Tom Erhenfeld wrote a really good post on voice: Your Voice Is Calling.
A must read for writers.

Voice, it seems, is the new buzz word. I’m hearing it at conventions, seeing it on-line. In a world where no story is new, perhaps voice is the critical distinguishing element, then?

Read it. Few words. Big thoughts. Below is a clip that captures the spirit.

"My advice to you, and I assume my audience to be entrepreneurs whose ventures can be very loosely defined, is this: spend more time understanding your voice, and shape your venture to fit. Don’t pursue great wealth, or fame, or arbitrary measures that are beyond your control. Instead of launching an inauthentic business to capture a momentary business pocket; focus instead on recognizing what you’re good at, what you care about, and what you can deliver, and then adapt that to the world around you."

As writers, I think we can take this to mean don't worry about what you can't control. Use your time to hone your ability, to develop your voice, and understand how your voice fits into the world/market around you.

4 comments:

SpecRom Joyce said...

Instead of launching an inauthentic business to capture a momentary business pocket; focus instead on recognizing what you’re good at, what you care about, and what you can deliver, and then adapt that to the world around you.

This is wonderful advice, and something I'm finally coming to grips with. I wish I could write funny and light. I also wish I could write meaningfully about seemingly nothing, like Alice Hoffman.

But neither of those aspirations are suitable to my voice.

It's just like when I took singing lessons. I wanted to be a lyric soprano, but I didn't have that kind of voice.

Christine said...

Glad it helped. I found it kind of a 'light bulb' moment for me, too. I think once you accept what you're really good at, you can really make strides, blow through obstacles.

rniteflyer said...

I like this quote from Ray Charles
"With singing, the name of the game is to make yourself believable. When somebody hears you sing a song and they say, "Oh, that must have happened to him," that's when you know you're transmitting. It's like being a good actor. You make people feel things, emotions, and whatnot. But you gotta start with yourself. You got to feel it yourself. If you don't feel it, how do you expect someone else to?"

I'm finding that with my writing. The more I write, the closer I come to finding my voice. I know it's my voice because it feels, sounds, reads, authentic. It reads like autobiography, even when it's fiction.

Christine said...

I like the quote! Sometimes, between all the 'rules' that get handed down from on high (Follow the market, write this way, write that way) and all the rest of the noise of life buzzing in your ears, it's hard to know your voice.

I sometimes think that the more you write, the more layers are stripped away, or like a lotus, the more petals unfold.