A lot of writers stress about ‘finding’ their author voice. They talk about it as if it’s some kind of mystical, illusive, precious treasure that they might, someday, discover under a bush, or down the back of the sofa. If they’re lucky.
Perhaps it’s because author voice is so revered, so admired. We talk about the voice of our favourite authors as if that is the one thing that ties everything together; their books, their personality, their fame. Surely, if we could only find our voice, this magical thing would happen, and riches would flow to us.
We’ve placed the idea of author voice, the ideal of it, on a pedestal. Made it feel unattainable.
And that’s why it’s so difficult to believe that the truth is something far simpler. That your author voice doesn’t need to be found. Because you already have it.
(Just like Bastian in The Never Ending Story: “He simply can’t imagine that one little boy could be that important.”)
Your author voice is the product of everything you have ever written, and everything you have ever read. It’s the product of your dialect, your accent, your upbringing, and education. It’s the Netflix shows you watch, it’s your favourite movies, it’s the people you chat with, and the people you overhear in the street. It’s your culture, your moral code, your ethics.
Your author voice is made up of everything you have been, everything you are, and everything you will be.
And, that blend, just like you, is completely one-of-a-kind.
It’s not something you need to manufacture, or study. It’s not something you need to look for. It’s not a case of fake-it-until-you-make-it. You already have your author voice, and it’s already unique.
You simply need to write. And read. And live. And write some more.
Your author voice will grow with you, and become more defined. You may not even recognise it yourself, because it’s as much a part of you as your thoughts. Your heartbeat. But it’s there.
There’s no treasure map to find it, because it doesn’t need finding. Just defining. So, just write, and write, and do it as only you can.
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- Story Worms: Biting the Bullet - July 22, 2017
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- Women in Horror Month Special: Interview with Eeva Lancaster - February 19, 2016